The sight of the fog crawling over Puget Sound is one that normally fills me with serenity. The ethereal aura is breathtaking and reduces my senses to a smile, lost in the beauty of the moment.

It’s not working this morning.

I barely slept last night. My mind raced at quantum speeds and anger woke me up several times. I tossed and turned, mad at myself for making the same blunder again. It seems that no matter how many times I vow not to listen to unsolicited advice, emotional attachments lower my guard and I find myself at the receiving end of counsel I never requested from supposed pundits who are words and no substance.

My gut feeling warns me but I dismiss it as I presume these purported professionals should have expertise, yet life has taught me that regurgitating words is not the same as proficiency.

I remember the first time I encountered one of such. When I started my business, I invested my resources to learn from those who already lived the results I wanted. It was my desire to increase my presence in my field and let others find me easily. I learned efficient systems, optimization, and my investment paid off handsomely.

Granted, many of the methods were not concurrent with the popular approaches, but they were honest and produced results.

Then I received the first painful lesson. A woman who accumulated substantial debts for my services told me she could not afford my bill and offered her marketing expertise in exchange. She mentioned she had looked at my—then current—site and my systems and I was doing it all wrong.

My gut feeling told me I should know better. If this woman was a marketing expert, why was she broke? What a self-contradiction! It’s like being a fitness expert and being out of shape. But she was close to a former acquaintance who begged me to please consider her offer and her supposed expertise. Needless to say I yielded.

What a mistake!

Her unsolicited advice was outdated and coy, the opposite of what I learned. I tamed my message and reduced my interaction and my business took a nasty shot. I dismissed her and sent her to collections. That also meant the end of relationships.

I did not care. From that point on, everyone had to pay upfront and I learned a lesson.

I paid for expert advice that actually worked. I yielded to unsolicited advice from someone whose results did not match her supposed expertise. I went back to learning from those who made it, paying for the valuable advice, and getting things rolling again.

Take Your Advice and Shove It!

Yet the unsolicited advice continued pouring.

I ran a newspaper ad based on what I learned from my paid guides with great results. But the unsolicited experts told me I was wrong and I should change it. I calmly told them to shove it.

When I started learning new skills to help my line of business, the unsolicited experts told me I was wasting time. I told them to shove it.

Then one day, a person whose friendship I trusted told me I should change my approach. Never mind I knew he was words and barely started in a field where I thrived for years. I listened out of appreciation and paid the price again.

You think I’d know better after such events, but nope. It was only recent that not one, but two experts decided to offer a critique of my online presence.

I don’t mind criticism. It’s one thing I enjoy and welcome to help me improve, but I only accept it when it comes from sources whose expertise is undeniable and whose results inspire me. I pay seasoned and proven experts for their honest criticism, and every time it has ascertained a wise investment.

But somehow, I accepted to go with the critique, curious as what the experts had to say.

Not surprisingly, they found everything wrong. Never mind that my approach was dictated by proven experts whose success showed they were on the right path. Never mind my business flowed steadily and kept increasing. They did not know it and kept the information hidden from them. I realized then these experts thought imposing their views was the same as constructive criticism.

Unsolicited advice from experts whose own words failed them to generate cashflow. And I know because I know them personally. And it’s because of this relationship that I lowered my guard yet again, and somehow I ended up convinced I was on the wrong path.

I implemented their expertise only to see my business plummet in a week. I analyzed my numbers and reverted back to what I was doing previously and my numbers are almost recovered.

But that time meant lost revenue. It was a painful lesson but I collected the evidence to contact the mouthiest of them and rip him a new one. I spoke in anger and I have distanced myself since.

That was about two months ago but it interrupted my sleep last night.

I wasn’t reliving the incident but I was approached with unsolicited advice yet again. My reply was a not so modest “take your advice and shove it!”

That triggered my anger and frustration, reminiscing the awful days of seeing my income take a dive. I don’t know if I can say with certainty that I will not fall for it but I know it’ll be less likely. I’m only human and sometimes the useless expertise unintentionally comes from those who are close to our lives.

I guess I should let them know beforehand. It comes at the cost of relationships but losing peace of mind and impacting my living are the hefty tags for listening to empty stupidity.

The fog is dissolving its cloth and filtering the bright sun. What a gorgeous sight. I feel much calmer and my heart beats slow and steady.

I’m sure you can relate to my frustration in your line of work. I have no doubt that unsolicited advice is worth what it costs… nothing! I will keep paying for the expertise of those who have made it and have valuable wisdom that will save me resources and tribulation. The rest, well, you know what to do with your empty words…

Ciao for now!