By Elijah Medge, Long Beach, February 2015
Just because advice is coming from a good place, doesn’t mean it’s the right place. If your dearest friend of twenty years starts giving you relationship advice — but he has habitually cheated on every girlfriend he’s had — it might be wise to ignore the advice. Just because a person is well-meaning and your relationship is strong, doesn’t mean that the advice is any good. When it comes to important decisions about our careers, it’s more important than ever to have a discerning awareness of whether heeding advice could be harmful or helpful.
When I first graduated from college and was interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity, of course my loving mother was eager to offer career advice. She urged me strongly to steer in a more “stable” direction. But, as much as I loved my mother, she had never owned or run a business. While I took her advice in many areas of my life, when it came to my career, I knew that I wanted to follow a different path.
Early in my career, I made a conscious decision to listen only to those who were in positions that I wanted to emulate. I sought advice from successful business owners whose advice happened to directly conflict with my mother’s. The best advice I received was to get a job that would force me to put in a ton of hours and work on commission. It was explained to me that this was the best way to simulate an entrepreneurial environment if I was interested in the fast track to running a successful business. Needless to say, I took this advice, and haven’t looked back since. The lesson here was that it was more important to seek qualified advice than loving advice.
Career advice is especially tricky. People tend to seek guidance that conforms with what they want to hear. It’s important to remember that the best advice is the most honest, least biased, and comes from the advisor that’s most knowledgeable about the subject. I’ll leave you with a great picture quote from addicted2success.com:
Elijah Medge (Long Beach, CA) owns and manages direct marketing firms throughout the United States. He is a coach and mentor to budding and experienced entrepreneurs in a variety of industries. Be sure to connect on Facebook and Tumblr.