Increase Your Chances Of Success By Asking And Not Assuming

We all make assumptions. I do it. You do it……we all do it.

The problem with making assumptions is that they cost money and the wrong assumptions will send your business down the wrong path.

I encounter it with every business client. I start asking questions about the product/service and within just a few minutes I run into assumptions. I don’t have to point it out but I can usually get the client to acknowledge their own assumptions.

“How do you know this is a pain your customers feel?”

Most of the time they will start pointing to other products/services that don’t fully offer what they have to offer. Sometimes there just isn’t something in the market that they offer.

Now, I’m not saying that the assumptions are wrong but how they got those assumptions is wrong.

Knowing your buyer personas

This is often overlooked or looked at infrequently. Hopefully, in the early stages of the venture, some kind of buyer personas are created. A fictitious persona that feels a certain pain that your product/service relieves. The product/service is then molded around that pain point to deliver what your buyers want.

Relief from a certain pain.

Let’s look at this from a different point of view.

Would your customers buy what you have if they didn’t have a pain point?

Short answer……No, they won’t. They don’t have a need for it. It’s actually very predictable. People don’t like pain and they will do what it takes to relieve that pain.

It isn’t your product/service. It’s the outcome of obtaining it. Whatever that outcome is, it relieves pain in some way or at least that is the perception.

Knowing this is key to creating a reliable buyer persona and building products/services that perform well.

Now go back to your buyer personas and redo them with their specific pain point, as it relates to your product/service. You don’t need to spend too much time here because you still have to validate.

Validate your assumptions

So now you have some new buyer personas with the current assumptions. Remember, these are still assumptions. You should assume that those assumptions will change.

It’s time to get out there and start asking.

This part can be tricky but this first round of validation does not have to be perfect.

Very tricky…… go ask someone that fits that buyer persona if that is, in fact, a pain point.

That’s it. Go ask about it. Take your pain point and go ask.

“How does _______ make you feel?”

“Does _____ impact your daily life?”

“If you had a choice would you use something that eliminates _________?”

“What would you like to happen instead of _________?”

Make the questions fit your pain point but I think you get the idea here. It might seem basic and elementary but I can assure you there are products/services out there that never bothered to connect with their buyers. They just assumed.

You also get the added bonus of direct evidence to support your cause. When someone asks “How do you know this will work?” You can provide evidence that you physically spoke to your target audience and they want what you have.

The more the better.


It’s a relatively simple concept…….. people buy things that relieve pain.

Some of you will say:

“Well, ______ doesn’t relieve a pain.”

False. You’re just not looking at it from a pain point.


Clothes – Yes, brands relieve many pain points. Like status.

Vehicles – Maybe its a status issue. Maybe they are tired of walking.

Pencils – Its hard to remember everything. Writing it down is easier.

Any Service – They don’t want to do it or that service makes theirs easier/better.

I could keep going but you get the point.


Stop, don’t waste your time or money.

If your product or service does not relieve some kind of pain you will always struggle.


That’s what it comes down to. Assumptions without validation are costly and can ruin a business.

It’s easy to avoid.

Get out there and start asking your buyers if your assumptions are accurate. Once you have enough evidence to support your pain reliever, go build it for your customers.

There is a lot more to add here. I didn’t feel like writing a book or putting on a seminar.


If you’re struggling with this I recommend contacting an expert, like me, to help you.

Where Do I Start With My Startup Idea? Simple Steps To Get Started.

I have been where you are now……..

The idea of the best new thing floating around in my head.

There I am. On stage at the largest product convention in the world. People are shaking hands, high fives in the office, and I’m sipping a Mai Tai on the beach in Bali watching sales analytics climbing.

It’s funny how your brain works sometimes. Its actively working to motivate you to get out there and make it happen. Yet, it rarely manifests all of the failures and hard lessons it takes to get there.

Maybe that’s just me. I’m an optimist.

The Start-Up Mindset

The problem with my mind, maybe yours as well, is that it doesn’t want to to see the blood, sweat, and tears to get on that beach in Bali. I have started a number of companies and built numerous products but I don’t ever recall daydreaming about all the little steps it will take to get me to the beach.

I didn’t daydream about the first steps.

Who does?

Who daydreams about the first day you talk to strangers about your idea? Who dreams about the first prototype that looks like a homeless frog built it?

I haven’t met anyone that does that, yet.

That is the first area that we have to target in our own minds to “startup”. The easiest way, that I have found, to do this is to take one small actionable step towards that goal.

Just one.

It’s a very simple concept and yet I consistently find that people don’t do it first.

I can’t tell you how many founders and aspiring founders that I have met that seriously overlook it.

“We will provide ________ on our ________ platform for $XXX.”

” We solve XYB with our fancy frog shoes by ABC. People will love it!”

I have a series of questions for any new venture idea:

“Who did you talk to?”

“What did they tell you that they need?”

“How much did they say it would be worth to them?”

Just those three questions.

The majority of new venture ideas have skipped the MOST CRITICAL part of any business.

What pain are you solving and how much is that pain reliever worth?

Not the idea in your head. The actual comments from potential customers. What did the people tell you?

The first steps to take for your new venture

Remeber the Mai Tai in Bali?

Well, that is step number 538,445. Let’s talk about the first step and the easiest way to gain momentum for your startup idea.

Go talk to the people.

That’s it. Get out there and talk to people.

It really is that easy…………… write.

The practical application can be one of the hardest first steps you take. There are many reasons why it is so hard and each idea is different. However, they all have one thing in common.

Fear of rejection.

“What if they don’t like my idea?” “What if they don’t like me?

What if….. what if …… what if……….


It is a primal instinct for humans to need inclusion in the tribe and being rejected by the tribe reduces our chances of survival. Its a basic instinct from our evolution that tells us not to be rejected by others because we might die.

Accept that our brains are hardwired to avoid rejection.

How about a way to help you overcome that fear and charge ahead?

Guess what?

You’re going to be rejected. It’s going to happen many times.

That’s ok.

Do a web search “Companies that control more than 50% of their market”

What I hoped you discovered is that most companies don’t control 50% or more of their market. Which means that they get rejected more than half the time by customers for various reasons.

So just remember, when you’re talking to people, that more than half of them won’t be receptive to your ideas.

Arming yourself with that knowledge will make it much easier for you to talk to a lot of people.

It’s completely normal that a majority of people won’t be into your idea.


Many things happen when we talk about our ideas with people. The most important things are the growth and evolution of the founder and the idea.

As a founder, you will need to grow with your company. Talking to the people you serve is the best way to start. You will learn what people want and need. The things that motivate them.

That knowledge will help you lead others towards your vision.

The idea will have to grow with its customer needs and wants. Talking to them about it is the best way to gain insight into their wants and needs.

You also gain confidence and support from “the tribe”. That alone will keep you going on the lonely top ramen nights.

Trust me.

I’ve been there.

Many times.

Some pro tips to help you with the first step

Here are just a few ideas that can help you get started talking to people about your idea:

Create a short survey.

Go to events and gatherings where your product or service might be used.

Join online groups with people that might use your product or service.

You have to start someone to get to your beach. Start by talking to people.