Who should I get advice from?

If you are a parent, you will know the scenario…

Your child is playing up a little. Perhaps being a little loud, perhaps climbing on the furniture, perhaps not wanting the food in front of them. There are a thousand things it could be. All parents have been there.

Then you get the following from a relative or worse still, a stranger, “What you should do is…!”

“Derrrr!! Thanks for that!”

Getting advice you didn’t ask for, usually from somebody who doesn’t know the situation and quite possibly from somebody that doesn’t have kids themselves… is there anything more annoying?

Whilst Elon (multi billionaire) Musk appears to be running amok with his latest toy, Twitter, he has had plenty of platform users and business ‘experts’ offering him advice that I am pretty sure he doesn’t need and doesn’t listen to. I am sure he has a plan, as suggested below.

It’s the same in business.

Many people when you set up, often well-meaning people, offer you advice you didn’t ask for. “Don’t do this or that”, “Have you tried doing X, Y or Z?”,

I even had it from my ex – “Why don’t you get a real job!” “Wow! Thanks for your support!”

You see, everybody in life and in business has an opinion and mostly, it should be not shared.

A bit like parents being offered advice from people without kids, is the huge increase in business coaches over the last few years. It’s been a fad and there are over 45,000 in the UK now. Usually school teachers or bank managers who fancy a new vocation, or middle managers who fancy having a go at running their own business after taking a redundancy cheque.

Whilst I have no problem with anybody wanting to start their own business (I have started four), I do have a problem if it is offering business advice when you don’t have any… erm… experience of running a business. You cannot possibly empathise or be able to offer credible advice.

Unfortunately, in an unregulated market, anybody can call themselves a business coach and with a little bit of clever marketing (AKA smoke and mirrors), pick up a few clients who haven’t done their homework.

A business ‘coach’ is meant to be somebody who asks clever questions. I have no issue with this.

It’s when the course they have been on, the book they have read or the expensive franchise (promising untold riches) they have purchased, encourages them to start offering business advice. I have huge issues with this.

Often the advice is unfounded, can lack substance and often (I have heard hundreds of horror stories) doesn’t deliver results.

As a parent, I can offer parenting advice if needed and welcomed.

As a Business Mentor, I can offer business advice based on my 20+ years of experience running businesses, along with a dose of empathy (I have been in those shoes many times over) and a degree of credibility.

I am a proud member of the Association of Business Mentors, whose extensive application process ensures that only credible, professional and experienced Business Mentors are accepted.

If you are going to go anywhere to ask for advice, presuming that hitting reply to this email isn’t an option, head to the ABM – the proverbial experienced parents you can turn to when you your child (business) is having a bit of a meltdown.

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