HaloGear Executive News How To Spot A Poseur


People, especially people who think of themselves as "important," love to give out so-called advice. Of course, people with real experience in the trenches also enjoy giving out helpful advice for real...

So the question then becomes How do you differentiate between "advice" and advice? How can you test advice? What makes good advice or bad advice? Wouldn't that be good to know prior to using it?!

Use this easy trick: Ask for their personal example of using the advice that they just handed out.

The pros will have 1 or more great personal stories revolving around how/when they learned+used the advice that they just gave to you. They lived it. It worked. Now they care enough about you to share it. Their personal story/example of using the advice confirms that it is valuable advice.

In contrast, merely "well-meaning people" will fail at giving you a real example of their advice to you ever working for them. They were just guessing at what might work for you. They haven't lived it and experienced their advice working. You’ll be able to tell. This test works.

VCs in Silicon Valley, for example, love to give out "advice" to Startup companies such as: "You must have a Moat that surrounds and guards your product idea so that someone else can't just copy it."

Sounds great, right?! Except, those same VCs will rush out to fund nearly identical Drone or smartphone app startups, none of which have moats around their idea (e.g. a patent that prevents similar competition or some unique competitive edge). You think Snapchat has a technical "moat" that Instagram can't copy?! Of course not...but those VCs sure wanted to invest in Snap before its IPO!

Well, if they aren't taking their own "moat" advice, then they haven't really learned that life lesson...so you can conclude that it isn't a valuable lesson in that industry.

Sure, it sounds like great advice and comes from people you respect, but it fails the Lifehack test for Advice. It makes sense when you hear it, but they don't really care about it because they aren't living their own advice.

Lots of people do not live their own advice. They might be Important people with powerful jobs, but they may still not know much about how all of the world really works. This is perhaps why you can find articles posted online about the big, successful Startup company that "Broke all the rules."

Of course it did.

The rules/advice that it was given were handed out by people who failed this Advice Test. That rule-breaking startup succeeded by taking their money, not their “advice.” Heck, maybe they even used this test to know which advice to take or not.

This applies in every aspect of life. People who give you advice are common, but you shouldn’t take that advice seriously unless they can show you how using that advice in their owns lives personally helped them. That’s your test. That's your lifehack.