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On Recognizing Bad Advice on the Internet

The Internet is the world’s largest and most complete advice column ever assembled. Anyone and everyone has the power to offer you their advice on any number of topics, regardless of whether or not their advice is sound. This means you will find good advice, bad advice, and everything in between.

I share my thoughts and ideas, so I am not immune from what I am about to write here.

You need to be careful where you get your advice. You need to discern whether or not it is valuable for you. Here are a few tests you might consider.

Integrity: I recently found out that one group that is very big in the world of social selling has a department that makes cold calls on prospective clients. No one talks about this group, and they kept it very quiet. But this advice is contrary to their messaging. If the person offering their advice doesn’t practice what they preach, it probably isn’t a good idea to follow that advice.

[Note: Be careful here. Sometimes the advice you are receiving may be exactly right for you and wrong for the person who is giving it.]

Circumstances: Sometimes the advice given assumes a certain set of circumstances. Let’s stick with cold calling. The person telling you that you don’t need to cold call may not need to cold call themselves. They may very easily generate enough leads through other methods. But their circumstance may not be your circumstances. The “you should never cold call again” advice may be criminal negligence or malpractice of some kind.

I love the GTD methodology as developed by David Allen. But this methodology is hard to learn and harder to practice. It might be overkill for you. But for my complex life, it works wonderfully. My circumstances aren’t your circumstances.

It’s Easy: Whenever someone claims that results are easy, that lots of people are producing easy results, and that you can do the same, you need to be skeptical. If you need advice on anything serious, then it’s likely that the result isn’t easy to produce.

If the advice makes something easy, then you might want to consider looking for a more honest assessment of what is necessary.


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