Consider The Source

Consider The Source
April 11, 2017 Gary Shotton

Getting good advise from others that have gone before you is essential for success. Always consider the source. #000104

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Consider The Source

By Gary Shotton

This text is in Extreme Rough draft and will be edited in the near future.

My name’s Gary Shotton, and today we’re gonna talk about getting advice, taking other people’s opinions, how to do that, when to get advice. It’s gonna hinge around the subject that, really, in doing that, you’ve gotta always consider the source of that input and advice. If you’re in business for any length of time, you’re the main decision-maker. You’re the one that sets the course of your business by the decisions you make. You’ll have, maybe in retail, you might have a decision of where to put your retail store, or how much rent should you pay for your retail store, or who to hire for your first employee. You’re making decision after decision after decision. And you’re gonna have to become a pretty good decision-maker or you’re gonna probably destine yourself to failure. I had a pretty interesting little short story that goes along that line. It’s to do with a news reporter, a young news reporter that was assigned a task to go out and interview this successful business person that was probably as old as his grandpa. He was a little nervous, got the interview, and he knew this older person was not very talkative. So, in the interview, he’s trying to get a meaningful interview going, and the guy’s just not giving him any information at all. It’s very frustrating. So, finally, he says, “How did you become successful?” And the older gentlemen says, “Good choices.” “Rats. That’s all you’re gonna tell me, ‘Good choices?'” He’s thinking that, he didn’t say it. But he’s trying to get some more conversation going. He says, “Well, how did you make good choices?” And the older gentlemen says, “Bad choices.” (chuckles) That’s just about the way it is. Sometimes, when you’re considering a direction that one of the ways, unfortunately, that you learn is being willing to make decisions and being willing to bear the result of a bad choice and figuring out how to clean up the mistake. Some of them won’t surface long. A lot of times you can adjust, you can make things– And one of the big keys is try not to make big decisions, try to make a series of little decisions. Try to ramp up, before you announce the big event, make sure you’ve ramped up with a lot of little decisions, because if you make little decisions, and they don’t always work out, a lot of people never even know that you didn’t make a good decision. A lot of people didn’t even know, we don’t even call it a failure. It was just a learning, there’s a learning process. There’s no way that you’re gonna go through business without a continual learning attitude, the ability to continually learn, the willingness continually to take minor risk steps, and an ability to deal with that decision and make it work out, or correct it and make it better. You’re gonna be working with that as a continual process that you’re gonna develop your own style. There’s no magical answer to it, there’s no flare. You’re just gonna have to be making good choices, and a lot of times by making little bad choices will tell you, “Hey, I can do this better.” One thing about it is if you make a bad choice, it’s kinda like paying tuition to the university and it costs you a little bit. Shoot, you just paid the tuition. Don’t quit now, go ahead and head down that path. Don’t be discouraged just because you made one bad choice. We all have, certainly we all have. So, head on down that path and take that bit of information, that education, and apply it next time. Definitely, you’ve got to always consider the source if you ask other people’s advice and input. I’m constantly wanting other people’s advice and input, but I’m really particular. I want a broad range of input, but I want to know where that person’s coming from, what their experience level’s in. Is it something they read in a book, something they read at college? Have they actually done this? We have people giving us advice on some things that they’ve never actually even encountered it their first time. We call it, there’s no skin in the game on their part. There’s nothing, they can give you their advice and input, why would I do that? Even some professional advice. All I can do to go to, maybe an attorney or someone, and say, “Hey, I’m thinking about doing this. “This is my thought. “What are the legal ramifications of that?” I don’t want them to make my choice. I’m making the choice, I just want to know what the legal ramifications are. Or I go to my accountant, I say, “I’m considering–” They’re not in my position to make that choice. They can give me the legal ramifications of how would my taxes be if I did this. Yeah, I want their advice. That’s the arrangement, the background of advice. I’ve been encouraged to always make sure we have an accountant, a lawyer, and a banker that I can talk to. We talk very little to our lawyer, we don’t have much reason for that, but we have one. And the other two, I can bounce things off them and say, “What are the ramifications of this? “What do you think?” But that’s not my decision. I like to go to about four or five core people at the right time, they’re all typically 10 to 15 years older than I am, they typically have gone down these paths before, and then I typically ask them if I can take them out to lunch, I’m not a nuisance to them. And I say, “Hey, I’m thinking about this. “What is your experience? “Don’t make my decision, but where have you–” And many times, they have crossed those same bridges, those same problems, those same situations in their life, and they share huge insight into what could happen if I go down that path. Now, flip the coin a bit. I always make myself available for other, younger business and professional ladies and men to say, “Hey, I’ll go out, I’ll even buy lunch. “Give me a little advance warning, “let it work into my schedule, but I’ll always say yes “because I’m willing to share, not to make your decision, “but I probably have passed that trail some place in my past “because of the 40 plus years I’ve been in business.” I think that’s one of the goals that we ought to have as business people, business owners, that we always ought to be willing and able to share our advice, let me give you a key word, when asked. I don’t ever give my advice unless I’m asked. And I let it known to people that ask me, I say, “Listen, I had a wonderful time, “but I will not call you up. “I will let you, encourage you to ask me again, “and I’d love to talk with you on this, “but I’m not hunting you down to try to tell you what to do.” They don’t want that, they just want a few questions answered when I have a few questions. I hope this is helpful guide. I hope this is a meaningful set of lessons to you. Please pass these around if you would. I just thank you so much for being a part of Marketplace Talks. Thank you. (electrical explosion)

1 Comment

  1. Excellent teaching! Thank you for sharing your insight!

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