January 30, 2007.
Riddle: What does everybody have, nobody really wants, but they always ask for it?
People don't ever really want your advice, they just want you to validate the decision that they already made. Okay, once in a blue moon they may really want advice, but they ussually won't take it.
That's a picture of my Mom, she loves to give advice, sometimes I actually do ask........but, uh, not always. Who's Mom does NOT give advice anyways, isn't that there job?
I always fall for it too, someone asks me one of the following questions monthly if not weekly:
1. Can you give me some advice on how to get press?
2. What do you think of my idea? What would you do with it?
3. What do you think of my prices? What does wholesale mean?
4. Can you give me advice on how to start a business?
5. Why don't you make this....? Why not? Can you help ME make it?
6. How do I get all your sales channels?
I just jump right in, start talking, details, descriptions and lots of, "If I was you...." . Now why would I continue to do this after this scenario has played itself out dozens of times I ask you?
Read the following from a conversation last year, and one the year before, and two at a trade show, and an email after a press segment, and so on and so on:
Hi I love your work, I found you on the internet, or I read about you....., blah blah blah....I have this idea for a product. Or I can't seem to sell this, can you help me out? Or how would you go about selling this? (mind you these are strangers, people I do not know, have never met, who want to set up phone conversation, or email correspondence)
Cue, long pause then I ask if they really want my advice.........."YES! YES!" They say.
So, I try and drive them to this blog, and then I might suggest a more narrow product line, start researching on the web, check out competition, show friends, family, anyone. Start selling to local stores, do craft shows, mothers club events, school fund raisers, church bazaars. Or I might say you have 13 different products (true story) what are you selling? Who are you selling to? Who is your customer?
Then they go into a long discussion about why everything I just said is wrong and it always starts with my favorite, "Ya, but...."
So....what is the moral of the story? I have no idea, because I am pretty sure when I get a call next week about a great idea that a Entrepreneur can not get off the ground I will jump at the chance to talk to her. In fact, I know I will. I still love the idea of another Mom (or woman) that is willing to risk it all on this one idea. I get excited for them, I get caught up in the conversation......even if they did not really want my advice at all.
And, like I stated earlier, no one would give me the time of day when I started. I remember everyone viewed me as competition, no matter who I spoke with. So, even if I view you as competition, or brilliant I will take you call, I will answer any questions I can, I will speak the truth.........even if you don't want to hear it.
Consider yourself warned......