As some of you may know: I am the Social Media Manager at Michigan Creative, which I love. As the majority of you may not know: I am also a part-time Mary Kay Consultant for fun. Through Mary Kay, I’ve been able to learn so much about business and leadership through our weekly meetings and weekly training sessions. It’s great to continuously learn how to become a better leader, which is why I’m glad I started working with them!
I promise, there’s more to this article than how amazing Mary Kay is. The reason why I’m bringing it up is that I wanted to talk about one of my key takeaways that I had learned at one of the meetings, which keeps coming back to me: What kind of people are you surrounding yourself with? Are they Balcony Thinkers, or Basement Thinkers?
Balcony Thinkers are those who are more positive and supportive of your dreams and business. As Entrepreneurs, we want to share our passions, products or services with those we love and meet, because we know how amazing they are and how they’ll make your lives better! Having people who support us through this process, whether it be with tough love (gotta have those realists) or just someone we can be certain will pick us up when we’re down, is beneficial. If we surround ourselves with people who positively impact our dreams and goals and encourage us to keep moving forward, then we are more likely to keep our heads up when struggles hit, and are thus more likely to push through to the end. Someone’s gotta keep the positive when you’re barely scraping by. They can help you push through those hard times, and may even help you find those solutions to aid you in the future.
Basement Thinkers are the complete opposite. They are more of the naysayers, those who point out everything wrong in your dreams or goals and push you to give up when things get tough. They will find all of the times that you don’t succeed and keep reminding you of them. As for the times you do succeed, they either won’t say anything at all, or will say it isn’t enough. While listening to naysayers can be beneficial at times (always need that push of “You think you know me? Watch me!”), being surrounded by them can get extremely tiring, and may even lead you to give up faster. The last thing you want to do when you’re having a bad season is to go to a Basement Thinker. Instead of helping you fix the problem, you may just be met with an “I told you so,” which helps no one.
Now let me backtrack a little bit: Balcony Thinkers are not Yes Men. They don’t agree with everything you say because they want to kiss-up to you, or think that is supporting you. Instead, they are the ones who positively influence you to try harder, find solutions, and succeed. They don’t want you to fail. Thus, they will bring up points that may harm your business if they see it because they care about your business’ success. That is a Balcony Thinker.
Going off of that, don’t mistake people who give constructive criticism as Basement Thinkers, either. Basement Thinkers, though they may be initially doing it out of love, are trying to get you to not follow a specific goal or dream because they only see you failing, so don’t even try. Constructive Criticism, however, points out flaws so you can fix them, or shows you where you should ask for help to fix them. Don’t just ignore people who give constructive criticism, because they may help you find something you didn’t think about. Listen to them and decide if what they are saying will work for your business’ needs. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. But if five people are telling you something needs to change in your business, you should probably listen. It is sometimes wise to listen to those people.
So which thinkers are you surrounding yourself with? Are you living it up with Balcony Thinkers? Or are you down on the dumps with Basement Thinkers? Personally, I think having a little mix can help. Have a group of people who are Balcony Thinkers so you have a positive group to go to when a bad season hits, and a couple of Basement Thinkers to keep you motivated. It may help you keep your goals and dreams for the future.
What do you think about the Balcony/Basement Thinker concept? Do you have any takeaways? Let us know in the comments! We love a good discussion.