Advice is easy to hand out, but harder to put into action. It seems like it’s easier to give advice to others than to fix your own personal problems.
Another newer phenomenon is crowdsourcing your problems (both personal and professional) on social media. Many social platforms encourage it and have made specific features to stylize requests for advice into attractive pieces of digital content.
The problem is that advice can be dressed up to look authentic, but often the suggestions are filled with more good intentions than practical help for the situation. Here are a few tips to help you suss out good advice.
Hit the ‘pause’ button
Google has conditioned us to be always on the hunt for instant answers. Now, while I’m streaming a show on Amazon, I can instantly look up the actor whose name I can’t remember. I can also research products, watch endless tutorials on cooking, budgeting, becoming a minimalist, and whatever my heart desires.
Advice is everywhere. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time looking for good advice than actually solving my own problems. Other people’s solutions may feel good in the moment, but I’m not other people. Their solutions have worked for them, but they might never work for me because I’m not them.
If you find yourself sliding down the rabbit hole of looking for answers to improve or overcome, I challenge you to ask yourself to pause first. Pause and figure out how realistic is it for you to execute the advice you are receiving.
Avoid off-the-cuff solutions
One very scary pitfall I see many agents fall into is the slippery slope of using social media groups to solve customer service or even contractual problems.
Your first point of reference for any transaction problem should be your managing broker. For more difficult questions, you have professional regional, state and national associations to lean on. The “answers” circulating around many of these social groups are unvetted, can potentially be a privacy violation, and are often unprofessional.
Beware of easy solutions online because they might not apply to your specific problem. Real estate is local and very specific. Make sure to verify the source of information before you take any advice for free.
Sometimes, it’s best to trust your gut
When is the last time you took your own advice? I hate confrontation. In fact, one of the things I know is my kryptonite is standing up for myself.
A seasoned people-pleaser who likes to just dive in and solve problems, there are numerous occasions where I have let negative and toxic people take advantage of me. One thing my being in my 30s has taught me is that I have to stop listening to other people so much and start trusting my own gut.
Some of my oldest and dearest friends have given me the worst advice, but it was given with the best intentions. Not listening to my inner-self resulted in two major issues. I lacked confidence in myself and at the same time wasn’t happy with the advice I had taken.
Don’t rely blindly on other people’s advice. Start looking into your heart for the answers that apply to your specific situation. You know yourself best.
Balance your friends’ advice with your own instincts
Your personal tribe who supports your best life will definitely have some nuggets of wisdom. What is most important is to not stifle your inner voice while searching for the right answers.
I think even asking yourself this question and exploring your past patterns of “advice-seeking behaviors” can give you some idea of what is next in your decision-making process. Your moral compass should guide you to where you need to head for success.
Recognize that it is normal to feel lost and ask for help. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t underestimate your inner voice. It might be just the advice you are looking for.
By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s tweeting and blogging. Feel free to tweet her @rachaelhite.