Today as I sat tapping madly away in my local coffee shop, a conversation started to drift into my space. A father and his adult son sat talking over their plans for the future. The adult son had a lot of financial commitments for the year, including a child old enough to learn to drive who required a car. The conversation continued about the type of car, the amount to spend and moved onto insurance.

Adamant, the father told his son to get the minimum amount of cover available. Consider the excess, the expense; it’s not worth it, he said. The adult son considered this for a moment and agreed. He would take the advice, he said, buy a cheap car and insure it to cover the other party as required but nothing more. It got me thinking about advice and the people we take it from. That father wasn’t an expert, but he was probably speaking from experience. My parents had different advice for me when I was a new driver buying and insuring my own car.

You are only as good as the advice you take.

Bad advice given by well-intentioned people is still bad advice {not saying his was}. I decided from a very early age that I would only take advice from people who had what I wanted in life. It was a simple idea I heard once from a conversation my father was having, and it stuck. Why take advice from someone who has nothing of what you are looking to obtain? It’s like asking a 2-year-old for mortgage advice. Pointless and probably a little silly.

When I go to ask for advice, I do a few things; I make sure I actually want advice. Sometimes you’ve already made up your mind and want someone to validate that. If that’s the case, don’t even bother asking. Don’t waste their time. Do what you want and see how that works out instead. Be brave, act alone.  And then, I ask if this person is an expert in the field. If it’s about health and fitness, I ask someone who lives a lifestyle I admire or covet. If it’s about property and investment, I ask someone who has a portfolio that I admire. Choose wisely, my friends, the advice you receive will be of the same standard as the person you ask.

Now, what happens if you ask for advice, the person is right, but you still don’t feel right about acting on it? Well, the good news is that it’s just advice, you can take it or leave it. But you need to consider if you are really opposed to the advice or if you’re lazy, scared or something along those lines. Consider for a moment why you asked for advice, what you were looking to achieve when you asked and why it mattered so much.

Now, why aren’t you taking that expert opinion again?

It better be a good reason…

If not, best you get on with that. Seriously.

And that my friends are my thoughts on asking for advice and getting it, asking the right people, so it’s valuable and acting on it if it fits. So now humour me, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve EVER taken? How old were you and who the person who gave you that advice? 

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