About a year after I started my company, I returned to Miami University as an alumni guest lecturer.
It was a blast. The students were sharp, they asked bold questions and a few even challenged me to make changes to my business model.
After class was over, I had lunch with my mentor and former professor, Dr. David Rosenthal. He shared a few observations from my presentation, which, at the time, was about the third one I’d ever done.
One in particular stuck with me:
“I don’t think you know what your product is.”
It stung. Quite a bit, in fact. But a good mentor will do that. Part of their job is to help us see what we can’t see for ourselves.
Looking back, Dave was right. My book was getting tons of press, my website was getting tons of hits and my ego was getting tons of exercise. And yet, nothing was converting.
Because I didn’t know what I was selling.
Funny, we’re always told to know our customer, know our customer, know our customer.
When we ought to spend more time knowing ourselves first.