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When Business and Career Advice Is Contradictory

Have you ever heard any of this contradictory business advice?

Let things come to you. No, go after what you want.

Post on social media every day to promote your business. No, respect your own energy flow, and only share when it feels right. Don't be so available.

Share a lot about yourself, because people are attracted to your story. No, don't overshare, or try to hook people in by showing how you're just like them. Remain professional and as an example of someone who has figured it out.

Stay in one place for a long time to prove you're loyal. No, move companies every two years or so to increase your salary and gain a lot of diverse experience.

If you hate your new job, stay in it for at least a year so it doesn't look bad on your resume. No, get out as soon as you can. Life is too short to be miserable.

Keep your prices high. People will value your services more if they invest a lot in them. No, remain accessible. Anyone can hook someone in to pay high prices once, but you won't keep them coming back.

Two things can be true at the same time. We all want hard and fast rules that will assure success. We want certainty. But it just doesn't work that way. We are all individuals, here to learn different lessons, have unique experiences and live out distinctive missions. Someone else's one-size-fits-all formula likely has nothing to do with what's going to work for you.

And any good teacher, mentor or speaker is going to contradict himself all the time, because different things are true for different people at different times.

There's a famous spiritual teacher who said, if you overhear me say something to someone that's contrary to what I told you, it's because you're not at the same levels of consciousness. So the same advice doesn't apply.

How to parse through the conflicting guidance to determine what's right for you?

1) Do everyone around you a favor and embark on a lifelong, ever-evolving journey of knowing yourself. That's why I'm into those personality tests, and even astrology (I recommend Bess) and Human Design (I recommend Shabadpreet) readings. At a minimum, they give you clues as to what's going to help you be successful.

2) Commit to an approach. Pay careful attention to the results and how you feel throughout the process. Is it energizing or draining? Don't be afraid to course-correct.

3) Cultivate the confidence to know what's right for you. Seek out expert opinions, but reject the ones that aren't a fit for you. Have the sovereignty to not outsource all your decisions to someone else because you don't trust yourself.

What's some common advice that just wasn't right for you? Send me an email at and let me know.

~ Mary Margaret

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