3 Tips for Evaluating Feedback on a Business Idea

From Michael Burcham

When you’re trying to build a new business, everyone around you seems to have all the answers to your most perplexing challenges. You’ll meet with advisors, mentors, friends, family and potential investors who will push you to think about your idea differently. How do you deal with the influx of all this "great advice"? 

Here are 3 points to consider when getting advice:

1.  Does the person giving advice have insight into the industry or are they just giving you a first reaction with no real market knowledge.  Insight from an industry expert is priceless - opinions of someone who was half-listening to your story is trash.

2.  Listen intently to what you're hearing - never interrupt to defend your idea.  What you're most likely to learn is how well you are (or are not) communicating your idea.

3.  Consider the source - has this individual ever built a business?  Would you want to be "like" him or her?  Do you wish to model after their success?  If the answer is no, then be polite and simply consider their point of view without feeling pressure to take it.

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Michael Burcham

Michael has extensive experience in healthcare innovation, entrepreneurship, and startup venture coaching. He served as President of ParadigmHealth, a provider and integrator of care and disease management services for health plans and employers, from 2001-2007. He also founded and served as President of Theraphysics, a venture-backed specialty healthcare firm managing rehabilitation services, from 1992-2000. He is founder and Director of the Accelerator Summer Business Institute, a 4-week intensive immersion program designed to challenge undergraduate students to develop their own personal brands and business skills. At the Owen Graduate School of Management, Michael teaches healthcare innovation and strategy. He is passionate about helping the creative class transform their ideas into real businesses, and looks to the Entrepreneur Center as an opportunity to revolutionize Nashville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and creative venture development on a large scale. Michael received his PhD in Healthcare Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2003.

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