Your gut is one of the most powerful tools you have on your path to mega success. Whether or not you're seeking it, you will be inundated with lots of 'advice' throughout your journey--both solicited and unsolicited.
Young entrepreneurs must be extremely vigilant about how they process the advice of others.
As I mentioned before, there is never a one-size-fits-all approach to success. No two paths to success are alike.
Not everything is relevant to you and some of it can be quite damaging to potential achievements, particularly if it violates what your top resource (your gut), is telling you.
If you encounter a piece of advice that resonates with your heart, body, and soul, by all means, have it engraved on a paper weight and put it on your desk.
Otherwise, discard it and avoid watering yourself down with everyone else's opinions.
Creating a truly singular product or service means never looking over your shoulder at what your neighbors are doing. Creating something original means you will never have competitors. At least not any who truly matter.
The following are reasons why seeking the advice of others can sabotage your success.
The Biases of Others Can Limit Your Success
People have their own biases and limitations, many of which revolve around the experiences they've had.
Oftentimes you will notice that other people's advice is tainted by their own fears, doubts, and personal baggage.
The things that were difficult for them to achieve, they assume are difficult for everyone. The things they find unpleasant, they assume most everyone finds unpleasant.
Consider the fifteen top-level investors who passed on Airbnb when it was pitched to them. "I thought the idea was crazy," recalls Y Combinator cofounder Paul Graham. "Are people really going to do this? I would never do this."
At some point along the way, seasoned business professionals probably advised the founders, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, to use their brilliance on a less "out-there" idea.
Good thing they didn't listen, as they did over $500 million in transactions in a mere four years after the company was founded.
Your Gut Already Gives the Holy Grail of Advice
One of the fundamental reasons listening to others can be problematic, revolves around the fact that they are not you: they don't have your mind, your creativity, your ingenuity, your experience and your irreplaceably unique perspective on the world.
For example, Sarah Kauss, the founder of S'well (those skinny metal water bottles you see everywhere...) entered the unfathomably overcrowded marketplace of water bottles, believing that people would pay more for something functional and fashionable.
Many stores refused to sell it. It violated the very concept of product-to-price. No one wanted to sell a $35 water bottle.
I'm certain some very well-meaning, more successful people told Kauss that she needed to adjust her concept. Luckily she didn't: the company did $50 million in sales in 2015.
No two paths to a successful career in business are ever identical.
It's a highly personal, highly singular journey, which is riddled with pitfalls, mistakes, embarrassments, revelations and surprises that are as specific to you as your fingertips.
If you constantly welcome the opinions of others you begin to dilute your own vision and pick up on everyone else's bullshit.
Screen the advice others give you shrewdly in accordance with the cadences of your gut.
Forge your own path, and don't look over your shoulder.
Business schools often advise their students to figure out what the customer really wants, and to serve it to them on a silver platter.
What ultimately leads a business to achieving mega-success is creating something so singular and innovative, it redefines the way people look at the world and interact with it.
I've always been inspired by the words of acclaimed Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, "show others what they didn't know they wanted yet."