Part of the entrepreneurial journey has to be learning and listening to advice. The worst business owners I have known set-up their businesses and then reached a level which is the “comfort zone” and didn’t learn, didn’t listen and didn’t employ anyone – employees or advisers to challenge them and help their business grow.
So I know that’s not you – because you listen to this and if you listen to this, I am pretty sure this isn’t the only resource you draw on for advice; but it is important to take advice and to learn and develop. I would encourage a business buddy or a very open business culture where people have the ability to give you constructive feedback because from that criticism you will grow your business and personality.
However… and this is a major point; there are three big things you must check in with yourself to make the most of feedback and self improvement.
Number 1 is be careful who you listen to. I see so much bullshit out here from so-called “business gurus” who have never owned a proper business, so how they can give advice I don’t know, but they do and they charge for it. So buyer beware! I have also seen many a poor accountant, so called business coach, so called mentor – and their poor advice has cost many a person very dearly. You have to look for quality advice, it’s very important.
Number 2 is apply your own filters. I take advice – sure – but I apply my own filters taking into consideration my experience in my industry, the day-to-day context in which advice needs to be applied and my own gut feel. I’ve had plenty of people who have given me good advice but I have not applied it unreservedly without recourse to what I know, my plans and the context into which they are been applied.
Now I have seen people take rash actions based on one powerful person’s advice and taken actions that have closed down companies, caused financial hardship and cost thousands of pounds. If they had taken those first two points into consideration then the damage their so-called advisor caused would have been less fatal.
Finally point number 3 is don’t change your mind every time you hear another bit of advice. There is infinite possibilities out there – the reality is decisiveness and consistent and persistent application are the key elements to success. If you are constantly changing your course, offering, marketing and tact with every bit of advice you will be taking a very wiggly potentially never-ending road to success.
So improve yes, learn yes, take advice yes – but make sure it’s quality advice, make sure it’s in the context of what you know and your plans and improve for sure; but don’t go changing your mind and direction every 5 minutes because of the latest piece of advice you’ve heard.
Hope that helps, thanks for reading.