Who, where, and how you get advice may be the difference between making progress or moving in the wrong direction. The art of advice seeking is a skill that lasts forever.

Are you wired to seek advice from others? 

Good advice can shorten time spans, fast track development, fundraising and hiring, and generally create momentum for you and your company.

But bad advice can and frequently does the opposite, wasting time, effort and money.

Here are my Top 6 Tips for optimizing for more good than bad advice:

  1. Seek advice early in the process – don’t wait too long. Too many times, I see people ask for others’ thoughts when it is too late to consider all of the options. Waiting too long eliminates options in many cases. Get in early.
  2. Create questions that are razor specific to the problem or challenge you are facing. Too many times we use vague questions. Vague questions create opportunities for advice that are equally vague.
  3. Prioritize your needs and seek advice on the most pressing issue. Do not throw all of your challenges at an advisor at one time as you invariably overwhelm their brains asking them to treat all of your issues the same and I think water down the advice to follow.
  4. Research the advisor to understand their experiences and whether they are in line with the advice you are seeking. There are so many coaches and advisors out there today, but many have never sat with the issues you are facing. No judgment here but I would like to hear from someone who has confronted the exact issue I am wrestling with.
  5. Seek thoughts from more than 1 person. Getting a balanced view of the challenge from multiple sources should improve the chances of a better decision.
  6. Make it easy on the advisor. Go to her. Bend to her schedule. Use her time optimally. And if you can, offer to help her with whatever challenges she is dealing with.

One of the best things you can do as a founder, business executive, or a community advocate is to continually build and activate a network that is ready for you when you need it. That way, they are ready AND WILLING to help you.