Learn from the best and worst.
What is the WORST advice you’ve ever got?
This question is sometimes more valuable than the questions like “what is the BEST advice you’ve ever had?”
You may say, “Wait a minute. I don’t want to hear the worst advice. I need to know only the BEST!” Here’s a cold fact: The advice that someone else got, either the best one or the worst one, will not always work for you. But getting to know the WORST ones will give you a list of things you probably wouldn’t do to make yourself successful. In other words, the BEST advices can be your to-do list, while the WORST advices can be your not-to-do list.
The WORST advice I’ve ever had is to start a company before I decide what to do with the company. This advice was from one of famous authors in Japan. He said “That’s what an entrepreneur does!” although he was not an entrepreneur. I did what he exactly said, and the result was disastrous. And of course, the author never took responsibility for the outcome. He made (and still makes) money by making exaggerated statements in his books and seminars.
To be fair, his advice was not the only reason that my first company didn’t go well. But, if I had been smart enough at that time, I would have taken hundreds of actions before starting a company so as to launch it better. I didn’t know how to learn from the WORST advice or practice that someone else ever had.
I think no one should follow my path, but the worst advice I’ve ever had could be the best advice for someone else. Who knows.