When good advice is bad advice


You get a lot of advice from people you know—friends, colleagues, family. And advice from people you don’t know via books and articles, newsletters and blogs.

You might also get advice from people you hire to provide it—consultants, coaches, and therapists.

But is all this advice good advice? Should you follow it?

It depends.

What might be good advice for one person might not be good for you. What might have been good advice at one time in your life might be irrelevant or harmful today.

As a new lawyer, hungry for clients, I was advised to do appearances and seek overflow work from other attorneys. I was told to network and hustle and do whatever I could do to get some business coming in, and to take “anything,“ so” I could get some experience and pay my bills.

“Beggars can’t be choosers,“ I was told.

And that was the right advice for me at that time. As my experience grew and I had more clients, I could afford to be more selective and I said “no” to a lot of things—cases and clients and marketing strategies that were no longer a good fit.

As business coach Ian Stanley, put it, “Becoming successful is about saying ‘yes’. Staying successful is about saying ‘no’.”

When you hear advice about how to build your practice, from me or anyone, you must put that advice in context.

Where are you in your career? What’s right for you, and what isn’t?

The same goes for opportunities—to invest, open another office, take on a partner, or anything else. Even good opportunities can become a distraction.

Take my advice on this subject. But only if it works for you.