Mindset (Part 2.5) How to Find Out Who You Are

woman holding sign that reads, "Who am I."photo by db*photography

Picking up on yesterday’s post and if we’ve done our homework assignments, we’re ready to get down to the task of figuring out what the market thinks of us, and how to make something good come from that.

If you didn’t get around to it yet, zip on over to either polldaddy.com or surveymonkey.com (or any other free survey site) to set up a free account.

Then, you need to break your target audience into two groups; one with the people who know you best and the other with more casual relationships, short-term, etc. There will be many more in the second group if you’re like most people.

Okay — remind me why we’re doing this

It’s simple. The way people think about us determines whether or not we are promoted, make a big sale, secure investors, and yes — get a date, a decent table at a restaurant, and the list goes on.

People who get that warm and fuzzy feeling every time they come into contact with us choose us over others. It’s not necessarily fair but it’s reality, and we can influence the outcome.

But it takes a little work and this survey will help.

We’re going to ask people how they feel about us, in a non-threatening way that will encourage participation from those who really are sincere in helping. The others, who couldn’t care less, aren’t going to respond or be in our corner anyway.

The e-mail that announces the survey

There’s no one way to do this but here’s a sample:

Hi Ed,

I need to ask you a big favor (don’t worry, it won’t cost you any money).

We’ve known each other a long time and I’ve always been grateful for that relationship. Now I need your help.

In a completely anonymous survey, I want to know what you REALLY think about me. It’s anonymous so you can express your true feelings.

— If there’s something I do that drives you crazy, I want to know about it.

— If you feel strongly that I need to make changes in how I deal with people or handle certain issues, that’s important for me to know.

— If something about me stands in the way of us successfully working together, I wish you would tell me what it is. I want to make improvements that will help me maximize opportunities and potential.

Maybe you fit in one or more of these categories or perhaps there’s something else you need to get off your chest — please, by all means, do so!

Again, it’s totally anonymous. Say what you really think.

I know this may seem like a silly idea to some people. However, think about it. If I can’t go to the people who know me best and get straight answers, who can I ask?

I promise the survey won’t take too much of your time — of course, that’s unless I really have more to be concerned about than I hope  :)

Please click on the following link to start the survey.


I really appreciate your help. Thanks!



This is a relatively light approach, and presents you as open and honest. Most people will feel comfortable with it, but you decide the tone needed for your message.

Of course, for the message aimed at people who don’t know you as well, you’ll adjust the content. The second line might read:

“We’ve had a friendly relationship for a while, hopefully long enough for you to develop some opinions about me. Now I need your help.”

Don’t agonize about the message. The recipient will understand what you’re after. The only thing you want is for him/her to click that link.

The questions

You can state the questions any way you like. Here are a few ideas:

  • Is there something I do that is a definite roadblock to you placing greater trust in me? Please explain.
  • In dealing with me, what situations could I handle better?
  • What habits do I have that are a turn-off?
  • If you could change one thing about me or how I do something, what is it and what changes would you make?
  • What areas could I make improvement in?

You can easily modify these or add to the list, just make sure that you select open-ended style questions. I recommend that you don’t use multiple choice options, giving all possible answers. You want to encourage people to write as much as possible.

I’ve worked on a lot of surveys and it’s in the middle of lengthy responses that you often find the gold you’re after.

Poll Daddy and Survey Monkey are easy to set up and you can knock out an attractive survey in no time. They also have good reporting tools. Of course, there are hundreds of survey options on the Web. Just pick one and run with it.

What I hope you get from this

If you send out say, 100-200 e-mail requests to participate in your survey, you should get a reasonable response and be able to draw some conclusions.

Obviously, if there is a recurring theme to the answers or you see the same issues discussed in many of them, your effort has produced the results you were after.

Look, none of us enjoys people telling us where we fall short. You don’t like that and neither do I. But if there are things that are holding us back and we have the power to correct them, then we’d be foolish not to try to identify them.

Best wishes in your efforts to discover who you are.

Comments are encouraged, even if they’re to tell me something that I need to improve upon.


  1. Macon Oneal says:

    Thanks for putting together %BLOGTITLE% I am enjoying your posts. Would you consider a guest post? You can see my post style at http://fishingstuffonline.com and certainly I would be interested in having you post an article or two on my blog, what do you think?

  2. admin says:

    @Macon — I’m in the process of reconfiguring a few things around here. When that’s completed, I’ll be looking for guest posters and would be happy to talk about swapping posts with you. However, you are hereby forewarned that my mere presence anywhere near critters with gills makes them leave the area immediately — nobody invites me to go fishing. That said, if you think that something I might write would be meaningful for your readers, I’ll be happy to give it a try.

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