When Getting Advice From an Expert, Follow It!



As I was thinking of yesterday’s post about putting in the effort (click here to be taken to it), my thoughts wandered to a business networking group that I had belonged to years ago.

We met every other week for breakfast to discuss local business trends as well as to support and advise one another regarding questions or concerns we may have had about our own businesses.

One evening, we were to attend a lecture, hosted by the local chamber of commerce, featuring a speaker who was a successful businessman and a legend in the region. The best part  was that, before the lecture, our group went to dinner with him because one of our members was a good friend of his.

Needless to say, all of us were excited and grateful for our good fortune!

We had a lively and informative dinner with the speaker, although one of our group shifted the focus to her and her struggling gift shop. Even though he generously tailored his comments, suggestions, and guidance to her, all of us were able to extrapolate useful information that we could immediately apply to our particular businesses.


The businessman’s lecture afterward at the Chamber of Commerce was fantastic. He packed it full of useful information, including tips designed to help business people work more effectively, which then would translate into increased sales.  All of the attendees were thrilled with his presentation and, to this day, I still use the suggestions he gave us!

I noticed, though, that the gift shop owner seemed a little down-in-the-dumps. I was surprised because I figured she’d be hopeful, at the very least, with the one-on-one consultation she had with the businessman at dinner plus the additional information we got from the lecture.  I chalked it off, though, figuring she was tired after a long day.

The next morning, our group met for breakfast. As expected, everyone was still excited after the dinner and lecture the night before.  One of the members told us he couldn’t sleep that night because he was buzzing with ideas.

The gift shop owner was silent. Another businesswoman remarked that the gift shop owner must be eager to get to her store so she could apply the excellent suggestions the businessman had given her.

She turned to her and said there was nothing to apply because the businessman didn’t give her anything she could use. She went on to say that he didn’t understand her particular business, he didn’t know what he was talking about, and his success was probably a result of dumb luck.

We were stunned. Speechless.

Are you surprised to learn that she went out of business a year or so later?

As I think back to that evening and the following morning, I’m still astounded at the gift shop owner’s dismissive attitude. She was the one who sought out the businessman’s advice, yet she rejected every single one of his suggestions.

It’s a cautionary tale for the rest of us.

When WE seek advice from experts, we should at least try a few of their suggestions.  After all, we asked them for guidance because their success means they’re doing something right; we should heed what they’re saying!


Action Plan: Think about advice and guidance you’ve received over the years.  Is there any of it that you didn’t use because you thought it didn’t apply to you?  Take a thorough look at it and figure out ways to incorporate it now.

I believe in you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


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