“But what do people really think?”
You know, behind your back…
What do they think of your product or your sales pitch or your speech? What do they think of your new sweater or your new friend?
Hint: You won't find out by searching for yourself on Twitter or Facebook. You won't find out by eavesdropping in the lounge, either. Or by reading the reviews.
Sure, you'll hear what people say when they have an audience, you'll hear condensed, pointed, witty takedowns, but no, you won't hear what they really think. All you'll do is bring yourself down and strengthen the resistance.
No, the only way to know what people think is to watch what they do, not what they say. Do they come back for more? Do you cause them to change their behavior? Can you make them smile?
Howard Cosell was loud, but he was more entertaining than right. The same is true for the armchair critics (amateur and professional) that have a megaphone they're using to criticize you.