What to do with advice you didn’t ask for

Written by  //  September 23, 2013  //  Daily Juice  //  2 Comments

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I’ve been thinking about advice. Particularly the stuff that comes UNASKED for. It can be fabulously useful but it can also be TERRIBLY confusing. And sometimes even a bit, ahem, irritating. Do you find that too?

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In case you’re also on the receiving end of lots of well intentioned advice I’ve put together a short plan of what I do with ‘advice-I-didn’t-ask for”. This helps me separate the good stuff from the crap. And it also helps me feel a little calmer. It might help you too!

1. Listen

I do listen to everything that people suggest. Really LISTEN. I learnt this from two awesomely successful entrepreneurial friends Verne Harnish and Naomi Simson.

Great ideas really do appear from the most random interactions. I was at a conference once when a woman came and sat next to me. We were having a very quick chat and then she realised she was in the wrong room so she left! I never saw her again but in the two minutes we spoke she gave me the idea for the videos that are in the Healthy Income Program!

2. Filter

I welcome ideas from everywhere but I’m fussy about advice. When someone rather emphatically says “You should ………” I filter it.

If the  “advisor’ understands my business or is my kinda customer I listen hard, take notes and promise myself I’ll think about it later.

I’m rather more circumspect about advice from people who don’t really understand my business. Although their advice is probably well intentioned I’ve found it’s often pretty hopeless. If someone is giving me this type of advice I resist the temptation to roll my eyes and instead I listen politely, tell them it’s interesting and then I ignore it!

3. Think

Some people who give advice are VERY compelling. They’re the kind of person who can sell snow to the eskimos and to be honest I find it hard not to run off and do what they say STRAIGHT AWAY.

But just ‘cos it sounds good doesn’t mean it actually is! So I make myself stop and think before I DO.

What I’ve found is that after a good ‘think’ and a bit of an explore the advice often isn’t so fab  after all!

4. Do it or Bin it

I keep an ideas list on Evernote. (Do you use Evernote? It’s SO fab) and I love my list. But it’s terribly long and most of the stuff on it won’t ever get done.

So now I try and make myself either DO IT now or bin it.

My thinking is that if it’s a really good idea I should get on with it. And it it’s not so hot then I should let it go. You know. Rather than feel guilty about not doing it!

That’s my four tips. What about you? How do you manage “advice”?!

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2 Comments on "What to do with advice you didn’t ask for"

  1. Vivian@MOUSH September 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm · Reply

    Unfortunately, it gets very hard not to take every piece of advice and think about it esp. when you feel like you’re on shaky ground. Further, it gets dangerous and incredibly time consuming when you think you have to then apply this advice. The best way to deal with this, I find, is to reach deep down (and reaching deep own gets easier and easier when practised more and more) and ask yourself how much of this advice appeals to your core, your business, your philosophy in life etc and either decide to take it on board and act on it or realise why it’s right for the person giving it and not right for you.

  2. Julia Bickerstaff September 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm · Reply

    It is HARD! I know! It does get easier though xx

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