Avoid Taking Lessons On Entrepreneuring From The Wrong Person(s)

When You Don’t Have A Mind Of Your Own, Everybody Becomes Your Adviser

There was one thing common to most of the people who kept offering me advice, that I gradually came to realize – especially after following some of it and suffering unbelievable hardship as a result.

It was the fact that few (if any) of them had done what I was trying to do before – or even knew anyone who had, remotely. To put it another way, these people were all offering me advice based on experiences they had NEVER had! Over time, and after recovering some, I learnt to only “listen” to them without “hearing” whatever they said, and found I was better off.

Thankfully, my extensive reading has helped me discover that I am not alone in feeling this way about those who offer advice in this manner. Robert Kiyosaki, in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad Warner Books Edition, May 2000(page 154, paragraph 2) wrote about people he had encountered who had questioned his unorthodox investment strategies. Just like those I described, he said they had never done it before, and yet insisted on telling a person who was doing it why s/he should not! Now, how reasonable is that?

You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it” – Albert Camus

Know when to tune out. If you listen to too much advice, you may wind up making other people’s mistakes” – Ann Landers

This does not mean that only persons who have had experience doing what you are engaged in can advise you. I am only saying that you need to find a way to properly evaluate the potential “worth” of advice offered you, by carefully studying those who offer them, and the circumstances under which they do so, BEFORE deciding to use such advice.

In my article titled Do You Need A Business Plan, If Your Biz Idea Is New, Untested Or Unproven? I pointed out that Cynthia Kersey(Author of “UNSTOPPABLE: 45 Powerful Stories of Perseverance and Triumph from People Just Like You“), in her book described experts as having an “ego investment” in the very thing that they are considered “expert”. As such, they might sometimes struggle to be objective in giving you advice – depending on how they see what you want to do.

Especially instructive, I believe, is the additional point I made that an expert could even be someone who once had to struggle – in the past – to secure marketplace acceptance(for what was then an unproven idea), and is now successful, plus a respected authority in his/her field. Such a person may not always maintain an entrepreneurial mode of thinking or could develop what I call an “expert’s mindset”. A good example of this is probably seen in the quote below:

640K ought to be enough for anybody” – Bill Gates, 1981

Other authentic achievers have expressed similar sentiments to the one mentioned in the last paragraph. In my ebook titled How To Help Your Child Discover His/Her Purpose In Life, I warned the reader/parent against taking advice from others indiscriminately (see excerpt below): Ryan Kavanaugh

—–Start Of Excerpt—–
First, I will borrow from Henry Ford who once said:

The moment one gets into the expert state of mind, a great number of things become impossible” – Henry Ford

Henry Ford reportedly distrusted experts, believing they were too familiar with the reasons that something could not be done.

James R. Cook(Author of The Startup Entrepreneur) wrote that it is important to keep in mind the fact that sometimes those we ask for advice will give us responses based on how what we want to do affects them. In other words, what they tell you CAN be determined by whether what THEY think you wish to do(or the implications of it) will have positive or negative consequences for them.

Following from the above, I will end by saying that in exploring ways to give your child a head start in life, you might want to focus on discovering what works, and not just what someone else thinks will not. Maybe you’ll end up being the one (or one of those) who discovers the better way of doing it. If you fail to give it a try, you – and YOUR child – stand to lose more than you are likely to gain.


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