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One of the most powerful things you can do as an entrepreneur is to ask for negative feedback — raw, honest, brutal, unguarded, fearless feedback. You want this feedback from someone who already has the results you want and has no vested interest in seeing you succeed or fail.
One of my friends and clients, Michael Serwa, spent his teenage years practicing the trumpet with the goal of being a world-class professional musician. He dedicated hours every day to practice and enrolled in a top Polish music school. After struggling with a music exam, Michael decided to track down the most famous trumpet player in his country; Michael was determined to know if he would succeed in a music career. He caught a bus and traveled eight hours to where the iconic Tomasz Stanko lived. Using the apartment building’s intercom, Michael convinced the musician to listen to him play and give him honest feedback. The trumpet player listened for 10 seconds and said “Forget it. You don’t have the right lip and mouth shape to play at the highest level.”