Earlier this week, I was leading a coaching call with a badass group of up-and-coming copywriters.
And one of them said:
“I had a hard time with that last assignment. I just didn’t understand it, wasn’t connecting with it, and it took me a lot longer than I thought to get it done. I almost didn’t do it.”
The funny thing is, it’s not all that uncommon.
It’s just that folks won’t often say it so directly.
So they go to a mentor for advice with a situation. The mentor gives advice, but it doesn’t connect/doesn’t make sense to the advice seeker.
And then the advice seeker disregards the advice and looks for another solution.
Here’s the thing… you’ve gotta ask yourself a few questions before you disregard advice:
- Do you trust this person?
- Do they have experience with the challenge you’re facing?
- Are they an expert, qualified to offer advice on your situation?
If the answer to all three of those questions is YES, then here’s my unpopular opinion:
Do the thing they advise. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, or you don’t think it will work.
You may or may not be familiar with Waze, the GPS app.
I remember once that I was going somewhere at night and was PRETTY sure I knew the route, but wasn’t ENTIRELY sure I knew the route. So I programmed the address in and started following the directions.
A few miles in, I was confused. It had me going waaaaaayyyy out of the way, vs taking what I understood to be the most direct route.
So I did the logical thing and ignored the GPS to take the route that made the most sense to me… and landed in the middle of gridlocked traffic in a suburban neighborhood at 9 pm on a Sunday.
I didn’t know it at the time, but there’d actually been a shooting in the street.
And you guessed it, the crime scene was along the route I’d chosen to take, which is why Waze had tried to steer me in a crazy roundabout direction.
I didn’t have all the info. But the GPS did.
But I thought I knew better, and wound up getting myself into a jam.
You’re going to find yourself in similar situations as you progress in your career, where you’re trying to find the best way forward.
And maybe the directions you get won’t make a whole lot of sense to you.
But sometimes you just gotta trust your inner GPS to take you where you need to go, even if there are twists and turns you didn’t expect.