When I was 18 and I started my first business, I asked a lot of people for advice. Since I was so young I asked mostly older people for their opinion about what I was up to.
I assumed since they’d been alive longer than I had that their advice would be good.
Some of them were super supportive and amazing. They gave me great feedback.
And some of them were not.
As is the human tendency, I let the unsupportive ones get under my skin. I allowed the advice that didn’t support what I was up to to carry more weight than the advice that cheered me on.
Many of the folks who were unsupportive had jobs and had never run a business. They doubted my choice to start a business so young. And they were concerned that *gasp* I was building a network marketing business of all things.
They suggested that I get a “real” job.
My 18-year-old sense of self was wobbly at times. I let their advice seep in and implant little seeds of doubt in me. I held back a little because I was afraid of what they would think of me if I moved forward despite their advice.
It wasn’t until several years later that I realized something: the people whose opinions were irking me were not people who had ever built businesses.
Listen, I LOVE getting feedback. I regularly seek it out. I even pay for it sometimes.
There are 7 billion people on Earth. Everyone LOVES to give their opinion. But we have to be choosy about who we listen to.
Here’s my rule of thumb:
Only listen to advice from people who have what you want. (Tweet it!)
Are you looking for relationship advice? Stop soliciting it exclusively from your single girlfriends. (They may have some golden nuggets from time to time, but I’m just saying MOST of the time they shouldn’t be your go-to gals on this subject.)
Wanting to grow a business? Don’t listen to your friends who’ve never taken action on their entrepreneurial inklings.
Hankering to up your game in the health and beauty department? Nix the input from the folks who spend their nights puffing on cigarettes, knocking back whiskey, and eating processed food.
Here are 3 simple steps to follow anytime you’re getting advice:
1. Get clear on what you want.
2. Find someone who has it.
3. Ask them for advice when you need it.
And for the love of God — stop worrying about what the people who don’t have what you want think about what you’re up to.
They’re entitled to their opinions but that doesn’t mean you have to take them to heart. Thank them for sharing and move on.
Over to you:
Have you ever taken advice from someone who didn’t have what you wanted? How did it feel? Did it work?
Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!