The Danger is Following Others' Advice

May 22, 2024

It is not about learning more, doing more, or becoming the person that listens to all advice given.

In business (and life), the impact you create will depend highly on your ability to distinguish what is useful and let go of what is not.

All though it can seem admirable to listen to everyone, read everything and be the "Great student!" my stand is that it will not help you to progress to "your" next level.

What has helped me countless times to make the jump was to refine my ability to distinguish between useful and not-so-useful information.

Here is the crux of that. What is helpful for me might not be useful for you.

Useful is a highly individual question as it is closely related to the question of where one wants to go (aka, what are you optimizing for?).

At every level of my growth, I had amazing teachers, coaches, and friends giving me great advice. And I almost always hit a point at which I needed to stop listening to them and become more distinct about what I would listen to and what not.

This absolutely said nothing about the power of advice or information; it simply meant something about getting clearer about my vision, my path of mastery, and what would serve it and what not.

When I go and watch a dance theatre, I have a way higher ability to distinguish the quality of movement, background, training, how they make the moves, and effectiveness of movement than someone who hasn't had 12 years of dance training.

One of the things I found holding me back from new levels of distinction in my business or private life was the fear of judgment by others. What would they think if I stopped drinking? Am I gonna lose my friends when I make more money? The resistance I would face when I refused to stay up longer than 11 pm, what would my coaches, teachers, and mentors think if I didn't listen to their advice?

Not going to parties on weekends anymore, not because I need to, but because I want to prioritize my health.

Refusing to work under a certain pay grade, creating a distinction around what work I do and what not.

In the life week of the being business program, we looked closely at this and did exercises around it to clarify what the next level could be, what we needed to let go of, and who we would need to become in the process.

Simple questions I like to ask clients around this:

If you could only work two h a day, what would you do?

Or: If you would only take on one client a year, what level of client would one need to be to qualify?

Raising your standard, creating finer distinctions, becoming more open to like what you like, and letting go of the rest can be a scary process, and it will be one of the most rewarding ones you ever went on.

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