“Don’t take advice from someone who hasn’t had your kind of trouble,” said Sydney J. Harris.
Advice often carries a negative connotation because it’s predominantly given by an unwanted source. Yet how many times have you sought out those you respect and admire to hear their thoughts on your business or personal development?
Over six years ago, I began documenting advice from the hundreds of meetings, conferences, books, and discussions I’ve absorbed, totaling 175 pages in Evernote and Google Docs.
When acted upon, these three insights are the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received:
1. Get a professional team in place immediately.
As I was about to launch Wendell Charles Financial, a highly educated and successful mentor of mine explained the benefits of paying professionals to execute the business essentials. He said, “Do what you are uniquely qualified to do, and outsource the rest.”
Of course, I didn’t listen, and made the classic mistake of trying to do everything myself initially — accounting, tax filings, business formation, marketing, sales, event planning, etc. After realizing that efficiency was too low and stress was too high, I accepted that I was unable to do it all.
The peace of mind, speed of task completion, and client introductions via the service providers (an unintended byproduct) has been well worth it.
If your current capital flow is not sufficient to pay attorneys, accountants and marketing, you should consider taking them on as equity partners or issue convertible notes to a private investor.
2. Study extraordinary people.
Education is not an institution that you attend or a degree that you earn; education is a lifestyle. It’s an ongoing, infinite pursuit of knowledge in order to contribute to the world’s advancement.
My father, a successful small business owner, taught me at a very young age that you can exponentially speed up your development by studying the habits of high-level achievers. When he gives me advice, I know it’s thoroughly researched in addition to his experience.