Can You Really Trust This Advice?

Nasty Gal founder, Sophia Amoruso appeared on the cover of Success magazine. In the accompanying article, she shared her story of being arrested for shoplifting, having nothing and eventually starting an eBay store that would be the beginning of her clothing empire. According to the article in Success, Amoruso had a Netflix series in the works and she was writing a second book. Amoruso gave advice on how to be a girl boss and how to succeed in business. Despite the appearance of success, Amoruso’s company, Nasty Gal, filed for bankruptcy just a few months after Amoruso appeared on the cover of Success magazine.

While Amoruso built a million dollar business, there was no mention in the article that the business was in serious financial trouble. I’m sure many who read her books or the article in Success are now wondering about the business building advice that she gave. No one plans to build a business and then file for bankruptcy protection.

There are thousands of people offering self-help and business advice. Some of it is great, some of it needs to be ignored. Here are a few self-help gems to discard:

Ditch people who can’t help you. The advice goes something like this, “stop associating with people who can’t get you closer to your goals.” Should you spend most of your free time with friends and family who have no desire to improve their lives? Probably not. But you must consider people individually. Take a few minutes or a few hours to assist someone who can do nothing for you. You probably have knowledge and skills that you take for granted. When you deliberately use your expertise to help others, you always receive something back, maybe just a sincere thank you.

Define success based on money. A couple of years ago, I invested in a productivity class. The instructor said that you would know you succeeded in the class if your banker noticed more money in your account?! Does money make like easier? In general, yes. However, there are thousands of wealthy people who are miserable. You must define success on your own terms. Maybe success for you is caring for your aging parents while working part time. Or success could be spending your prime earning years on the mission field. You can redefine success on an annual basis.

Put your goals ahead of everything and everyone. I had the opportunity to ask a successful speaker and coach how she started a seven figure business while working full time. She advised me to work on my business between 7:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. If I were to follow that advice, when would I sleep? When would I exercise? When would I spend time with friends and family? Perhaps I could accomplish my business goals in 12 months instead of 24, but where would my physical and mental health be once I achieved my professional goal? Look at the big picture. Every goal effects your entire life. Decide what you’re willing to sacrifice and for how long. As you monitor how close you are to achieving your goal, monitor what and whom you’re neglecting to attain the goal.

As you decide what advice to follow, consider the advice from different angles. How will it affect your spiritual life? What relationships will suffer? How much money do you have to spend? Your life is multi-dimensional, so it’s a good idea to think about the major areas of your life when considering changes in any area.

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever heard?

2 Comments

  1. Sunil Raheja on May 7, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you for this wonderfully refreshing and honest post Connie! We live in such a driven world that is always looking at how can I get ahead and what is in it for me? For those of us who are driven and want to make a difference this can become intoxicating and dangerous.
    The worst advice I have ever heard?
    Maybe it is that you can do anything if you put your mind and effort to it.
    I spent years doing stuff I hated feeling bad about myself. Now I realise we are all wired differently and have different gifts and talents. Everyone has areas where they are weak and strong. Also we all have different contexts and advantages or setbacks. I can look to others for inspiration and admiration, but their life is not my life. If I find myself getting jealous or resentful of other people’s success that is a warning sign.

    • Connie Clay on May 7, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Sometimes, when I wonder why someone has something that I want, I have to remind myself that I don’t want anyone’s life but mine, so I choose to be content with my life. Thanks for commenting and adding to the conversation.

Leave a Comment