The other day I was asked how I got started as a small business. For me, it was quite simple. I had an excellent conversation with a good friend, who gave me some great advice.
Now, advice is one of those simple things that so many people are willing to offer each other, and yet have you noticed that sometimes people disregard it. I don’t know why people would want to ignore excellent advice. However, it can be tough to tell the difference between the good, the bad and the plain old ugly!
Moreover, I’m sure that you have been given advice from time to time (whether you asked for it or not!). Hopefully, most of the time when you have taken it on board, things have turned out positively. However, there may have been other times when what seemed like good advice turned out to be less than encouraging.
What I have found is that any advice you are offered is then left entirely in your hands. It’s up to you what you do with it. It’s a bit like someone’s opinion on politics. They are free to express them. Moreover, you’re free to listen, to take on board or ignore what you have heard. However, importantly you don’t have to act on it. People’s views are just like their advice. It’s their viewpoint derived from what is within their world, what they have done in life and business, and then given as a gift to you!
It’s then up to you whether you take on board that experience or counsel. You shouldn’t have to feel obligated, either by pressure or the relationship, to follow someone’s thoughts, if it’s not what you want or need to do. Importantly, that’s “your choice” to take that advice and do what you need to do with it.
For me, I took the advice of a great mentor and a good friend, who started me off on my amazing adventure. He encouraged me to start my own business. As a result over the last 10 years, I have worked with some incredible people and helped businesses around the world. Moreover, that decision is something that I probably would not have done without listening to him and acting on his suggestion.
So, I challenge you to listen to those people that could share their knowledge with you, and then think wisely about the advice offered, and what else they could do for you. Because if you don’t, you won’t know what you may be missing out on.
I will leave with a thought from Agatha Christie: “Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it”.