â€śSo, tell me again what he told you?â€ť I asked.
â€śHe told me my logo sucks.â€ť
â€śDid he say why?â€ť
â€śNo. He said it was boring and that I should do the whole website over again.â€ť
The â€śheâ€ť in our story is Andreaâ€™s Uncle Frank.
To Uncle Frankâ€™s credit, he was following her business growth with rapt attention. He loves his niece and wants her to do well. Â So, his opinion was not entirely without heart.
But the advice hurt, especially since Andrea had put a lot of focused time into her new website.
â€śOkay,â€ť I said. â€śMay I ask you a few things?â€ť
â€śYour Uncle Frank. What does he do?â€ť
â€śHe works in a bank,â€ť she replied.
â€śHas he ever had a business?â€ť
â€śNever? No side businesses?â€ť
â€śIs he your ideal client?â€ť
â€śDoes he understand your ideal client?â€ť
â€śOkay,â€ť I said. â€śLetâ€™s get clear hereâ€¦â€ť
Unfortunately, Andreaâ€™s is not an uncommon situation.Â When people are first starting a business, or when theyâ€™re in an uncomfortable transition in their business, thereâ€™s bound to be uncertainty.Â This can make them feel vulnerable. Â In that state, they might open themselves up to well-meaning advice, and end up blind-sided.
So, let me start by sharing with you what I shared with Andreaâ€¦
â€śTaking business advice from your uncle who has never owned a business in his life is like hiring Amy Winehouse to be your happiness coach.â€ť
In other words, when it comes to business advice, you must consider the source.
There are five criteria to use as your own personal checklist when it comes to getting advice.Â (And yes, ALL five of these matter!)
1 â€“ Competence.
When considering advice, ask yourself this question:
Is this person the â€śafterâ€ť of my â€śbefore?â€ť
In other words, is s/he more successful than you?
I can speak from experience here when I say that it takes a radically different mindset and skillset to run a $100K business than it does a $500K business.
And it takes a radically different mindset and skillset to run a $1M business than it does a $500K business.
Someone who understands the layers involved in marketing, systems, team â€“ and also has the compassion to understand the growing pains involved in the Upleveling process is more likely to offer advice you can follow, as opposed to blanket criticisms that offer no solutions.
2 â€“ Congruence.
Money, of course, is not the only measure.
Iâ€™ve received advice from people who have made millions which is an amazing accomplishment of course.Â But if they donâ€™t have an awareness of spirit, purpose, compassion, service and lifestyle, then theyâ€™re not my ideal adviser.
Congruence means that the person who is advising you approaches their business with the same core values and standards that you live by. Â Get clear on what those are!
3 â€“ Clarity.
This is a big one, and it could save you lots of heartache.
When youâ€™re asking for advice, make sure that youâ€™re clear about exactly what you want to know. Be armed with precise questions.
Consider the radically different answers you would get to each of these questions:
A] â€śIâ€™m focusing on building my list. Will you look at these 10 article titles and let me know which you think are the most compelling for high open rates?â€ť
B]Â â€śWhat do you think of this article?â€ť
4 â€“ Commitment.
In other words, does this person WANT to give advice?Â Or are they reluctant to take the time or give the needed focus to really listen to your question?
The answers to these questions can reveal the quality of advice youâ€™ll receive.Â Some people are just too busy or impatient to take the time to hear you out. Â What often happens in a case like this is that the advice is not solution-based. Itâ€™s merely an opinion!
5 â€“ Context.
The advice has to be in context with the challenge youâ€™re facing, results youâ€™re seeking or question youâ€™re asking.Â Too often, Iâ€™ll hear from someone who has received some criticism on her weight or hair from someone who is supposedly advising her on her business operations.
Examples of context are:
An understanding of your ideal client.
A grasp of the results youâ€™re aiming for.
Honoring and valuing the level you are at in your business.
A Personal Example:
One day, many years ago, I almost gave up everything I had worked for in my music career based on one single piece of advice I got over the phone.
â€śYou need to quit this path and go get a job.â€ť
Who gave me this advice?
A best-selling author who had a â€ścall in coachingâ€ť day.
Even though one or two of the criteria above may have fit, this person had never even heard my music or seen me perform.Â The problems I was having were about the HOW of my business, not the WHAT of my business. But thereâ€™s no way she couldâ€™ve seen that.
Thank goodness I checked in with my business coach about this personâ€™s advice.
It would suck if I had to go work for a bank. (For me AND the bank!)
Do you have a personal example?
What kind of bad business advice have you gotten? And what did you do to deal with it or get clarity about it?Â What standards did you create?
If you've ever believed it was impossible to be totally authentic AND make lots of money in your business - then you're not alone. Purposeful entrepreneurs want it REAL - and I promise to deliver! Get my FREE VIDEO, and I will walk you step-by-step through my own Uplevel Fast Track Formula for making money... on your own terms and in your own way. Enter your email and let's get started!