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3 reasons why you shouldn’t take business advice from family & friends

by Alison Bradford

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It’s perfectly natural when we start out in business to share what we’re doing with our nearest and dearest – after all, we’re really excited about it and thinking about it most of the time.

But when you carry on sharing about your business as it evolves and grows, this can seem like an invitation to give advice from those close to us.

Here’s why it’s time to close your ears:

1. They don’t want to offend you
If you’re looking for some constructive feedback on your new website or business cards, then you’ll often get a standard response of ‘that looks great’. Why? Because partly, they don’t know much about what your business is about, and also because they don’t know how to give you constructive criticism and ideas to improve – they’re worried they may upset you if they say something negative.

2. They have an agenda – i.e. they want what THEY THINK is best for you
Ever been in the position where someone’s asked you ‘how’s business going?’, only to answer truthfully, giving a warts and all answer like ‘it’s really hard, I’m working so many hours, I need to make some more money etc. etc.’.

And they hit you with this: ‘Why don’t you go and get a job then’ – thinking this is the answer you need. What you actually need, is someone who will listen to your challenges and help you come up with ways to overcome them. Go and get a job? No thanks.

3. They think they could do a better job
This is especially true of family and friends who have no actual experience of self-employment and running a business. They’ve always fancied the idea of doing it themselves but have never actually got round to it. They like the ‘safety’ of regular hours, regular salary, paid holiday leave, company pension etc.

But they still think they can run a business – only through YOU instead.

You’re doing the hard work, making the learnings, running the damned business and they think they can pootle up and tell you how you should be doing it.

Remember – you are the expert in your business and you should trust yourself to know what is best.

If you need, or want, to get business advice, look outside of your circle of family and friends and find someone neutral, who will know when to give feedback, how to give it, and most importantly, make you believe that you can do this.

Look to other business owners who have been where you are now and have gone on to grow a successful business, and ask if they will mentor you.

Look to connect with like-minded business owners in a mastermind type group and use them to help you work through your challenges and achieve your goals.

Look to hire a business coach who will believe that you know all the answers, will be expert at getting them out of you, and will hold you accountable for taking those steps forward in your business.

Just stop thinking that your friends and family know better than you when it comes to running your business – they don’t!

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

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