If you’re like me you don’t like getting advice.
Several years ago I made a deal with myself to start focusing on results.
One area of concern was my health. I figured that in order to become healthy that I would have to pay attention to people that were healthy.
Seems simple, but it’s amazing how much advice is given from people that haven’t developed results.
And it can be difficult to sift through all the bad advice to find the good advice.
More recently I’m even starting to think something else about advice…
Advice From Experts Is Often Bad
Sometimes the most successful people give really bad advice.
A big one in the 20 Century was for successful entrepreneurs that didn’t attend or finish college telling people to attend and finish college. Especially their own children.
I’m not saying that college is right or wrong, but I have heard from several successful businesspeople that their biggest regret is not starting their business sooner. If that’s true then college would seem to be a large use of time in the process of starting a business.
Autobiographies vs. Biographies
I like reading business biographies.
Over the years I’ve read a number of autobiographies and biographies. Right now I’m reading a biography on Andrew Carnegie. And throughout the book the author brings up examples from Carnegie’s autobiography where the man contradicts himself.
Often a person will give advice that they think sounds good or that they think is the correct advice to give. And that’s well-meaning, but it doesn’t make the advice always correct.
From reading those biographies it’s often interesting to get the mostly unbiased view of someone that researched the entirety of the situation. Even while we’re doing something we don’t get the full picture and we can distort, misinterpret or even miss completely the ingredients that went into making something successful.
Observe & Deduce
I would suggest avoiding advice as much as you can. It’s difficult today. At least in my experience. Every other conversation seems to involve each person giving the other some kind of advice.
As humans, we seem to like solving problems. Or maybe we’re just trying to make ourselves seem important by giving out advice even when it’s not requested.
But one of the biggest temptations to avoid is advice from successful people. Those that do have the results to make you think they know what they’re doing.
Some of the advice will certainly be good, but you may not be getting the full picture.
The real trick may be to observe what the other person has done and deduce for yourself the ingredients that went into making them a success.
Life is full of contradictions. Especially when it comes to humans. It’s a challenge to be able to see the real picture especially when someone is trying to cloud it by opening their mouth and giving advice.