Being Coachable: How to Recognize Good Advice and Actually Take It

by Guest Author on January 14, 2013

An important question for all budding entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners to answer is a simple one: “would you rather be good, or would you rather be right?”

While there is a tendency for entrepreneurs to be a bit…egomaniacal (hey it happens to the best of us), it is important for even the most experienced among us to maintain a certain level of humility and ability to take advice – even if it is painful to admit you were wrong.

Staying humble and listening to those who’ve done it before (successfully) is one of the toughest things about starting your own business. After all – how can they understand your company more thoroughly than you can? However, sometimes someone who is on the outside looking in can provide the clarity of perspective that you simply don’t have when you’re mired in the day-to-day operations of keeping your company going.

How to be coachable? Start by admitting you don’t know everything – no matter how long you have been in your field, you should always be receptive to advice. Whether or not you should take that advice is another story, but being open to new ideas is always important. Also, the ability to understand that people giving you advice (generally) have your best interests at heart and that at the very least, you owe to them to at least listen (its for your own good, after all) and absorb whatever wisdom they have to share.

Staying humble despite how well (or not) your business is doing is also essential. You’re never beyond getting advice from a mentor or an experienced professional.

If you don’t have a real-life mentor(s), there are a number of places online you can find inspiration and resources. For instance, Fred Wilson, Chris Devore, and the inimitable Seth Godin all regularly post content that will get you going. And if you simply need to reset your brain and spark new ideas, Chris Guillebeau, Gaping Void, Tim Ferriss, and Gala Darling will all consistently challenge the status quo and provide framework for reshaping your thinking.

What does being coached mean to you?

Jacqueline ZennAbout the Author:
Jacqueline Zenn could call herself a strategist, a blogger, a copywriter, a social media expert, an organic SEO and PPC specialist, trend forecastor, or an interactive marketing manager, but what it comes down is that she helps people and brands connect, communicate, and interact. On any given day, she has more good ideas than time to implement them. Contact Jacqueline at


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