Unwelcome advice is something we all have received in both our lives, and our businesses.
Dealing with this unwelcome advice is a challenge but it is critical to keep focused and keep moving forward.
One thing to remember, is that often unwelcome advice comes when you are doing something.
When you are doing nothing people don’t bother offering advice unless you seek it out.
As soon as my daughter was born everyone from the cashier in the supermarket to random people on the street became paediatricians and childcare experts. Offering advice I cared little for.
The same thing happened when I launched my site – I received countless emails from people offering “advice” – from people I had no clue who they were.
Here are some tips on how to deal with unwelcome advice.
1.Look at where the advice is coming from
Very often the advice is coming from 3 places; a sales pitch, from jealousy or arrogance.
- Sales pitch – they’ve done a terrible job if you feel that the advice is unwelcome.
What to do: Delete. Or, if you have time, offer advice back candidly. (Yes, I have done that and they leave me alone).
- Jealousy – take a look at what THEY are doing in respect to the “advice” they are offering.
Chances are they aren’t doing anything and their advice is something they need to take themselves.
For example, I had someone email me about my photos on my website saying I “could do better” and my pictures were unprofessional. Initially I was hurt and quite frankly p*ssed off – I didn’t know this person and the fact was, at the time, I couldn’t do better. By checking that person’s website I found one picture – a passport photo (and we all know just how awesome they are!)
What to do: Delete. Or, thank the person for taking the time to email you. Then move on.
- Arrogance, and yes, we’ve all come across someone who will bang on about how you should run your business, you’ll need some super thick skin. They are usually someone who has incredible success (or think they have) and possess an “all knowing” air about them.
What to do: You need to just smile. If you don’t smile you’ll break things. After all, who the hell is this person who “knows your business” better than you? Do not try to enter a discussion with this person as you will drive yourself nuts. They just like the sound of their own voice and self-proclaimed genius of all things business. Let them be.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion. It doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
2. Put the unwelcome advice in the place where it belongs
Unwelcome advice can make you question what you are doing. This is dangerous because we all possess enough self-doubt already.
Remember that you did not seek out this advice. That means you can choose to ignore it.
When you receive unwelcome advice you need to ask yourself if this person is in your target market.
Are they someone who would want to buy from you?
If they could be a client – listen.
If it’s something you might consider doing then give it a go.
What to do: If they are a peer or a potential client you may want to have a think about their advice, spend about 2 minutes doing that and then move on. However, if you view it as unwelcome advice file it carefully in the trash
3. Focus on the positive feedback and advice you get
For every piece of unwelcome advice you receive I can assure you that you are getting a LOT more welcome advice and feedback.
As solopreneurs or small business owners we tend to hear the negatives much louder than the positives.
So, we need to turn that frown upside down!
Look at all the amazing things you are doing – the people who are reaching out to say how much you rock!
Remember, receiving unwelcome advice is because you are doing something – you are sparking an emotion, a reaction and that can only be good right?
Strive to create strong emotions in others. Personally I look for LOVE and HATE – nothing in the middle.
And with such extreme emotions you receive both. It’s ok. You can’t be something to everyone.
How you play it with unwelcome advice is your call.
You can be really mature and yell “bite me!”, write a scathing blog post about them (make sure you aren’t crossing transparency lines) or you could just be polite and move on.
Focus on building and making a difference!
How do you deal with unwelcome advice?
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