Ever wonder why people love to give advice? Studies have shown that giving advice boosts a person’s confidence and generally make them feel good about themselves.
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Bits of advice comes in different forms, it could be informative, suggesting, genuine, imposing, or just straight out bad advice. Any given advice that doesn’t inspire you and stirs you away from your desired goals is considered bad advice.
Advice could be productive to an individual when it’s informative and out of genuine kindness. Take for instance, if you work at a bookstore and you aren’t making any sales, it is a good idea for another bookstore owner to give advice and say hey, how about you rearrange your shelf and this time you arrange them according to their categories and not randomly as you usually would do.
This advice given in good faith by someone who has experience in that line of work is great but then there are a lot of times that people give bad advice.
Why would people give bad advice? Giving advice generally gives some form of satisfaction but aside from that fact, people give bad advice for a ton of negative reasons, Such as:
a) Personal prejudice.
c) The need to control you.
d) Thinking they know best.
e) They feel threatened by you.
People try to sabotage others through different forms, oftentimes it’s disguised with advice. It’s especially sad because bad advice that you actually take into account and even work towards implementing usually comes from the people you trust. It is sad and disappointing when you take the given advice into your account only for it to blow up in your face.
After it happened, you analyze your situation and you see it glaring at you! This is bad advice, I mean s/he must have known putting these two components together wouldn’t work and you are stuck wondering WHY?
My uncle, who runs a blog, told me a real-life story of how he started his blog, he wanted to talk about lifestyles whilst he entertained and just encouraged people with a good read but his blog wasn’t getting enough traffic. He got advice from an old friend to change his style and write about fashion and celebrities,
“you see now it was the passion to write about lifestyle and ultimately inspire people that made him start a blog in the first place.”
He brought this concern to the attention of the friend who brushed it aside and told him fashion and gossip sells, and my uncle did switch his style but his page wasn’t getting any dramatic change in traffic.
It turned out all this while that this friend had started his blog and was doing the exact thing he told my uncle to turn away from, he was writing on lifestyle too following the same pattern he discouraged my uncle from except his blog was pulling a lot of traffic.
“He had gotten advert companies to bring awareness to his blog, the good advice he held back from my uncle.”
This goes to show people go about giving bad advice for a ton of reasons, knowing fully what they are doing and hoping you are gullible enough to step on the trap, while they lace it with false-positive criticism.
People are responsible for the advice they give but so are we for the actions we take concerning that advice. Certain individuals live recklessly and will of course give reckless advice, you are charged with the responsibility of examining the advice given to you and the decision to implement or refuse it.
Cases where your business competes with another and you are given advice by the competing company, it will be in your best interest to scrutinize the words said to you, with the knowledge and awareness that bad advice can be given intentionally to sabotage you.
If you are trusting and you hit a rock by following bad advice, do not be discouraged as you can always bounce back. A while back I wanted to start a fashion business as a young entrepreneur, I met my former boss to put me through and give helpful hints.
She gave a lot of what I thought was helpful advice but nothing I didn’t already know, but she hammered on a particular point she said ‘provocative sells’, you know how your teacher deliberates on a point they want to stick?
That was it, I thanked her but I did not think much of it. I had started with my brand, doing the designs I wanted, I was trying to get the attention of a big fashion company I wanted to collaborate with, after numerous emails I was granted an audience. The boss seemed rather impressed with my design, I was surprised because well I’ve been including samples in my emails, she said my designs were amazing and not as provocative as she has been told.
Provocative? I remembered where I had heard that before, turns out my ex-boss had been threatened by me starting my own company, this is someone I looked up to but somehow she had labeled me a threat and let jealousy poison her heart, sabotaging my career before it even started.
Insecurities and selfishness play a huge part with people giving bad advice, you see cases where big corporations still try to play a fast one on the smaller cooperation and you wonder with all the power and resources why not let others grow?
Eliminating potential competition with false-positive criticism and bad advice before it has time to even become an actual competition shows nothing but weakness. Sometimes bad advice is given in the form of testimonies of failed experiences of prior people following the same path and that is a horrible seed to plant in the heart of a person coming to you for guidance.
In What State Do People Take Bad Advice?
There are times when something has been said to you and you scrutinize it and it doesn’t seem to add up or make a lot of sense. What then are those times that things have been said to us and we just accept it using them as yardsticks?
There are reasons why people accept everything been said to them, these are:
A) Trust and Over Confidence:
Trust is the firm belief in the truth and ability of a person. When you trust a person it doesn’t take a lot for you to believe them, now trusting a person is not a bad thing but been overly confident in a person could be a dangerous weapon you are handing over to them. It’s easy for people you trust to give bits of advice to you and you go ahead to implement it without second thoughts. Trust is regularly abused, both for personal and other reasons you can be sabotaged, trust with a mix of overconfidence makes your judgment bias.
Self-doubt gives room to numerous uncertainties, you feel incapable of making decisions for yourself as you question and second guess yourself at every point. This leaves the door open for opportunists to pounce in and sway you in the direction they want you to go. Seeing as you might just be starting a new company, perhaps discussing a new idea, they see it as an opportunity to swoop in and spin your ideas to their tune.
C) Overwhelming Circumstances:
When faced with moments to make important decisions on the spot, you might seek and take into account the opinions of people you otherwise wouldn’t have asked for advice.
Overwhelming situations can cause anyone to take bad advice, a situation where a marriage has been enduring difficulties and there has been a lot of disagreement, it doesn’t take much for it to collapse.
If the husband finds a suspicious-looking message, under such circumstances if he’s advised to decide to leave the marriage, the environment has already put some undue pressure, it’s easier to act taking the advice of others believing they have your interest at heart.
Dangers Of Bad Advice.
A) Folding of business:
The Consequences of bad advice can be very severe causing people to make unmanageable mistakes ultimately taking them out of business.
B) Reckless behavior:
You could get a piece of advice that seems very on point, they make it seem very spot on. You take irrational steps to get to what you think is the holy grail for your career, but nothing’s changed but the fact that you spent money inviting that guest speaker to your event and he didn’t even make any difference, none in the like of the holy grail you hoped for.
C) Loss of focus:
Bad advice can disrupt the focus of an individual, some advice feel imposed because you feel as though this is an expert and he knows what he is asking me to do. You are torn between your agenda and the agenda been projected to you. What if you being confused is the point? Without focus, a business enterprise will suffer.
D) Running a stagnant business:
Your business will remain stagnant following the wrong advice and taking wrong turns.
The Bounce Back From Bad Advice.
Suffering damages from taking bad advice can affect one’s physical and mental health. Being sabotaged unexpectedly comes as a shock and you might want to give up, but to what end? You must make sure to remind yourself of the reason why you started in the first place.
Lots of successful businesses and individuals had their fair share of setbacks, but the trick is to forge ahead, with a stronger strategy and redefined focus. An old friend, let’s call him Alex, once told me about his journey to financial independence.
Alex had tried a couple of corporate jobs working for others but he didn’t quite fit in, he wanted to develop a new skill, turn it into a business and just keep developing it. He decided to learn about forex trading after it had popped up as a YouTube ad, his dream was to master it enough to open an academy where he could teach others.
He told his friend Max about it, Max did not buy into the idea at all. He advised that he had tried forex trading before and had lost all his money, he told him to just look for a regular 9-5 job. Alex was determined to achieve financial freedom so he was relentless, although he admits he was discouraged but kept going.
Max told anyone who cared to listen that Alex was wasting his time, he continually urged Alex to forget this and come work at his firm. And that right there is a problem, feeling they know what is best for you or the basic fear of been threatened by a person’s potentials, so they try to hold you down.
Alex studied for months and he kept learning new things about his new path he lost the first and second set of money he invested, he shared this information with Max who in turn told him he never supported his decision. Dismayed but not discouraged, Alex kept learning and practicing his trading skills, on his third investment, he said he had taken notes of his mistakes and he was doing better, and it became too good to be true! He had enough money to start his academy!
Every time he tells me this story he says imagine I listened to him because apparently after the second loss and advice to quit, he had given up and was going to start something else but somehow found the conviction to forge ahead. The point is he did not give up after major setbacks.
People will try to sabotage you and your business coming under the false guise of advice and positive criticism, they expect you to stay down after the fall; rather than rolling over, cut off such toxic people and sharpen your focus. Develop the craft of narrowing your scope to the fundamental purpose that counts for you and the prevalence of your business. Remember many have fallen; what counts is getting back on your feet.Tags: Advice bad advice giving advice giving bad advice