All through my entrepreneurship experience here at Kuza Biashara, I have come to realize that when you ask other people’s advice on business, instead of getting more answers, you end up with more questions that can lead you to completely wrong solutions. Whether that advice is being driven down your throat by your Daddy& Mummy pastor or friends who can’t resist dolling out some outdated tidbits, generic advice can do more harm than good if you follow it blindly.
The intention may very well be to help you, especially if it comes from people who would want great things to happen to you in the future. But still, an important skill that any person must acquire is to learn how to be discerning when it comes to taking advice.
That said, here are some examples of advice that can leave you more confused than ever.
1.Hardwork Always Pays
The problem with working extremely hard is that it keeps your brain occupied and prevents you from picking the low hanging fruits in your life. It’s no wonder some people spend all their lives toiling and moiling but have little to show for their many years of hard work when retirement age arrives.
Don’t be that guy who lives like a donkey only to be abandoned when age catches up with you. Be like a horse, an animal that works smart and is treasured throughout its life. Focus your energy on where it matters most.
2.Wake Up Earlier
We all have different body resting patterns. Some prefer waking up early, going to work and sleeping a little early. Others are naturally made to wake up a little later, go to work and sleep a bit late into the night.
The problem is that our society glorifies those who wake up early and demonizes those who wake up late – not knowing that we all have different life patterns. But why on earth do you need to torture yourself by waking up early if your brain kicks in at around 11.am? If anything, inadequate sleep reduces your productivity and exposes you to a myriad of lifestyle diseases.
The idea that “you must wake up early” should be left to slaves who have an obligation with their masters and farmers who have an obligation in nature. Follow your natural pattern and make the most out of it. If you are an early riser stick to it. If you can perform better with a few more hours of sleep don’t torture yourself.
3.Find a REAL Job
Back in my village, if you don’t have a real job (accountant, teacher, doctor, pilot) they instantly cast their doubts on whether you REALLY finished university. Tell them you are doing some online business on a computer or that you are into modelling and they’ll look at you as if you’ve just landed from Mars.
The thing is, we live in a world where hairdressers earn more than doctors, online freelancers earn more than accountants and car mechanics more than engineers. Don’t listen to anybody who tells you to find a real job.
If you have found something you’re passionate about, something that puts food on your table, something that’s giving you an opportunity to grow, stop listening to society’s nonsense!
4.You Are Too Young To Do These Things
I remember some years back after I had just finished my secondary school education, my brother took me into his company and made me a sales rep. My job was to go door to door marketing stationeries. But hardly would a week pass without somebody repeating these words to me “Don’t you think you’re too young to be doing this?”
Well, to some extent I almost yielded to their words. But little did they know that I was doing that job to raise school fees for my campus education. I was not as lucky as their kids who would probably get ready-made school-fees, cloths and so forth. I knew I had to work to create my destiny.
The most important thing is that I had an ID card and was ready to put my best foot forward in that situation. Fortunately, I never gave up — and to this date, the skills I learned during that stage of my life have always given me a competitive advantage in life.
Don’t let your age, gender or physique be used against you. You are never too young or too old to dream.
5. Make Money First, Settle Down Later
Some will tell you to sacrifice everything for now and focus on things that matter the most i.e. your career and education. But that’s bad advice. Material wealth can only take you so far. We have seen people who spent most of their young age working for the big bucks only to later realize that they’d completely lost it in life.
With no family to turn to and no more youthful vitality left, they usually suffer a cold, lonely and boring old age. So, much as you want to make some big bucks in your young age and probably climb to the pinnacle of your career, don’t forget that you are a human-being and not a robot! You don’t want to end up with all the money in the world and no love around you.
Likewise, you don’t want your own kids introducing you as grandpa to their school-mates when you go to visit them (or your wife referring to you as a sponsor) because you married late. Even the good book tells us that there is a time for everything.
A time to be young, energetic, social and warm, and a time to be old, loved and free.
What are some bad pieces of advice you’ve heard and how did you respond to them?