In this episode we’re going to be talking about popular advice and how that often isn’t good advice.

Or even accurate advice. So, what do I mean by that?

Have you ever asked a question of a community or a group or a set of people who believe or perceive to be experts?

And you get some advice and you think that sounds amazing. And when it actually comes to implementing that advice. You think. Was that really amazing. Was that really the kind of advice I needed.

Or worse, it just doesn’t work for you.

Now I see this a lot.

Specialty with things like Facebook groups, especially in mentoring groups, where the mentors are actually employees of businesses that sponsor startup events.

Not actual experts themselves in startups, but experts in their field in corporate world.

And the two don’t always mesh, right?

Popular advice in corporate world, often, depending on what company you work for and what kind of vertical you’re in. Is things like market research.

So market research to a start up is actually going out, feet on the pavement, as it were, speaking to clients, speaking to your potential audience.

Talking to people who are actually your target market. Having real human conversations.

That to me is good advice.

And that’s to me is what I would say. Go out there, talk to actual human beings who are your target market and find out what they want. Find out what their pains are, find out what their loves are, find out what their desires are, find out what makes them tick.

Find out what the words are that they actually use themselves to describe the problem they’re experiencing.

That is good market research from my perspective.

However. If you speak to people in corporate world, depending on what vertical, obviously. They will say to startups who are literally trying to get off the ground, who don’t have any backing, don’t have any money, don’t have any capital. And I’ve heard this many a time. . They’ll say things like. Take some of your savings or some of the money you have from early stage investors. And actually buy… Gartner research. It will cost you between 10 to 20 grand, but it’ll be worth it.

And I hear that advice sometimes. And I think. Are you smoking something because if you are, I kind of want some of it because that’s just. Bat-sh*t crazy advice. Right!

But similarly, if you go into Facebook groups. Let’s say in the live streaming world, for example. And I’ve talked about this before.

But say you’re in live streaming world and you want to get started into live streaming. You you’re kind of dipping a toe in that water at the moment. It’s quite new to you. And you say into this Facebook group, what’s the best camera for live streaming.

And that question of what’s the best camera for live streaming. Normally comes back with responses. Like you need to get a Sony A6400. You need to get a Panasonic GH5, or you need a Sony ZV1 or you need to get a Canon M50, but make sure it’s the mark two version, not the mark one version.

You know, you need to do this. You need to do that.

There will be advice that would say. The camera’s great, but actually needed to buy a Shure SM7B, it’s like a $300-$400 microphone, but actually the microphone meshed with an a A6400 camera will be amazing for you. Just go and buy that.

And all this advice is going to be adding up to thousands and thousands of pounds, dollars euros, of money!

Whereas someone who knows what they’re talking about…

We’ll actually say to that person. Instead of. Here’s the camera you need to buy. Don’t forget to buy this crazy expensive microphone as well because everyone has it. And that’s what everyone uses.

The experienced person will say, what kind of streaming are you trying to create? What vibe are you looking for? What kind of look do you like? What’s your environment. Do you have a dedicated room. Are you going to be live streaming on the go? Are you going to be moving around? Are you going of a laptop. Do you need high quality or do your audience prefer like the running gun approach? You know, that kind of thing.

So you’ll be asking more questions to try and actually give valid, proper accurate, more specific advice rather than this is the popular thing go and buy that.

And if I sound like I’m on my soap box a little bit, it’s probably cause I am, because it irritates the hell out of me! When I see advice given out of opinion. Not advice given out of experience or advice given out of finding out more information. And making it specific and contextual.

So. The purpose of today is when you ask for advice, or when you ask for feedback, or when you ask for anything, any kind of question.

Be very specific about what you ask!

Because if you go into an environment where there’s lots of people. That may or may not know what they’re talking about and you are not sure, 100%. That they are people who exactly know what they’re talking about and you’re going to get a good, solid answer.

It’s kind of on you to really ask a very specific question. Be very specific about the questions you ask, be very specific about the context that you give. You know, paint the picture, paint the story. Illustrate the path you’re trying to get from and to.

Because when you ask better questions, you get better answers. If you ask broad questions. And very un-targeted questions.

Then you will get, frankly, bad advice and bad answers. Which may in the surface seem, oh my God. That’s amazing. Thank you very much. But actually when it comes down to it, they’re not going to help you.

In many cases, it’s going to lead you down the wrong roads for you. Roads that aren’t roads that you necessarily are to be following yourself.

And what’s going to happen is you’re going to end up going down those roads, realizing they’re not for you, then backstepping. And then trying to figure out what path to take.

And every time you do that, you waste energy. You waste time. You waste money. And you waste, frankly, motivation.

Given this entrepreneurial journey of yours is a marathon, not a sprint. You need drive. You need motivation. You need energy. You need cash. You need mental focus.

So every wrong path, you go down, it drains that away from you. Right.

That’s what I’m saying.

Ask better questions, ask more contextual questions, ask more focused questions and you’ll get better answers.

If you’re not sure what question to ask. Ask that question.

Instead of, what’s the best camera to use for live streaming?

If you’re not too sure if that’s the right question or not. Ask the question of, what questions should I be asking if I want to get involved in live streaming?

And then you’ll get answers back, like. Audio is actually more important than video. Lighting is actually more important than video. If you get lighting and audio right then actually the camera you use doesn’t matter nearly as much. Because a really expensive camera with bad lighting. Will still look like a bad camera. And a really good video quality with terrible audio will make your audience not want to stick around.

So when you ask better questions, you’ll get more context.

And it’s better to ask 10 specific questions, than one broad question.

Okay.

There you go. Rant over. Soap box done. I’m going to step off my soap box now for a second.

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Dan Holloway
Business Coach & Mentor
to Creative Entrepreneurs
Founder, The #DanKnows Vault