Sarah: “I’m not clear about my business and I don’t know what to do next.”
Jennifer: “Well, I think your niche isn’t very clear. And you should change your business card. And have you thought about writing a book?”
Sarah: “Wow, I haven’t even thought about all of that! I’ll go change everything right now.”
Secretly: Sarah actually liked her niche and it was working well. Now she curls up into a metaphorical or real ball and doesn’t know what to do next.
Have you ever noticed how easily you are influenced by other people?
For example you make a decision to raise your prices. Then you tell your sister your new price point. She responds that no one will pay those prices. You decide that you can’t raise your prices.
Another example. You work very hard to create a new brand in your target market with a new title and tagline. You love it and are thrilled. Your run it by your best friend who is not in your target market and she says: “That doesn’t really sound like you.” Next thing you know you doubt the whole process and feel like you should just start over.
I see this happening left and right and it drives me crazy! Women are allowing themselves to be influenced by people who aren’t qualified. They are taking the wrong advice!
The next time you get some advice or guidance, put it through the three-step filter below. Protect yourself and know that advice is valuable, but you have to evaluate the source and know whether to act on or ignore the advice.
1. Evaluate Their Success. Is this person successful in whatever way you measure success? If you want to make more money, has this person made money? If you want more clients, does this person have a lot of clients? If you want more life balance, does this person have life balance?
Let me be clear, the person you are taking advice from does not need to be perfect or have achieved every goal. But that person needs to show that they are making progress in that direction. For example, you don’t need to only take advice from millionaires, but you want to make sure that the person you are speaking to has demonstrated that she is growing her income.
2. Do They Understand Entrepreneurship? I find my clients are sideswiped by comments from friends and family that don’t understand anything about entrepreneurship. Be careful not to take advice from someone who has never had her own business or never worked closely with entrepreneurs.
Again, this isn’t true across the board. For example, I asked a very dear friend in corporate sales to help me with my sales plan. Her help was amazing.
Just filter the advice and know what to keep and what to throw out based on the person who is giving it.
3. Would They Ever Buy From You or Buy From Anyone? If you are going to ask for comments or critique on your programs, website or anything about your business, ask folks that might actually buy from you. Comments from folks that won’t ever buy from you just aren’t helpful.
Also, note that advice from someone who has never purchased from anyone is also not useful.
The more aware you become about how you are taking in advice, the more you can protect yourself. If you find that a person who regularly gives you advice isn’t helping you – perhaps it’s time to stop listening or stop sharing.
Take a moment this week and think about the advice you have been given. How do you react? Are you able to filter what works for you and what does not?
Leave me a comment and let me know how you filter your advice.