Everyone learns by experience. The more experience, the more life lessons you can learn and apply. Learning by experience is a great way to learn, but the BEST way to learn is by taking advice from people who have been there and done that.
Photo Credit: Kevin Curtis
This type of learning is the absolute, hands-down, BEST way to learn. Now let’s think about that for a minute. To learn which path to follow while avoiding potential pitfalls is a fast track to success. It doesn’t matter what field you are in, if you have the answers to the test (or in other words, advice from wise people) you will ace it!
If you are going to take advice, which I highly recommend you do, here are the do’s and don’ts to follow:
I was at the grocery store the other day and I saw an old friend. We’ve traded messages here and there on social media, an occasional text, but it has been awhile since I’ve seen this person. After the standard greeting and the “Hey, how are ya’s” he started give me financial advice. The newest “thing” he has invested in and how he has been spending his money. I nodded, acknowledging that I heard his words, but there was no way I was going to take his advice.
Here is why:
- He displayed no true sign of financial savviness, he just threw around some fancy words.
- He consistently complains about money problems (on social media).
- His actions don’t line up with his words.
Now let me follow this up with one very important fact. I in no way am being mean or judgmental of my friend, but what I am doing is acting out of wisdom. I will simply not take his financial advice because his actions, clearly, do not line up with his words.
As you seek out whom to take advice from albeit financial, physical fitness, relational, spiritual, etc. be sure to operate out of wisdom. Ask questions and find out if the fruits of their labor match what they are sharing and most importantly, what you’re looking to achieve. For example, a personal trainer who “specializes in weight loss” yet is overweight should signal a red flag in your brain. Something isn’t right here, words and actions aren’t lining up.
Here are three proven steps to determine the advice you are seeking is legitimate.
1. They have skin in the game.
If a financial advisor is encouraging you to invest in this particular product, business, etc. you better make sure they have their money on or in that product or business as well.
2. They have a proven track record.
When a personal trainer can show you past clients, the “before” and “after” pictures, showing a consistent pattern of helping people achieve their goals, well, you’re on the right path.
3. Their words match their actions.
This typically comes out at a get-together or social function when everyone’s guard is down. As you begin to evaluate and do your due diligence, is the person you are considering seeking advice from demonstrating consistent and clear actions that add up to the words they share and use.
Yes I know, there is always that one person, one thing, one whatever, out there that is an exception to the rule. I don’t leave seeking advice up to chance. Be smart, operate out of wisdom and make sure the person(s) you are seeking advice from is the real deal!
Question: Who do you seek advice from? Leave a comment below on who you listen to and any tips you have on seeking good quality advice!