It's our human nature to seek approval and validation that our efforts are paying off. Sometimes we are searching so desperately that it's as if we are trying to find water in the desert. We look at a cactus and think, "I bet there is water," or see a mirage over the mounds of sand and run towards them, only to find more dang dirt. At times, we are this way regarding advice, aimlessly wandering and searching for "the answer" or key to whatever education or expert can guide us closer to where we are headed.
We've all heard the sentiment, "Opinions are like a-holes; everyone has one." Advice is similar to my friends. But we must take it with a grain of salt.
I used to follow influencers and leaders and take every statement or "roadmap to success" as if it were straight from God's lips to my ears.
Sometimes it would be the standard by which I created my own media or how I structured my business right out of the gates. Because I had no idea what the heck I was actually doing, and because these folks were fiercely successful, who wouldn't want to be like them, right?
The reality is that everyone will come to you with advice. From family members that think starting your own business and leaving the security of a corporation is a poor life choice. To workaholics who clock hundred-plus hour work weeks telling you the "quick way to become a millionaire." When there is clearly nothing quick about it, yes, they may have tested the waters and unlocked the secrets by failing for you (thank you kindly, sir). And they want to make your life easier by giving (or selling) you the formula to x, y, and z. That's great; educating ourselves on improving is always a win.
The one thing people won't tell you is that their way won't be the ONLY WAY! It's one avenue of getting closer.
Here are a few things to consider:
We'll need to consider the source giving us advice. And think about what their own life REALLY looks like. All highlight reels aside. Have they lived it and learned? And at the heart of the matter, looking at the intentions is critical. Often advice is given from a place of insecurity or selfish ambition. Are they sharing this advice or method to help you or help themselves?
We often look for a quick fix, and sometimes we simply want to feel more confident in advancing.
Test the Waters
Trying other people's approaches or taking their advice can create momentum for us, which feels fantastic. Hello, validation and feel good high. It's nice to see progress again.
We feel great because we see results; maybe it's been a while. This creates momentum in our lives and businesses and encourages us to keep going.
If you've considered and validated the source, and what they are offering can help you see progress, it's worth trying. But make sure you test it out in a way that works for you, document how it makes you feel, and create a starting benchmark to measure against later on.
Without trying new methods, you might never know how good things could be. Give it a try, but never put all your eggs in one basket and pray it pans out. What has worked for one person may not be ideal for you today.
Most importantly, as you seek advice, you must anchor into reality and a Higher source for guidance.
I believe in God and his grace and abundance in my life. My selfish "do it all" nature tends to forget that I am weak and fallible and need help almost all the time. Maybe you don't believe in a higher power, or faith-based isn't how you anchor down. And that is perfectly fine. Whatever you believe, we all need help sometimes, and we must be rooted in more than ourselves when it comes to business decisions, relationships, and how we cope with the unknowns.
As you scroll the internet, seek self-improvement, and continue evolving, learn to listen and absorb like a sponge. But remember, just because you've soaked it up doesn't mean you have to "squeeze the water out." Be open to new opportunities and ways to learn or promote but remember that this is your life and dreams. For this very reason, not every insight will serve, not every approach will work with your lifestyle, and only you can determine how implementing others' advice and methods pans out in your unique circumstances.
As we unravel together, my friends remember to take advice with a grain of salt.
Let's close with this favorite quote of mine:
You will never be criticized by someone who is doing more than you. You will only be criticized by someone doing less.