This is a tricky topic for me to cover. After all, much of my business is in giving advice to others, whether as a lawyer, as a business strategist, or as a speaker. So I’m conflicted when I have to talk to others about when to take advice. But I think I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way for myself about when to take advice from others and when not to take advice and I think we can learn some certain themes and lessons.When do you take advice?
#1 Is the person truly an expert? This should be your first question. Do they have expertise in the area they’re providing advice? It doesn’t mean they have to have books published on it. It doesn’t mean they have to be out speaking about the topic. Have they demonstrated expertise in the area? Have they built a business based on what they’re teaching you? Have they had success in the marketplace? Determine whether they’re an expert or whether they’re just somebody who’s repeating the advice of an expert or whether they’re somebody who hopes to be an expert one day. That’s your first line of defense: is the person an expert?
#2 Will the advice transfer to your business? A lot of times there’s advice that’s great for one type of business but it’s completely meaningless for a different type of business. The two do not interact well with each other. What works in one industry doesn’t necessarily work in another industry so we want to evaluate the advice on that basis.
#3 Is the advice authentic? Did the person giving the advice really listen to you? Do they truly understand you or are you getting generic advice? You want to make sure you’re getting advice that really works for you and your business.
#4 What is your gut? Do you think the advice really applies to your business? Does it feel right? Does it feel like it would work? Does it make sense?
#5 What have other people experiences been with the advice? Has this person advised others? What have they done? How has that worked?
You’re going to get a lot of advice when you’re in business and a lot of it’s going to be conflicting. I hope that these thoughts give you some direction on which advice you should listen to and which advice you shouldn’t listen to.
What’s been your experience? Have you gotten a lot of advice in the course of your business? Have some of it been bad? Join us in the comments below and let us know about your experience.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. FreeImages.com/photographer jaylopez.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can email R. Shawn McBride or (214) 418-0258.