The Week in Review # 38: Filtering Advice

Giving advice is easy. There is no implicit cost to the giver. They are helping us see the world through their lens. Our job as entrepreneurs is to take the advice and decide if it is applicable to our situation. In the past I have made the mistake of blindly following the advice of people more successful than myself. In some cases it worked and in other situations it caused even more problems. We have to take great care in how we filter the signal from the noise.

A while ago I was stuck in very tricky situation at work. I fielded advice from a host of people and it didn’t help make my decision easier. A close colleague of mine told me that I have to stop solely depending on external advice and take things into my own hand. At the time his advice made no sense. Looking back it at it now I can understand what he meant. The fear of making the wrong decision can paralyse the best of us. In times like this we do our best to take the burden of ourselves and seek external validation. Hoping that someone else will be able to take us out of our pain. Ironically the more advice we seek, the worse our situation becomes.

I am not down playing the importance of invaluable advice. The type that changes our world view and helps us to make better sense of a situation. Our job as entrepreneurs is to seek the right people who can give us that advice. Sometimes this advice will come from the most unlikeliest of places. At the same time we have to be mindful of separating the signal from the noise. In the end regardless of whether we make the right or wrong decision, we have to take responsibility of the final outcome. Blaming external advice for our own shot comings is a sign of weakness.

Seek good advice, make your own decisions and take responsibility for your results.

Advice is worthless, except when it’s not This week’s post was inspired by this article. The central premise revolves around this quote: “My job is to give you lots of advice. Your job is to ignore 95% of it.” The article has a great set of pointers on making the most of the advice you receive.

The Day You Became a Better Writer Scott Adams is the author of the Dilbert cartoon strip and many great books. If you have read any of his material you will find reading them effortless. This post provides advice on how to greatly improve your writing. I have followed his advice and it has made me a better writer.

Give it five minutes This post is about a great entrepreneur getting advice that had a great impact on his life. It is simple advice that I believe anyone can greatly benefit from. Hope it helps to make a difference in your life.

The Life Portfolio: Diversify Your Identity to Maximize Your Life This is a post where an investors advice was detrimental to the entrepreneur. The article talks about her learnings and how she changed her life as a result of the advice she received.

Unit Economics A paragraph from this article great resonated with me. “If you hold yourself to the standard of making a product that is so good people spontaneously recommend it to their friends, and you have an easy-to-understand business model where you make more than you spend on each user, and it gets better not worse as you get bigger, you may not look like some of hottest companies of today, but you’ll look a lot like Google and Facebook.”

My favorite interview question I interview a lot of people every week. This is a question that I have started adding to the mix and it has resulted in great conversations.

Ted Talk of the Week: Falling in love is the easy part This Ted talk is based around an article called The 36 questions that lead to love. The talk answers many questions that readers had about it’s viability. This is an interesting and fun talk to watch.

Hope you have a great week ahead!