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September 06, 2012

My Advice on Free Advice

If you’re looking for free advice look no further than deep space called the Internet. Really you’re a Google search away from not only free articles but an immense culture of opinions and free advice on absolutely everything. I mean everything. So when it comes to important daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and, in general, life decisions who should you rely on? Do you rely on the article that states what you should do with your 401K? Or do you rely on the Comments section to influence or contradict the free advice you gained in the to do article? When it comes to finances, family, business and even more personal advice who do you turn to in your life? Do you turn on the TV or scour CNN Money or CNBC for stories? Although there is always good information backed with information it always contradicts. So what most people need focuses on a plan and a point of view that works for them.

In looking for advice I would advise you to find credible resources not just the newest idea. Find people in any area of business or life that can show you a track record of performance. If you hire them or you, in effect, hire them by simply listening to them you now have a better resource. It’s certainly better than the point counterpoint ideas or opinions that you hear. Whether you seek a career change, a financial plan or a ideas on how to better help your friends and family achieve their goals find credible resources and ensure the advice you listen to helps you achieve your vision and goals.

Here are some reasons why you need a clear point of view and why you need to very carefully measure all the frontal assault of so-called free advice you hear today from all sources:

It’s Russian Roulette – by spinning a chambered round and firing at your head you take a one out of six chance that you will shoot a bullet into your head. Is that too graphic? When you take random advice that may sound or feel good to you at the moment it may not help you in the long run. Your shooting craps, taking chances you probably shouldn’t and not really getting sound advice.

There’s No Point of View – good advice comes with a point of view, is consistent and takes into account your personal situation. When you sit down with most financial planners they want you to fill out a long list of information about you, your goals, your current situation. When you go to a doctor they should not just look at your symptoms and prescribe immediately in many cases. They need to do a medical history on you and find out about how you respond to certain medications. As a career advisor I want to know your short term needs and long-term goals. You may not be able to accomplish your work life mission in your next job but even at the executive level you need to be pursuing a vision that helps you work toward the most meaningful work you can do.

It’s Hard to Have a Perspective on You – most of us have trouble coaching, counseling and helping ourselves. Many of us whose lives revolve around helping, serving and assisting others accomplish their goals often overlook what is best for us. Our devotion to others should be balanced or we can forget to take care of ourselves. We know this as a culture in the United States. We collectively spend millions upon millions for healthcare, diets, psychological, and psychiatric counseling. Most of this is a good but it shows that we, as a culture, have a tough time getting to where we need to be from where we are without help.

Whether you need help with your career, finances, marriage, friendships, healthcare issues or anything else, don’t listen to any one source. Don’t cut corners on the most important areas of your life. Seek out the best advice that suits your vision for your life, your short and long term goals. Don’t follow the crowd to the easy answers. Find advice that advances your goals and if those goals fit into your positive vision for the future find a way to get good, consistent and positive advice from credible sources even if you have to pay for it. In a world of free advice try not to find another point of view but try to find the best point of view that speaks exactly to where you want to go within all areas of your life.

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