Beware Where You're Getting Your Advice From!
Seeking advice from:
A life coach?
A personal trainer?
Marketing or branding expert?
Anyone labelled as an 'expert'?
Read this first!
You know I’m here to keep it real & I genuinely care about you! I truly believe that I was put on this earth to inspire, share, give & make an impact in my community. If I can help you at all, please reach out!
Reaching out for advice & help is one of the most important things you can do in both life & business! Learning from people who are better than you at something gives you the opportunity to fast track your way to becoming a better person and growing your business!
BUT… And this is a huge BUT…
This can also go horribly wrong and lead you down the opposite path pushing you further away from your goals & what you’re hoping to achieve if you’re not careful! You need to be responsible for doing your research, asking the right questions & making sure the advice you're getting is from someone who is ahead of you or further along in their journey than you are. Don’t blindly go asking for tips & advice from people without taking the time to find out if they’re the right person to be giving that advice.
Basically, open your freaking eyes & take a look at WHO you’re asking for advice from! It’s shocking to me how many people blindly trust other people for advice on topics that clearly that person is not an expert in! By expert I mean that the person you're seeking tips & advice from should be someone that clearly is doing a much better job than you are in whatever area you're asking them for advice in. Be careful, just because someone identifies themselves as an ‘expert’ in an area does not always mean that they are.
Everyone is at different stages in their journey and the best advice you can seek out is from people who are where you want to be. Meaning ahead of you! Not people who pretend to be but people who are living proof of where you want to be. Look at where the people that you’re looking up to for advice are at in their own lives. How much further ahead are they than you in the area you’re asking them for advice on? Are they only slightly further ahead of you? Because if that’s the case you can expect to only get slightly further ahead. Are they significantly further ahead of you? Then you should expect to get significantly further ahead (provided you actually take their advice).
The people you seek advice from don’t have to be Harvard graduates, and in fact book smart advice is not usually the best advice anyways (in my opinion). Getting help to meet your goals in life is actually SO simple. Look for people who are where you want to be! Look for people who have the things you want to have! If you want to have a successful business, look for people who ACTUALLY have a successful business! Don’t just get advice from someone who calls themselves a ‘Business Advisor’! Go to someone who is living proof that their business is what you'd consider to be successful. People who are further along in their journeys & have the things you want to have are the BEST FREAKING PEOPLE to ask advice from!
Ok, you get that you need to be asking the right people- the ones who are living proof of what you’re looking to achieve... But what if they don’t offer business advisory services? Chances are, they probably don’t offer traditional ‘coaching’ or ‘business advice’ but fundamentally people LOVE helping people. It’s just human nature. Stop being intimidated by their level of success & be bold and ask them how they did it so that you can do it too! If the first person you ask says no then GO TO THE NEXT person! Don’t give up just because the first successful person you asked was too busy to chat, (successful people are busy people after all) but you won’t get the answers you’re looking for unless you’re persistent in getting them! Stop wasting your time, and go right to the source to get your answers, implement their strategies & watch your life actually change!
Also, free advice is just that… Free advice. If you want actual legit advice from someone who may not offer traditional coaching but you admire their achievements then make sure you have something to offer! After all, the successful person is taking time away from growing their own business to help you with yours so offer them something in exchange for their time! It could be as simple as “Can I pay you $100 to thoroughly answer 5 questions I need advice on?” or offer them your products in exchange… You want to offer them something because they’ll take you much more seriously if you’re willing to invest in their advice and show your appreciation for it.
Let me give you some tangible examples:
I think life coaches are amazing. If they’re genuine & authentic then they’re people who want to help you grow and develop into your best self! But, when you’re looking for a life coach, don’t just ‘assume’ because they call themselves a ‘life coach’ that they’ll work for you & magically get you results. You need to ask yourself the reason you want a life coach in the first place and understand what you’re looking for first. Once you know what areas of your life you want to improve upon, do your research! Don’t just sign up with the first ‘life coach’ you google. You need to ask them questions, check out their socials & do your research! I assume if you want a life coach, you’re looking to improve your life in some way? Yes? So, you might want to make sure that the person you’re seeking life coaching advice from actually has their own life together. What accomplishments have they had? Are they at a place in their own lives where you aspire to be yourself? Don’t trust people who give you advice and aren’t living proof that their advice is working for them! Make sure they’re living a life that you admire, respect & are trying to strive for. If they’re not, you’ll be very disappointed with the lack of results. Your life coach isn’t going to be perfect, there will be areas that aren’t their strengths, of course. Maybe if they’re a life coach & they don’t have kids, perhaps not the best person to seek parenting advice from, or maybe they haven’t ever owned a business so not the best person to seek business advice from. It’s up to you to determine what you want advice for and make sure they’re significantly better & further developed in the area you’re seeking to improve on. That’s all!
All I’m going to say is, if you’re a personal trainer, you need to be in great shape yourself! It’s not good enough to go to school & learn the techniques but not be living proof that your strategies worked. Now, I don’t mean that you need to be all buns-of-steel muscle. That might not be your personal goal as a trainer… But if someone is looking for a personal trainer to help them achieve buns-of-steel muscle then they need to go to the personal trainer that does have buns-of-steel-muscle. They need someone who has done it themselves & is living proof that the advice they’re going to give them, worked for them! If you’re looking to become a runner then a personal trainer who is a jacked up body builder, wouldn’t be the best option either. Find a trainer who actually runs themselves and is built like a runner! Dig for information, ask the right questions and make sure whomever you choose to train/coach you is at a place in their own lives where you’re looking to go yourself!
Building Your Brand
Looking to build your brand & need advice on how to do it? Here’s an obvious option for you: find someone who has actually built a brand that you’d consider to be successful! Don’t take ‘branding advice’ from someone who doesn’t actually have their own kick ass brand. Why the hell would you do that? Do you know how stupid that sounds to get branding advice from someone who doesn’t have an actual brand? I’m not saying that people without a brand aren’t able to provide their own opinions but if you want to actually improve & substantially build your brand the only way it makes sense to do that is to go straight to the source! Find someone locally who has a brand presence that you’d want for yourself & ask them for help!
Does the marketing company you’re looking to hire do a stellar job at marketing their marketing business? Because, if not… Why the hell would you hire them to do yours? Let me share a personal story with you (and there won’t be names attached because I’m not about that but I think it’s an important lesson to share with you):
We’d recently hired a marketing company to help us with our marketing since we were growing so quickly and could use some extra help… They knew all the right things to say, and most of the people we were worked with directly were genuinely kind hearted people… But I didn’t hire them to be nice people, I hired them to do a better job marketing than we were doing ourselves. I should have paid more attention to the fact that they weren’t an expert at marketing their own marketing company, but they had amazing reviews so I figured I’d give them a shot. There were a few red flags during the couple of months that we worked with them but the tipping point was the fact that they told me I needed to have Paypal as an option on my website because people need to have multiple options to pay. Great advice right? I mean I agree, payment options are important! So… It comes time to pay the marketing company (our hefty $15,000 bill for a couple months work) and what do they say? They accept check or e transfer. Sorry, what? You’re giving me advice on payment options when you only accept checks & e transfer? It seemed sketchy & personally, I cannot stand when people give advice to others and don’t take their own… It’s so disingenuous. We wanted to pay via our company credit card because that is what we use for large business transactions. The owner said they do not accept credit card due to the 3% fee that credit card companies charge (which in my personal opinion is just the cost of doing business). The fee was $450 out of $15,000. The irony of the whole situation was that they would not accept a credit card payment due to a fee of $450 and instead lost a potential long-term client who could’ve paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run. What I find kind of funny about this situation is that they’re a ‘marketing company’ who didn’t think to simply incorporate that credit card fee into their pricing structure? Isn’t that one of the core components in marketing to incorporate all fees into your pricing structure so the customer isn’t deterred by it, thus making it an easy purchase? Not smart marketing in my opinion.
Looking to grow your business and increase your sales? Before you ask anyone for advice on how to do this you’d better be willing to ask the awkward question of what their sales are! How can you take advice from someone on sales when you don’t even know if their sales are greater than yours? Don’t just ‘assume’. Be open about what your sales are and if you’re seeking any kind of advice on growing your business and increasing your sales make sure the person giving you that advice has the numbers to back it up!
That’s it! Do your research & pay just as much attention to what people don’t say! The proof is always in the actions.
Ok, so I’ve given you some examples of what to look for before getting involved with services that don’t reflect the advice they’re giving others… But what happens if you do your research and they seem like a great fit and then you start getting red flags that aren’t aligning with what you initially thought about them (similar to my marketing company experience). First off, make sure that you’ve been exceptionally clear about your expectations right from the start. No one is given a fighting chance at helping you if you’re not able to articulate your expectations and what you’re looking for. Secondly, if you’ve done that and you’re still noticing red flags, address the concerns with them directly. Thirdly, if it’s feeling ‘off’ to you or your not getting you the results you were hoping for, kindly end the working relationship with them & be relentless in your approach to finding someone else! Don’t drag it on, you’re wasting time you could be spending getting better information elsewhere. Don’t just give up entirely because of one failed attempt at getting help either, just like dating when you break up with someone you’ve learned a valuable lesson as to what you’re not looking for so you’ll better be able to identify what you are looking for going forward!
If you’re in a position of coaching, branding, training, marketing, sales etc… I challenge you to be the best you can be and work everyday on self development so you’re living proof that your approach works and you're authentic to the advice you give!
You’ll be able to help so many more people achieve their goals & in turn, be truly fulfilled yourself!