Who Gives You Advice?

A few days ago I was at The Barclays golf tournament watching Jason Day as he was about to tee off with his three wood.

(above: Jason Day is a professional golfer that plays on the PGA Tour)

He was standing at the 5th hole tee box analyzing his shot and thinking about what club to use. These are the same steps that he, and probably every other golfer does before they hit the ball. The only difference however is that he is a professional and most other golfers, like me, are far from it. So I really started to laugh when I overheard the following conversation between Jason and some seemingly out-of-shape, mildly drunk, pompous golf spectator.

Golf spectator: Hey Jason, you’re not using your driver, huh?

Jason Day: Hey Buddy, that’s why you’re on the other side of the ropes.

Everyone was laughing including the genius that tried to give golf tips to the golf pro. Jason also had a laugh and then softened the blow a bit to save the guy from pure humiliation.

Jason Day: All good man, I’m just kidding. Thanks.

Too bad he wasn’t kidding.

There are many critics out there and it seems everyone has some advice to give. Sometimes you have to stop and think about where that advice is coming from.

The corporate ladder climber that offers advice on startups.

The single person that offers advice on relationships.

The broke person that offers advice on money management.

The drunk amateur that offers advice on golfing.

When it comes to taking advice the best critic is you. Listen to yourself first. Trust your instincts. Occasionally you can and should listen to others but understand where they are coming from and where they’ve been. Jason’s golf critic was some 300 pound fat dude drinking a beer. Of course he wasn’t going to listen to him.

If you are getting outside input from someone first think about why they are uniquely suited to add value to your situation. If you can’t think of anything meaningful then you’re probably just listening to the guy  outside of the ropes.

Who gives you advice?