I like asking for advice. I like hear other people’s opinions. It feeds in to my brain that likes qualitative research.
But when it comes to your business, whatever industry it might be in, your creative industry peers are some times the worst to ask.
Getting Good Advice
This is not to say don’t build collaborative or positive relationships, but it is to say think of it this way…
What role are they playing in answering?
- Are they your business coach? In that case, I really do hope they have knowledge of your skills, experience and limitations on hand to answer. Are the answering strategically? Do they think this is something you can learn?
- Are they answering as a possible client? Was that some very detailed market research you just did?
- Were they answering based on their abilities, goals and fears?
I find number three is unbelievably common.
This is not to say they are bad or misleading you; only that they were the wrong person to ask.
Who is the right person to ask?
This is the truly hard question to answer. If you work in a small, unique area, you may have only direct competitors to ask, and, for obvious reasons, you may not want to ask them. In that case you have to ask someone else. Try to go to people who are known for their knowledge in an area. For example, marketing may have plenty of industry specific tweaks, but overall processes are often the same. Sometimes a different industry can also be a bonus, if you think a strategy can be applied in your area.
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Not only business…
Ask yourself these questions regardless of if you’re asking for advice in your personal or business life. Frankly, the same applies, though sometimes the personal life has less distinction around categories (aka industries).
Do you ever question the advice others give you?