Business Advice

Building your business based on suggestions

- April 17, 2024 4 MIN READ


The definition of ‘suggestion’ according to the Cambridge Dictionary is to mention an idea, possible plan, or action for other people to consider. Whilst there is nothing earth-shattering about the concept of making suggestions, business owners who recognise the value of other people’s input and implement their suggestions where appropriate have greater levels of success. explains business development coach, Simone Milasas.

Take a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, for example. Joe talks about his new comedy club, Comedy Mothership, saying, “Half of it is based on suggestions.” He says that he worked with a highly capable architect, Richard Weiss and he talked to comics. He invited them all into the space as it was being created, listened to their suggestions, and implemented them.

Comics who have since experienced Comedy Mothership are raving fans. One comedian, Brian Simpson, posted on X, “Seriously, what Rogan has done for the comedy community with the Mothership is absolutely incredible. It’s just getting started and every comic that has entered that building and/or performed on that stage will attest to this.”

Suggestions may be simple things, but choosing to implement them can require an overall business evaluation and possibly the need for a paradigm shift.

3 paradigms that prevent you from benefitting from other’s suggestions

False Paradigm 1. No one can do what my business requires better than me. 

Twenty-three years ago, I attended a business class. The facilitator, Gary Douglas, who is now a colleague said, “Put your hand up if you have the point of view that no one can do what needs to be done in your business as well as you.” I put my hand up. I absolutely had that point of view. As I explored this topic more, I came to realise that I was hiring people that were less capable than me, which resulted in overwork for me as well as stagnation in my business.

Recognising the negative effect of this paradigm, I flipped my point of view around and began to hire people that were more capable than me. I hired talent that was better at accounting, connecting, and selling. I hired people for their unique awareness and perspective. This resulted in freeing up my time to create the things that I excel in from a more relaxed place and everyone and everything within the business became greater.

When a leader hires capable people and allows them to shine in their areas of brilliance without feeling threatened or insecure, that employee is empowered to speak up and offer suggestions that have the potential to benefit all.

“Surround yourself with capable people.” – Dick Smith, Australian Aviator and Businessman

False Paradigm 2. There is too much to do

When multiple projects are occurring simultaneously, when timelines of completion are fast approaching and overall work demands are high, it is quite common to fall into the “Too Much to Do” trap. Whilst business leaders are often required to direct and continuously take action, never cease to make listening a high priority. Continuously ask questions of your employees and your colleagues. If you are embarking on a new project, seek out people who have applicable experience and awareness and from a place of curiosity, ask them what they know. Find out what their suggestions are. When you practice listening, people feel valued and trusted and this is how you create a work culture where people are empowered to speak up and share their ideas and inspirations.

“With all my employees, I listen to them, trust in them, believe in them, respect them, and let them have a go! I never believe I know better than they do and have been fortunate over the years to build up a very strong management team whom I can trust and take advice from.” – Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group Company

False Paradigm 3. Business leaders must have the right answers

A common point of view amongst business owners and leaders is that having the right answers is a key to success. The idea is that as the owner of the business, you are meant to know everything, to be the expert, to do things right. This point of view significantly diminishes what you and your business is capable of. When you have the right answers and know what is “best”, you stop asking questions and questions are a pivotal element in the creation of business.

Everyone within an organisation has unique gifts and talents. Everyone is aware of things that others are not. Include all gifts and talents. Invite each individual’s awareness. Create a culture that values each person’s unique contribution and make it easy for your team to offer suggestions.

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” –  Halford Luccock, Yale University Minister and Professor of Divinity

If you have the paradigm that no one does what is required for your business better than you, you will hire people that are less capable than you and will miss out on the inspiration and ideas that more capable employees could add. If you believe that there is too much to do, you will not pause to ask questions, be curious and truly listen. If you have the point of view that as an executive you have to uphold your image and appear to be the expert who always has the right answers, you will miss out on the unique gifts, talents and awareness that each of your employees has to offer. You can attempt to whistle the symphony. Or, you can invite the whole orchestra and create something greater. Which one works for you?

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