“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception”Ray Manzarek
Putting Perception in the Right Perspective
What we see and believe to be true and react to, are often based on perception. Take colors for example. Perception is the reason we have many shades and names for the same colors. In business, it manifests itself differently in pricing, credit, cash flow, branding, marketing, sales, how we do customer service, etc. It is the reason why a business owner will either undervalue or overvalue his product or service. It is also the reason why an entrepreneur will have an opinion of what the banks will say to him before even going out to talk to them or how the tax authority will treat him, even before visiting.
Perception is preemptive and that is not in the positive sense. It limits an entrepreneur’s outlook in business and his profitability.
So, how do we know when our perception is affecting us? It is by starting out knowing that you are dealing with perception. Acknowledging that it is at the root of doubts, anxiety, limitations, fear, etc. is the very first thing to do. When you notice any of these, then it’s time to question your perceptions. Ask the question: “Have I reached the goals I set for myself?” If your answer is in the negative, then something is holding you back. Question your perception and find what could be limiting you.
Immigrants typically have poor perception of themselves and what they can achieve here in Canada. Push aside the negative perceptions that you hold of yourself and project your authentic self, your personal brand.
We can stay on top of our goals when we regularly question ourselves on why our goals or expectations are unmet. It is human nature to keep putting obstacles in our path, and it takes enormous discipline to get past those obstacles.
The good news is that the limitations are not death sentences. They are usually abstract or relatively minor.
How can small businesses leverage perception in their operation?
- Have the right perspective on what being in business is all about. A business is primarily meant to solve a problem and make money while at it. If all that motivates you into business is to make money, then you would only be wasting your time.
- Let your branding be the most honest presentation of what you represent. People recognize fake. If you present yourself bigger than what you really are, you would be spotted. It reflects insecurity and self-doubt in the first instance. If you are honest and persistent, people will accept the brand you’re projecting.
- A good brand is an authentic brand. All that customer want is a problem solver, and at a fair price.
As an entrepreneur, it will not be in your favor to believe all the perceptions you have. Constantly question your perceptions. There’s a whole lot more you can achieve if you activate your mind to provide the answers that you need to solve problems on a daily basis.
Immigrants typically have poor perception of themselves and what they can achieve here in Canada. Oftentimes, what we see is how different we look and talk. We see racism everywhere and believe so much that there is a ceiling on how far we can go in both career and business. These can sometimes be real and sometimes just a manifestation of our imagination. Sometimes pushing aside your negative perceptions help. It is as far as you can see.
Perception is often reality and until we accept that we have wrong perceptions and challenge those perceptions, we can only go so far.
This article is written based on the opinions of Dapo Bankole, Host of The Immigrant Life Podcast, and Jess Huffman, Entrepreneurial Mindset Coach, as expressed in Episode 118 of The Immigrant Life Podcast.
Written by Yinka Bakare.