How To Use Advice From An Expert

Have you ever asked someone for advice and found him or her hesitant to give it to you?

Do you find yourself getting defensive when having a conversation with an expert?

Has someone asked you for an idea and then come back a few days later and asked you for another one – without implementing the first idea you gave them?

During the past 17 years I have been in the business of providing guidance and support to business leaders. The people I coach and counsel are smart, powerful and action-oriented. They don’t suffer fools.

Sometimes this attitude, and the drive that makes them successful, is what gets in their way when it comes to working with an expert and taking advice.

Many times a successful business leader will come to an attorney, a doctor or a business consultant, looking for perspective on an issue from someone with experience. Once guidance is provided, many times it is met with resistance.

This is frustrating for the business leader and for the person from whom the advice is sought.

On this episode of Four Minute Fixation, we discuss how to work with experts and how to use the advice they offer.


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Here is a transcript of this episode of Four Minute Fixation:

How To Use Advice From An Expert

Did you just miss out on the greatest idea ever? How do you know?

Hi, it’s Dave Lorenzo and today I’m fixated on advice. I’m not just fixated on the advice I’m giving to you, but I’m fixated on what you do with the advice I give to you. You see, my business is about providing advice, guidance, and support to people who also provide advice, guidance, and support. I know that sounds confusing, so let me break it down to you.

I’m a business strategist and a coach to lawyers and professionals, most of the time lawyers and professionals give guidance and advice to other people. I also work with senior executives in large companies like Fortune 500 companies, and they spend almost their entire day coaching and giving advice, guidance, and support to others as well. Finally, I work with entrepreneurs. I work with people who sell for a living, and I work with business leaders. Each of these people are always coaching others or giving guidance, advice, and support to others.

I thought I would take four minutes today and just be completely and totally fixated on advice. I want you to treat advice in the following manner. Number one, I always want you to ignore … that’s right, you heard me say the word ignore. I want you to ignore unsolicited advice. Somebody walks up to you on the street and says, “Hey, I’ve got a great way for you to make a million dollars.” What are you going to do? Are you going to listen to that guy? No, he’s probably a crackpot. You’re never going to listen to somebody like that. Yet, you’ll listen to your cousin, your brother, your uncle on what stocks to buy, even though they’re not in the business of studying the valuation of companies, right? So ignore unsolicited advice. Do this 100% of the time and you will be 100% successful at never ever losing money or making poor decisions based on the guidance, advice, and support of others. If you want to take unsolicited advice, here’s a great piece of unsolicited advice right now. Don’t stand up in a canoe. Otherwise, ignore all unsolicited advice.

Number two, if you ask someone for advice, if you ask someone for guidance, be receptive when they deliver it. If you ask someone, if you ask a professional, if you ask your boss, if you ask me for advice, I want you to be open minded and receptive. Don’t be defensive when I deliver it to you. After all, you came to me asking for this help. You went to the other person seeking guidance.

Number three, if the person you’re looking to for guidance is an expert, try what they recommended before you go back and ask again. I get people who come to me all the time, and they say, “Dave, I need a big idea. My business is struggling. I need a big idea as to how to get more business in the door right away, right now.” I sit back, and I sigh, and I say to them, “Let me ask you something. What did you do with the last big idea I gave you?” They look at me and they say, “Dave, the last big idea, I didn’t do anything with it. I just didn’t think it was for me.” All right, don’t do that. If you ask an expert for advice, try what they give you before you ask for another idea. If you don’t have to courage to try what they’ve given you, then you don’t dare go back and ask for another idea again.

Number four, when you ask an expert for advice and they give you the thing to do, they give you the one thing you’re actually asking for, follow their directions exactly. Think about it. If I gave you the recipe to bake a cake, and then you went and baked it but instead of using sugar you substituted the sugar for another powdery white granular substance called salt, how would the cake taste? It wouldn’t taste very good. If an expert gives you advice, follow it directly. Do yourself a favor. Follow the instructions step-by-step. If you don’t know, or you’re confused as to what to do, ask for clarification. Not a problem, you can always do that.

Finally, the last, the fifth and final I’ll give you, when it comes to asking for advice, or the fifth and final tidbit about asking for advice, everything works, all right, but everything may not work for you. Just like I encouraged you to try something, and I encouraged you to follow the directions exactly, you might not have the exact level of talent to pull off exactly what the expert has asked you to do. If you’ve done what the expert said, and you followed the steps exactly, and you asked for clarification along the way, and you just didn’t get the results you wanted, we need to look at your specific talent.

The example I give in this instance is public speaking. Not everybody’s a great public speaker. Not everybody can get up in front of an audience of 250, 300 people and wow them. Even if I gave you my step-by-step guide to making money by public speaking or to generating leads through public speaking, if you weren’t a good public speaker, or you had massive stage fright, or you just didn’t have the talent to articulate yourself properly, no matter how much you practiced or how much you tried, you’d always be at a level that would top out probably around mediocre. If the talent isn’t there, then it’s okay to say, “I’d like something else to do. I’d like to move on.” But before you do that, you have to follow the directions exactly. You have to try what an expert gives you, and you have to want the advice in the first place.

I’m fixated so much on advice and how you receive advice because I’m also fixated on your success.

If you’re looking for more expert advice, here are some additional Four Minute Fixation episodes you will find valuable:

Improve Your Focus And Improve Your Results

Most of the time when a business leader does not get the results he wants, it is because he is focused on the wrong things. When you shift your focus you improve your results.

Make That Great Idea Real

This episode of Four Minute Fixation is about action. This white board workshop will help you get your next big project off the ground.

Bonus Video: How To Take Action Now

There are a number of reasons people don’t take action. This episode of Four Minute Fixation will help you avoid falling victim to those bad habits.