are you suffering from myopia?

In building a business, inspiration, learning, sales, stories, Unreal Collective by Jay Clouse

No, I’m not a doctor, and I’m not here to talk about your vision being nearsighted.

During an Unreal group call last night, a member on the hot seat was talking about his business and mentioned a problem that I think is super common.

He was talking about a trap he, and I, often fall into — which is being so deeply involved in a certain topic, industry, etc. that you begin to make false assumptions about other peoples’ knowledge on a subject.

If you spend all day building websites in WordPress, creating models in Excel, or editing photos in Photoshop, you are likely going to simultaneously underestimate your own unique skill while overestimating the knowledge and understanding of others.

Said another way, the more deeply you are involved in a subject and other people close to that subject, the more you discount your own knowledge and overestimate the knowledge of others.

This is another example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect in action. But it can be a real hindrance if you are attempting to create a product or service — it’s likely that you are so close to the work and other people who are adept at the work that you diminish the value you bring to the table for the right client or customer.

And if you diminish the value you’re bringing to the table, you are going to underprice your product or service or worse — not even offer it.

It’s important to regularly reassess if you are thinking myopically. We are so prone to negative self-talk that it’s easy to let your inner censor or lizard brain convince you that you don’t know what you’re talking about, you aren’t worthy of sharing your perspective, and that you should just keep to yourself.

But if you remember to think outside of your immediate circle and look at all the people who don’t have the knowledge or skills that you bring to the table, you give yourself the opportunity to serve and really create value for others.

PS: Here is a great explainer video from HBR on how marketers often suffer from myopia.

PPS: That Unreal member on the hot seat is an incredible writer and storyteller. I follow his writing, and if you’d like to check it out, you can do so here.


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