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Sunday, November 23, 2008

When It Comes to Getting Advice, To Thine Own Self Be True

People love to give advice. No matter what I am doing or interested in doing in the future, if I share my idea or “what’s up with me” with someone else, they always have something to say about it. Some of the things they share are cautionary and come from a fear based perspective, others are supportive, expansive, and often take my idea to a higher level. No matter which perspective their advice comes from, I try to remember whatever I am hearing is only information and I can do with it what I will.

Now if I followed everyone’s advice, I would currently be sporting straight brown hair, an extensive tattoo all the way down my left arm, have had lasik surgery 18 times, made and lost my fortune that came from my extensive career as an engineer specializing in concrete innovations like coffee laden barista mugs sporting pictures of the goddess superimposed onto the face of a famous basketball star. Need I say how critical it is to do only the things you think will be successful?

Case in point, recently I’ve been shopping around for an agent to represent my book. I’ve gotten lots of interest from agents across the country and I have been selectively responding, sending my proposal only to those, who after some research, seem to me to be a “good fit”.

I got a call from Mike Ebeling www.ebelingagency.com who gave me some great feedback on how to improve my proposal. Since I am well aware how easily I am influenced by OPO (other people’s opinions), I knew that the most important thing I could do was to take in his advice, be gracious and see if what he had said “rang true” for me. He had kindly said something like, “You really need to bump up everything you are doing to the next level. Look at your client list, Starbucks, Microsoft, Gates Foundation, you need to get them to endorse that book!” He gave me specifics on what else he thought I should do, and kindly sent me a sample of something he thought might paint a clear picture of what he meant.

One of my core Buckingham strengths www.strengthsfinder.com is INPUT, so when it comes to tips and tools and blogs and posts and samples and examples of the things I should know about, I typically shout, “BRING IT ON!”

Once I have gathered and read what feels like “enough” information, I ask myself, “Is this the right choice for me?” Seems like a simple enough question, and it is unless you have some kind of relationship with the person giving you that advice and are worried that by not following their tips, you may jeopardize that relationship. It can pretty much derail you when you try to heed anyone else’s opinion over your own. Letting yourself be ruled by the thinking of another often leads to no where fast.

Once I have settled on the right decision for me, then I take action to get whatever it is done right away. In this case, I upgraded my personal website www.pattidobrowolski.com found someone to help produce a broadcast quality video www.threechicksmedia.com and I cashed in a few favors with my layout pal Brad, to help make that proposal look ultra-snazzy! All of that will take about two weeks to complete but at the end, thanks to Mike’s advice, I will be upgraded.

What process do you use to filter or integrate advice? It’s your boat out there in the water and you sink or swim accordingly. My advice to you, (if you want anymore of it), is to make sure you take all the time in the world to make decisions that are right for you and above all To Thine Own Self Be True.

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