ASK THE PHOTOGRAPHER - ADVICE
Dear Sarah, I recently started my own business. From almost the first day I had people cheering me on and giving me advice, which is great. However, it is a bit overwhelming. It has become a bit too much to handle. How do I know which advice to take? Any suggestions for using this advice to the best of my advantage?
Hello Overloaded, First, as always, congrats on your new business! Since you didn't tell me what it is, I'm going to give you the photography perspective on this question, however, I'm pretty sure it is universal and can apply to most endeavors.
You've probably heard the age old saying - Advice is like noses, everyone's got them (okay, they typically name another body part, but you get the idea). It is the truth, at some point you will get too much information. So you are already smart in trying to narrow down who you listen to.
My biggest advice, only take the opinions of someone who's work (in the same field as yours) you enjoy. Every profession can have people approach it in different ways. There is no point wasting your time getting advice from someone who doesn't do the job you are trying to do in a way that inspires you.
Let me use photography for a moment (insert your profession here). As a photographer I would not take advice from someone who does not take pictures I like, or that inspire me. I just wouldn't. I also wouldn't want to give advice to someone that wouldn't hire me. If you wouldn't hire me to take your photos, you wouldn't want my advice on how to be a photographer... period.
Ask yourself these questions: 1. Would I hire the person I'm asking/ receiving advice from? 2. Do I trust them to give me good advice? 3. THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT.... Can I listen to them when they give me advice I don't want to hear?
We often don't want to hear that we are "green" in our new profession. Make sure the person you ask can tell you in a way that doesn't offend you. Don't be afraid to hear the hard facts about the job (like the fact that it could take 3 years to establish yourself). Most importantly, take the advice given to you and run with it in your own way.
Hope this helps!