We all have a blind spot, and it’s shaped exactly like us. – Junot Diaz
There are two reasons why most of us became aware of the concept of blind spots soon after sitting behind the steering wheel of a car for the first time.
The first is purely survival-based since it is imperative while piloting a couple of thousand pounds of aluminum at high speeds that we avoid coming into contact with anything outside our field of view.
The second reason is more of a follow-on, philosophical thing. The common driving age of 16 is when most kids can firmly grasp – if not readily accept – the idea that are great big slices and pieces of the world they haven’t even considered might exist. And since they haven’t adjusted their mental mirrors or (mixed metaphor alert!) driven around the block all that much, it can take a while to realize there’s a literal world of things they can’t see and haven’t figured out.
And anyone who’s steered their children through those years (Yours Truly has survived two coming-of-age kids, with one more waiting) knows they have to discover those blind spots on their own if the lesson that they’re not all-knowing and wise is going to take hold.
Speaking of stubborn human beings who often don’t like to listen to reason or acknowledge blind spots; has anyone reading this ever tried to tell a veteran entrepreneur that they’re missing something or need to adjust how they’re thinking about their business? Probably a similar success rate as with teenage drivers.
The most successful business owners are the ones who not only diligently adjust their mirrors to minimize blind spots but consistently look for their team members, family, and others for outside input since fixing one blind spot tends just to create another one.
Surrounding ourselves with objective and confident people – “yes”men/women make for terrible driving partners in the long run – makes it a lot more certain that we’re going the right way, and there isn’t a semi-truck just out of view with our name on it.
There is also something to be said for the kind of driving that can be done with a solid crew who can cover all the angles and keep us out of trouble. A car with one competent but limited-view driver doesn’t fare well unless they’re in the middle lane at moderate speed and avoiding all but the lowest-risk maneuvers. Porting that over to the business world, it’s the old saw that “Slow and steady wins the race,” or in this case, keeps from going in the ditch.
But with good passengers and fewer blind spots, you can try some things, take some chances, and maybe step on the gas a little bit. That’s when business gets fun, because you’ve got new stuff to see and try, and people around you to enjoy it with.