Separate Your Sounding Board From Everybody Else

I’m an ideas guy.  When I have an idea, I run it by my brother, my girlfriend, my few best friends, and my mother (unless the idea has anything to do with sports or technology).   It’s great to have such a supportive group of people around to help me clarify my thoughts.  They know me well enough to give me honest feedback and I know if I run my ideas by all of them, I’ll get a good sense of what people will think.  They are my sounding board. 

I will run dozens of ideas by them on a weekly basis.  I am not trying to impress them, recruit them, or sell to them.  The only thing I care about is refining my ideas, that way when I do meet someone I’m trying to make a good impression with, I know how to project focus & progress.  These are the two things you want to show people when interested in impressing, selling, recruiting, partnering, etc.  You must show that you have focus on your goals and that you are making progress getting there.  Without a formalized sounding board, you are very likely to crap out all of your pent up thoughts and ideas to the people you should be messaging clarity and progress.  Without a sounding board, your ideas are less crisp.  You haven’t had the practice of delivering your 30 second pitch and you’re less clear about your direction. 

That is why it is important to remember to keep you sounding board within your tight knit group.  Your sounding board should be exactly that–a group of trusted advisers that can help you with ideation, not execution.  



7 thoughts on “Separate Your Sounding Board From Everybody Else

  1. Hey Adam,

    I like the idea of the sounding board, but I am not sure I agree that you should use only family and friends. I think it depends on the idea but I find it best to chat with members of my target market.

    Nice blog!


  2. Hi Shama, Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment.

    I think its very important to run your ideas by your target market–but after you’ve refined your thoughts some.

    For example, if you’re trying to recruit someone for your new company or project, its important to show that you’ve thought about the idea, direction, and goals. Otherwise its an idea with no substance. I think if you do this enough, that person is less likely to get as excited about future ideas you throw by them.


  3. I agree with both you, Adam, and Shama. My wife is my primary sounding-board, and then a fellow copywriter-friend is my other main one. Usually he and I will grab a coffee, discuss marketing ideas, and take turns being each other’s sounding-board. Excellent post!


  4. Hello Adam!

    I like the idea of a sounding board, but it has to be with someone you really trust to support you.
    Many people I find are too mired in conventional thinking to even entertain a new idea or way of doing things. They are afraid to change the status quo.

    In this respect, I think it pays for you to be around ‘your own kind’ meaning people that are creative, passionate, curious, and willing to have fun brainstorming.

    Adrienne Zurub
    ‘Notes From the Mothership The Naked Invisibles’


  5. @Mark & Adrienne: Thanks for posting and visiting. I hope you’ll subscribe to my blog.

    Adrienne, I think you’re spot on. Your sounding board should consist of those you trust and are still able to think unconventionally.


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