Not All Startup Advice Is Created Equal

Advice is like opportunity — only useful to you when it comes at the right time. Advice at the wrong time is often useless, and sometimes can be downright dangerous.

The reason is that you will often ask for advice from authority figures and they are often happy to oblige — and you will of course follow their advice. After all, they are authority figures.

Aliko Dangote

But they are human, and they give their advice from their own perspective.

Their perspective is reflective of where they currently are in life and in business and what they are currently doing. Sometimes this does not match your stage, and though it may be good advice, it could be dangerous for you.

When it comes to startups, for example, you may see people who have raised $100 million as the right people to go to for advice on how to run your business.

Your business is one that makes $20,000 per annum. The guy who has $100 million in the bank is obsessed with the thought of how to extract the most value from that money. $20,000 is not something he is particularly concerned about managing.

His advice can be quite dangerous to you.

Aliko Dangote

Often his advice will center around how you can also raise $100 million, so you can execute like how he executed. But even that may be the wrong advice. His context is completely different from yours.

If you want proper, relevant advice, go to people who are one or two stages ahead of you.

They still clearly remember your stage. The strategies that worked have not become overwhelmed by new things that happened. Getting to 1,000 users is still impressive to them.

You want to build a bakery.

So you go to Dangote to ask for advice, or you go to the guy that has 4 bakeries in your town.

That’s the difference.


Mcheeew

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