Don’t Follow This Advice

The internet is full of advice on how to succeed, but not all of it’s good. Inc. magazine points at some common “words of “wisdom” that aren’t all that wise: 

  • “Don’t get too close to people.” Relationships are the key to success. If you hold yourself at arm’s length, people won’t trust you. Keep your friendships on a professional level, but don’t shy away from building strong, long-lasting relationships with employees, co-workers, managers, and customers. 
  • “Stick to your business plan.” No matter how good your plan is, it shouldn’t be set in stone. Situations change, and if you’re not willing and able to adapt and adjust, you’ll run your career into the ground. Stay on top of trends and developments in your industry so you can react quickly. 
  • “Do what you love.” You probably shouldn’t pursue a career in a field or position you absolutely hate, but just because you love to cook doesn’t mean you’ll be able to open and run a five-star restaurant. Figure out what you do best, and look for a career that fits your talents. You’ll be happier and more successful in the long run. 
  • “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” If you take on every task, you’ll burn yourself out in a short time. Learn to delegate. Trust the people around you to do their jobs. If you don’t have the required expertise within your organization, hire it. Save your energy to focus on the big picture. 
  • “If you build it, they will come.” It might have worked in Field of Dreams, but in reality, creating a product or opening a business is just the beginning. Be ready for the work involved in marketing your organization, managing growth, dealing with competition, and navigating the regulatory landscape. 
  • “Never say no.” The customer isn’t always right, or reasonable. You may think you can’t afford to turn down an opportunity, but take the time to consider whether a request is reasonable, and if you’re the right person (or organization) to do it. You’ll last longer by being judicious about where to invest your energy and resources instead of trying to please absolutely everybody. 
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