Through pure necessity, food truck owners wear a lot of hats. The problem is that many of these mobile food vendors are afraid to utter things like: “I don’t know.” “Would you help me?” or “I’m not sure I get it.”
Failing to admit when you make a mistake or lack knowledge makes you less effective as a vendor. When you pretend to know everything about the mobile food industry and the topics related to it, you miss opportunities to learn. And if you try to hide your ignorance or your errors, you can lose your employees or even your customers trust. They know when you don’t know something or make an error. Fess up when you’re in one of those situations. Acknowledge your own limitations so others can do the same. And when you need it, ask for help and be open to learning.
4 Things Gained from Admitting You Don’t Know About Something
- Ideas. Faking perfection cuts you off from the most valuable resource you have: the ideas and experiences of others. No, not every idea should be acted upon, but each is worth considering.
- Direction. Being a food truck vendor can be overwhelming. When thinking about a particular project, divide things into two categories, the things you know and the things you don’t know. The things you know will help you to stay on track and set goals. The things you don’t will show you what I need to find out, and will become the beginning of your to-do list.
- Alternatives. Learning to embrace what you don’t know forces you to get comfortable with getting help from others. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you know nothing about, you can learn the skill of finding solutions to these issues.
- Confidence. You’ll come to recognize that it’s far more important to be confident in your ability to make good decisions than it is for you to be confident in any one answer or solution.
The Bottom Line
The ability to say “I don’t know” is a common trait of successful vendors. But it’s not always easy. The key to looking smart by revealing your ignorance is showing that you’re willing to find the answer.
The fact is, when you say you understand something, people tend to believe you. When that happens, they expect results right away. When you admit to not knowing an answer you’ll get better explanations or more time to figure something out. So don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know everything. You’re likely to gain more respect that way.