Chew on the Meat, Spit out the Fat
One of my mentors in journalism, Kat Cosley, once told me when taking advice from people first, one must consider the source and second, one must chew on the meat and spit out the fat.
Basically what Cosley was saying was that one should only listen to someone that is a reputable expert in that field and even then all of their advice might not be good advice.
Many in the African-American community stress the importance of starting businesses and following dreams and rightfully so.
And as the Bible says, when it comes to any dream or goal, a wise man seeks many counselors.
But it is also important that one chooses their counsel wisely and ignores the advice from people that do not have experience in the field of work that the person is pursuing.
Although it might be difficult to distance oneself from close family members and friends, sometimes it is absolutely necessary in the business world.
God blessed me with the vision to start RegalMag.com in 2006.
While the magazine and later the television show “Regal Roundtable” has experienced the highs and lows of any company, most of the lows were due to bad advice from people very close to me.
Not only did God bless me with a vision, he also blessed me with great family members and great friends.
However, if an entrepreneur’s friends and family members are not in the same profession, their advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
Furthermore, if certain family members and friends will be bad for your reputation based on their misbehavior, then that is another reason for distance.
Having the right circle in one’s life is not just having people around you that care, but having the right people in your ear.
Just because a person genuinely cares for you and loves you does not mean that they know what’s best for you.
When I entered the television production business, people close to me all of sudden thought they were television producers as well and could tell me how to create a television show.
When I started the magazine, people with no journalism experience felt that they were qualified to teach me the tenets of journalism.
In order to fulfill one’s dream, one has to trust the vision that God has given them and not the vision of others.
If others have a vision, it is up to them to fulfill that vision, not you.
And even if a person is an expert in your profession, their advice is not necessarily good advice.
Just because something worked for someone else does not mean that it will work the same for you.
The key to success and fulfilling one’s dream is trusting that dream and that vision and not being sidetracked by the detractors.
And unfortunately, the detractors might be lifelong friends or share the same last name as you.
Most importantly, detractors are not just people who hate on you.
Detractors can also be people who believe in you but just do not understand your vision or God’s calling on your life.
Those people have to be kept at a distance if you are to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
As Rev. Daymond Wilkins once said, “I am persuaded that some people will never seize God-given opportunities listening to small-minded people.”