4 Reasons Why Good Advice Won’t Work for You


Isn’t good advice always worth taking? And don’t we all want good advice from whoever can give it?

The reality is that people sometimes ask for advice when they are really seeking affirmation or validation. And if you give them anything less than that, they’ll be at least disappointed, and at worst angry.

But even the best advice won’t always work. Here are four reasons why good advice won’t work for you. These reasons might answer some questions or demystify dilemmas you’ve faced in the past.

1. You don’t think you need it.

You can’t help somebody who doesn’t think they need it, and these people aren’t usually seeking good advice. Sometimes someone who doesn’t think they need help will ask for advice for appearances, or to ingratiate themselves to someone.

Even if the non-learner stumbles upon worthwhile information in a speech or seminar, they will dismiss it – it becomes seed falling among the stones.

(And as I mentioned earlier, don’t see affirmation under the guise of wanting feedback or advice. Those are very different things.)

2. The advice is good but you’re the wrong person.

The relevancy of the advice is dependent on the person and their situation.

I’m always amused when I hear aspiring authors say that Seth Godin doesn’t need a publisher so they don’t either. Really? Unless your situation, renown and abilities are similar to Seth’s, advice that is good for him won’t necessarily be good for you.

Likewise, you might be past the point in your speaking career where the advice offered is relevant. It might apply to someone with less experience, but it won’t reward you in where you’re at in your journey.

3. You get good advice at the wrong time.

Sometimes advice arrives when you’re not in a position to apply it immediately. There are more urgent or pressing matters to attend to, or you don’t have the necessary resources. If this is the case, put it on your “to do as soon as possible” list.

Sometimes it is the “wrong time,” and the advice might be too uncomfortable or painful. You need to wait until you’re able to accept it gracefully.

4. You don’t recognize it as good advice.

You might not like the advice you’re getting because it is difficult or painful to accept. The best advice often comes from friends and colleagues who love us enough to tell us the truth. Don’t let the unpleasantness of advice prevent you from recognizing its value.

So what is good advice? It is information relevant to you and your business based on where you are at in a particular point in time. Advice that comes too late or too early won’t be helpful to you. And you must be receptive to what it suggests you do.

Mark Sanborn

Mark Sanborn

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is a past president of NSA, and an international bestselling author and noted authority on leadership, team building, customer service and change.
Mark Sanborn
Mark Sanborn
Mark Sanborn