Don’t Do Business With Yourself

A very wise executive leader I used to work with had a great question that he would ask – and I’ve totally adopted it with my teams.

“Are we doing business with ourselves?”

What he was really asking was, “Have we gone out and talked to our customers and vendors and business partners to figure out how we should handle this situation or problem?” OR are you just talking to yourselves?

  • How have you vetted this opportunity?
  • Who have you interviewed or surveyed?
  • Have you gathered new relevant data to support your direction?
  • How have you tested your product, idea or solution?

Or are you sitting around talking to yourself, re-using data, convincing yourself what will and won’t work.


This applies to all kinds of situations.

  • Are you communicating in a vacuum? Framing your message in analogies and metaphors that make perfect sense to you without validating if that has universal understanding and appeal?
  • Are you testing a product without considering a wide variety of potential customers?
  • Have you forgotten to involve all relevant user groups to validate your systems design?

In any situation, be sure you haven’t isolated yourself and your thinking. It’s a sure way to end up doing business with yourself.  And only yourself.

Until next time … wishing you business readiness success!

Kirsten Jordan is a Partner at PeopleResults. She can be reached on Twitter @Kirstenkbdb. Sign up to receive her and her colleagues’ blog at Current.