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Advice about Advice March 5, 2010

Remember the last time you were the beneficiary of a lot of advice?  (What college to go to, What to do about your boyfriend/girlfriend, How to get married, How to raise children…)  I am the lucky beneficiary of a lot of advice right now and somehow I forgot how to process it. 

I do know how to do this.  When I got married, I had a great plan for what I wanted to do.  People lovingly shared advice, but I knew what advice should stick vs what advice should be acknowledged, appreciated, but left right there at the door.  There are so many ways to get married, and each couple’s experience is unique, special, right, theirs.  I knew what I wanted my day to be like, Dave had his ideas too, we arrived at our plan together, and it was a great day!  It was a variation on a theme, just as every wedding is.

I am starting a business.  Millions of other businesses have been started.  They probably all started differently.  I have ideas about what I want to do and how I want to do it.  There are a million resources… networking groups.  books.  websites.  coaches.  friends.  family. Why is it so hard for me to pick and choose the best advice from the pool that I’m getting? 

I think I know- I’m in a different spot with my business than I was with my wedding- I knew what I wanted for my wedding day.  I’m not as convicted about what I want for my business.  I’m more open to the possibilities unfolding and presenting themselves in this business adventure.

My friend Beth brought this all home for me at lunch yesterday.  She had hooked me up with the networking event (that I blogged about here and here).  She is so great at connecting people!  I shared with her how I had gone from energized to overwhelmed about the information and advice I had received.  She told me a great story:

“Jen- let’s say you know you’re going to California, but you haven’t yet chosen the city you’ll visit.  And you’re asking for input and advice from others that you’ll consider as you make your decision.

“If people tell you about what they’ve heard, know about, experienced in San Francisco or L.A. or San Diego, that’s what you’re looking for!

“But if they try to steer you toward New York… well, you’re not going there and you just need to be able to sort through that and be confident in explaining to people ‘thank you, but that isn’t where I’m going.'”

I can do that!


2 Responses to “Advice about Advice”

  1. Jill Says:

    Excellent post, Jen. In the spirit of checking out all things “California”, I wanted to share this resource with you, recommended by a friend. It’s a mentoring program for entrepreneurs.

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