The most pernicious promise out there, often made by people who have much to gain by you believing it, is that if you only follow the formula they have devised, you can become rich in a matter of moments.
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This is, of course, suspicious to anyone with sense, but the truth is that you don’t have to be silly, uneducated or inexperienced to fall for these traps. In fact, much business advice like this has become very effective in recent years.
You’ve perhaps seen YouTube advertisements where the get-rich-quick money schemes seem to promote how you can earn through signing up to their loyalty program, or entrepreneurs who seem to make more money giving advice than putting said advice into practice.
As a new business owner or someone hoping to be their own boss for the first time, avoiding poor advice can be just as important as knowing who to listen to. With that in mind, consider some of the following advice (but only if it makes sense to you!)
Unhelpful Business Advice To Look Out For
Of course, good advice stands on its own, but it’s usually worth knowing why someone is giving it. Is it out of the goodness of their heart? Is it so they have more content to share with you? Is it because they have a deep passion for the subject?
Note that someone not giving 100% perfect business advice isn’t always a cynical means of earning money from you either, they may really believe it. That said, it’s good to consider the motivations of the person opening the dialogue.
Even the most experienced people can be wrong or not perform their full due diligence, as we’ve seen with Kevin O’Leary net worth dropping since the FTX cryptocurrency scandal. Needless to say even a sincere adviser may unknowingly give unhelpful business advice so it's always good to do your own research.
Focus On Results & Data
It's not always easy to spot an unhelpful business advice unless you look into the what the stats tell you. The good thing about data is that it rarely lies, at least, as long as the source curating the data can be relied on.
Luckily, you can read full papers on market research online, look to trusted journalistic sources to read business case studies and see how the results have presented themselves over time.
You may see that some people who have taken the credit for success may not actually be responsible for most of it. Data allows you to make sense of a chaotic world, even if that data isn’t always 100% infallible.
Understand Convictions Are Only Good For Now
Certain principles move across time – for example, going the extra mile for a customer is always going to be appreciated. But be mindful of truths that seem to be perennial even if they’re not so.
For example, many people invested a great deal of money in stocking fidget spinners and were ultimately left dry when the trend ended and demand plummeted. It’s not hard to see how going full-throttle into new pursuits or truths in order to corner an open market is not always healthy, so be mindful of those who might offer guarantees on unproven wisdom.
With this advice, you’re sure to pivot away from unhelpful business advice in the best possible light.