I was talking to a very successful young entrepreneur recently and he made a comment that was interesting. He said:
Early in my career, if someone gave me advice to do something differently, I would almost always take it and do exactly as they proposed. But as I matured, I realize I have my own style, and when I embrace it I am much more effective.
This is a good point. All of us, but entrepreneurs especially surround themselves with people who will give advice. This is a good practice. We need input from the outside. Coaches, mentors, advisors, investors, family, board members, parents, friends, competitors, customers, employees, managers, and especially friends… they are all sources of plentiful advice for most entrepreneurs.
The magic in leveraging advice is to couple it with your own self-awareness, strengths, and confidence in yourself.
For me, advice is most valuable when I peel back several layers and find the valuable point, principle, or concept that was behind the surface. A few layers of “why” and you will probably get to a point that you can use and apply to your own style and strengths rather than taking the surface layer as literal advice.