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Not all advice is equal


Further musings from the evil Product Creation Blog (.com — I need to register that!). I swear to God, this poor one dude is going to give me fodder forever for this blog.

So, basically, the flavour of his latest post was:

“When creating products, keep your information very general so that it never dates.”

You what?

Hey, while you’re at it…

Don’t niche. Because if you appeal to one group of people you won’t appeal to another and then you’ll lose out on money.

Also, don’t ever tell your clients anything, because they will definitely steal all of your ideas and then implement them and you’ll be screwed.

And while we’re at it, let’s just not run businesses, because they are risky and you might go broke.

If you’re really smart, a far better way to deal with the issue of information going out of date is to make it a feature:

“Because our information is the latest, best, ‘What’s Working Now’ strategies, the fact is some of it is going to be out of date within a month. That’s why for only $70/month, you can subscribe to our ongoing updates… we’ll post you out updates to your product on a monthly basis to ensure that you’re getting the best possible information there is.”

Interestingly, my point in this post is not about the above… it goes far deeper.

Not all advice is equal

This is, according to several of my clients, the best advice I’ve ever given them.

Not all advice is equal.

I mean, if you wanted to send a rocket to the international space station, would you listen to your cousin John when he said there’s no way that you should use that kind of fuel, because he used it in his car once and the car blew up?

So why do people do this every day in their businesses?

“Such and Such said it wouldn’t work… or that I should do this… or maybe this.”


How long has such and such been in business?

When did they achieve whatever it is you’re looking to achieve? Did they achieve it in the same way that you want to achieve it?

How many other people have they helped to achieve said achievement (too many achievements…)?

Everyone thinks that they understand sales and marketing — because they all buy stuff — so even if they’re sitting in a $60,000 a year office job hating their lives, the moment you express any kind of opinion about marketing they’ll be sure to give you the full benefit of their years and years of hard-won knowledge.


The same thing happens on business forums and social media — there are too many would-be mentors out there who want to give advice when their own businesses are failing. You’re going to tell me what to do with my sales and marketing when I know you’re in financial trouble? Are you joking?

But what shocks me is how many people listen.

When choosing who to listen to, who to take advice from, you always need to ask yourself these three questions.

Three Magic Mentor Questions

  1. Has this person gotten the results I want to get?
  2. Has this person gotten the results I want to get – in the way I want to get them?
  3. Has this person gotten the results I want to get – in the way I want to get them and helped other people to do the same?

So, you need to find someone who has gotten the results you want to get. But that in itself is not enough, because mentors will teach you to do stuff the way they did it.

I struggled for four years with a mentor who had gotten the results I wanted, but who had done it in a way that just wasn’t me. I don’t wear suits. I’m not corporate. And trying to be other than what I was to get a result kept me in a box.

The moment I freed myself from those constraints, my business went through the roof. It was quite phenomenal.

And finally, it’s one thing to get great results for yourself, but being a great teacher requires a completely different skill set.

Anyone that is nice enough to share with you the benefit of their opinion who doesn’t fit the three criteria… well… I’m Homer Simpson, smiling politely.

Leela Cosgrove is Managing Director of Business Writers Anonymous, focused on sales, marketing and business development. She is also a firewalker, has a black-belt in Tae Kwon Do, a penchant for tattoos, and enjoys bands such as Rammstein, Li Bach, Marilyn Manson, Pennywise and Bad Religion.