How Entrepreneurs Can Benefit From Free Advice

One of the most challenging things about being an entrepreneur is getting the advice you need to move forward. The Internet is full of suggestions, but unless you already know how to separate the wheat from the chaff, you have about as much chance of finding what you need as what will lead you astray. But, that’s no reason to be disheartened, because with a little creative thinking, you can get some of what you need for free.

How can you separate the two? Here are a few suggestions.

1. You need to have very clear ideas about what you’re looking for.

The more vague your questions are, the more abstruse any information will seem to you. If you’re unsure of what you want to discover, then put your uncertainties into the form of questions. Make them as specific as you possibly can. The more precise you make them, the more closely they’ll come to help you solve your problem.

2. Recognize that the best information is not necessarily sold.

It may, and often is; but of itself, whether you pay for information or not is no guarantee that you will get either what you need or that it will be accurate. That means that it could be irrelevant, inaccurate, or both.

3. Consider the source.

It may seem counterintuitive, but many entrepreneurs will gladly talk to you about your business and what you should do next if you’ll just ask them.

On of the most annoying things I recall encountering when I was living the UK was that almost without fail, whenever I ask a question of a “professional” that required his or her expertise, the first words out of his or her mouth were something like, “Who’s going to pay for it?”

I’ve since come to realize that you must give before you can get. That’s not to say that you never sell; but only, that none of us can achieve the business success we desire without the help of others. And those who think they can just take from others without giving anything themselves will eventually find that they come up short.

If the person you talk to is generous with his or her expertise, then you can be reasonably sure that that person is passing along valuable information. It’s only those who cling to what they know for a price who possess very little of value.