When we started our company (>10 years ago), we decided to visit Bangalore to meet a few startup mentors for advice. I’ve already worked from Bangalore for a year, but visiting the startup folks was a new exciting experience. One of them we got a chance to meet in person was Swaroop CH. He wrote a book called Byte of Python which we used in our college days for teaching Python. Though this post is not about Python nor the tech.
When we explained our business idea, he listened to everything and started his response with the following.
“Before I start with an advice on what you should be doing or not doing, let me share this disclaimer with you. I’ll share some advices here, but don’t ever follow the advice as it is. Process the advice and see if it makes sense for you. You two are the best people to solve your business problems.”.
This one was confusing for me at least. He is a well known in the industry and was running his own startup that time. We were ready to listen to any advice he was ready to share. And here was, asking us to process his advice. Looking back, it makes sense now. And since then, I’ve probably used the same preface every time I had to give some advice. It makes it easier for the person receive all the advice/feedback I share and ignore them with any guilt.
When giving advice, ensure others process it and not just follow. When taking advice, ensure you process it and don’t follow it as it is.