StartUp Founder: The Voice Of Your Customers

Discover the "Empty Chair" technique, a valuable method to help solo entrepreneurs consider multiple perspectives and make informed decisions for their business.

As a solo entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in making decisions solely based on what you think is best for your company. However, it’s important to remember that your decisions ultimately impact your customers, investors, and employees. That’s why StartUp Consultant, James Sinclair, suggests using the “Empty Chair” technique to make sure you’re considering all perspectives.

The idea behind the “Empty Chair” technique is to imagine that there are three empty chairs in front of you: one for your customer, one for your investor, and one for your employee. As you go through your decisions or plans, you turn to each chair and role play as if you were speaking to that person. By doing this out loud, you can open up new questions and considerations that you may not have thought of before.

For example, if you’re considering raising your prices, turn to the customer chair and ask yourself how they will react. What questions might they have? Are you providing enough value to justify the increase? By simulating this conversation, you can better understand how your customers might respond and adjust your decision accordingly.

This technique can also be useful for irreversible decisions. As Jeff Bezos once said, some decisions are “one-way doors” while others are “two-way doors”. For the former, it’s especially important to consider all perspectives before making a final decision.

While it may seem strange to talk to empty chairs, the act of verbalizing your thought process can help you better understand the impact of your decisions. And as Sinclair notes, “doing it out loud is a game changer.” By taking the time to consider all perspectives, you can make better decisions and communicate them more effectively to your stakeholders.

Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” This quote reinforces the importance of considering all perspectives and making well-informed decisions that will benefit your company and its stakeholders in the long run.

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