Having Good Instincts
First and foremost, it’s important to have good instincts. When it comes to making decisions, most people are going to feel an instinctual feeling. Some people listen to this feeling, but many people ignore it or let other people’s voices drown it out. I’m talking about trusting in your intuition.
I would argue that most people generally have good intuition, but they might not recognize it, or they may allow other people’s opinions to creep in. It’s natural to want to listen to other people, especially people whose opinion you value.
At the end of the day, you must be able to look at those situations objectively. Say to yourself, "Well, I'm the one in this situation. I'm the one that has to live with this decision." Trusting in your gut instinct is generally a good rule of thumb. Don’t get me wrong, advice from others can be valuable, but you still have to be able to filter it through the lens. Ultimately, you must do what you think is right.
Who’s Giving You Advice?
Let’s say your uncle is voicing his opinion with your business or situation. What’s his experience? Has he ran his own business? Has he done his own thing? Or is his lens super foggy? Who’s trying to give you answers?
That doesn't mean you don't like them or don’t respect them, but are they qualified to speak on this specific topic? By the way, that’s why it's so lonely when you try to do something that no one else understands.
It Happens Everywhere
What about athletics? How often do you see a sport’s dad making hard decisions, or voicing their strong opinions on behalf of their kids? Maybe they played sports, maybe they didn’t. They may be an authority over their kid, but they don’t really know anything. Happens all the time.
What about business? Someone wants to give you business advice on how to run your business. No offense, but if they’re working a nine to five and hate their life, chances are that they have never ran a business before. So how are they going to help you make multimillion dollar decisions?
No matter how old you are, be aware. Most people are trying to give you advice because they care about you. Most people don’t want you to not succeed, they’re just scared that it may not work out for you. If you operate in this scared mindset, it’s probably not going to work out.
When I left my first gym, there was a guy named Al Matthews that gave me shitty advice. Al didn’t own his own gym. He didn’t have his own business. He wasn’t paying the electric. He didn’t own the building. Truth be told, I’m glad he acted this way toward me because it helped me turn it up another level. I needed that.
Other People’s Motivations
Not only do you have to be generally aware, but you must be aware of other people’s motivations. Ask yourself, “Why is this person giving me advice?” Do they truly want the best for you, or are they giving you advice that is going to benefit them more? This is a particularly easy trap to fall into with family members. For example, take the traditional college route. There are parents out there that will tell their kids to go to traditional college, just so they don’t look bad talking to their friends. Even if it’s not the best decision for that person. It’s a status thing.
The Right to an Opinion
Everyone has a right to an opinion. You should try to respect everyone’s opinion, especially with who they are in your life. That being said, it’s important to understand that not everyone’s opinion matters. Just because they may have the right to an opinion, doesn’t mean that you should let it influence your decision making.