“Listen to me and take my advice.” – Random Guru.
Someone that says this to a wide audience has no concepts of the main tenants of advice, which is for you to:
A) Find the right person to listen to,
B) Ask the right questions,
C) Know yourself to know ‘where you are’ to adhere to those answers,
D) Know yourself even further to know if you’re listening to advice based on a “you” that doesn’t exist yet.
The last tenant of taking advice is rarely discussed. And these 4 aspects consider that you’ve got your goal correctly picked – which it rarely is (eg. “How do I make a million bucks?” sounds like the goal, but the real goal was to be respected by your spouse, and a million bucks won’t actually achieve that.)
Asking the right questions to the right person –
Are you asking a virtuoso something that anyone at much lower levels could answer? You wouldn’t ask Ed Sheeran what his advice would be to learn the C Major scale is – you can get that elsewhere very easily. Also, asking Ed Mylett for mindset advice also might be a very high level thing to ask, and probably not nearly as good considering he may be the most valuable at low level (detailed) business questions.
You wouldn’t ask Arnold Schwarzenegger if he thinks eating cake is a good idea, because you already know the answer. More importantly, you’re not at the level that could even ask Arnold a good question such as, “Should I take 25g or 40g of Anadrol steroids?”
This is why the people you idolize aren’t always the best mentors.
Therefore, you just need both someone at your ultimate goal and also someone a few steps ahead of you, because beyond that you’re not going to ask the right questions anyway in all likelihood to someone far beyond you.
So, you found the right person to ask, you asked them for the right piece of advice, and finally you need to consider,
Are you needing advice for who you are, or who you want to be?
If a 400 lbs dude asks you for advice on getting healthy fastest way possible, the correct answer is to work out 7 days a week and have a perfectly strict diet. But the best answer is to tell them just to stop eating an entire cake every day – if he’d just stop pigging out, that would help tremendously without even stepping in a gym.
They can handle the baby step advice and actually do it, whereas the other advice that’s better, that’s even directly tailored to them, is probably useless since they won’t listen. I addressed knowing who you are as the most important part of hearing advice here.
Someone called in and asked Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs advice juggling the 3 businesses he was trying to start up and his job. Mike told him to just pick one thing and focus on it. That’s good advice. But Gary Vee might tell him even “better” advice by telling him to manage his time better, work harder, and get all 3 things done. One piece of advice caters to an idealized self (Gary Vee) and the other to the actual self (Rowe).
Usually advice to an Idealized Self is worthless, even if it’s “better.”
If your goal is to get to Florida to live next to Tony Robbins, the steps then are:
a) Knowing that Tony Robbin’s lives in Florida is important. Getting advice from Tony on how to get to Florida is a bad use of his expertise. Therefore finding someone that has lived in Florida is someone best to listen to.
b) Asking the right question since “what roads to take” to get to Florida is a better question than “what shoes won’t wear out” on a cross country hike.
c) Know where you are mentally / physically. If someone says, “Take these roads to get there,” that might be bad advice if they knew you lived in Hawaii.
d) Know who you are. The best advice of “hiring a charter jet” is the fastest way to achieve your goal, but it doesn’t matter if you know you won’t actually take that advice. And knowing that you’re too broke to actually even spend gas money to even drive won’t help either. You realize the only advice you’ll take is one that involves hitchhiking for free.
This is why it’s so hard to get help.
People needing help are asking the wrong question, for the wrong goal, to the wrong person, for the wrong personal situation, and they have the guise of being someone they’re not.
Consider 2 audience questions: 1) How do I get to $1M in sales? vs 2) I’m making $900k currently, but am lazy and need to know how to get to $1M?
The answers there are going to be very different, despite the same person answering them and despite the same goal.
What good advice have you gotten from someone was worthless because of something being wrong with the 4 Tenants of Advice?