Everyone seeks advice. The advice we seek comes in all areas of life. Individuals seek advice on relationships, what schools to attend, restaurants to eat at, whether to change careers, where to find employment, what to do about ailments, which diets work, what exercises should be performed, how to solve business losses, finances, and the list goes on.
I’m grateful people look for advice. As a results coach, it’s what I get paid for. As a professional, I know my expertise is limited to certain areas. There are times, when approached for advice, I must let a prospective client know, it is not my area of expertise. I then provide a referral.
When it comes to relationships, leadership, and business issues, I am confident in my abilities. If someone is seeking advice on physical training or nutrition, I refer them to another professional with expertise in those areas.
Unfortunately, many people don’t seek professional advice. Some rely on friends and family members. Some search Google for their answers.
The problem with using these resources is the advice may be well intended, but not necessarily accurate. The standard question of “what would you do?” can prevent you from reaching your potential! It all depends on who you are asking.
For example, if you’re the first person in your family to apply for college, and you begin asking your family members which college you should attend, it will be impossible to get the best answer for you and your future. One family member may suggest the nearest college, so you’ll be close to home. Another family member may suggest you reconsider college, after all, no one else has gone and everyone seems to be doing okay.
Maybe you are contemplating having hip surgery. You begin asking your friends what they think. If none of your friends have had hip surgery, none can share any advice that will be helpful to you. One may have had surgery on an ankle that never healed properly. Using the personal experience, you may be told surgery isn’t worth it. Another never having had surgery, but fearful of hospitals will surely advise against it, when the surgery could eliminate your pain and return you to a healthy, active lifestyle.
You may be contemplating buying your first home. The last people you want advice from are individuals that have never owned a home!
If you’re thinking about a career change, you want to get advice from individuals that have experienced career changes. They can share the ups and downs of changing careers. They can tell you what to expect. They can elaborate on things you may not have considered.
Two areas of large discrepancies when it comes to asking for and getting advice are in business and dieting. When individuals are thinking about starting their own business, the majority of advice comes from non-business owners. Sometimes the advice will come from individuals that tried entrepreneurship and failed. It is important not to let the failures of others prevent you from potential success. These individuals mean well. However, their inabilities do not reflect on your abilities. Their timing does not equal your timing.
If you want to discover success, you must inquire with successful people. Spend your time learning from those that have made it. I’m blessed to be working with several individuals that have earned millions of dollars over the past 10 years. They are determined to become significant by helping others do what they have done. They are teaching others how to be successful. Their biggest obstacles are the advice their mentees are receiving from friends and families that have never been “successful.” They advise these mentees to follow in their footsteps, footsteps that have led them to live paycheck to paycheck after decades of working.
If you do what others do, you will get what others get. Be sure to follow those getting what you would like to have.
The same holds true with dieting. Can there be a more confusing industry? With all of the diets out there, as well as the research and testimonies, obesity continues to rise.
So, what do you do when one book tells you to “eat this way” for improved health, while another book says, “if you eat that way you will die?” Which book should you believe? The answer is neither! You read the books and then decide for yourself. Maybe you try one way and if it doesn’t work, then you try another. Maybe you combine what you think is best between the books. The key is to be the gatekeeper of your own thoughts. Study both sides and make up your own mind.
This philosophy of studying both sides and making up your own mind isn’t limited to dieting, exercise, business, and relationships. The same holds true with politics, pandemics, and mask wearing!
Don’t let others make up your mind for you. Study for yourself. Don’t limit your thinking by only listening to one perspective. Don’t discard a different opinion as simply a conspiracy theory, right or left winged. Listen and read both sides and decide for yourself. Don’t let Facebook, a Google search, or one political perspective decide for you. Be strong! Decide for yourself.
Remember, there is greatness within you. You must choose greatness. It won’t develop on its own. I believe in you!
“Seek advice from those that have what you want, no those that have what you have.”
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Published by Bryan M. Balch, Results Coach
Helping Individuals and Businesses Achieve Desired Results