Entrepreneurs like me.
Entrepreneurs like me create content. We give advice through books, speeches, articles like this one, live streams on social media, and podcasts.
Sometimes that advice is really good.
And sometimes, that advice is even fake. There, I said it. Sometimes entrepreneurs like me give advice on things that we don’t know about. It’s true.
That was especially true for me when I first started “creating content.”
I wanted people to pay attention to me. I wanted to go viral. I wanted to be seen as a thought leader, guru, or expert on entrepreneurship. But the truth is that I wasn’t a true entrepreneur. I was a fake, and I knew it.
There’s pressure to create content and build a personal brand.
It seems like everyone is screaming at us to create content.
These voices are telling you to start that blog, write that ebook, record that podcast, and start that YouTube channel. They’re urging you to become an expert, position yourself as a guru, and to give yourself the title of “thought leader.”
Like all advice, all of that could be good advice or it could be bad advice. It depends.
Regardless of if it’s the right move for you and your business, here’s one thing I know is true: the pressure to create content has led to bad advice from unqualified people, especially in entrepreneurship.
The venture I shut down out of guilt.
A few years ago, I made several thousand dollars giving advice to new entrepreneurs on how to start a business. I’d read books and blogs, and I’d listen to podcasts about business. Then I’d take that info and regurgitate it to my clients.
If it worked, then I was a hero. If it didn’t work, then my client and I blamed it on their execution. After all, everything I’ve read told us that “execution is key,” right? Right.
Keep in mind that I hadn’t built an actual business, but I was giving advice to people on how to build actual businesses.
That was unethical, and I shut that project down after a long look in the mirror.
I fully believe that other advice “entrepreneurs” should do the same.
Here’s the reality of people selling entrepreneur advice to entrepreneurs.
Most people are unqualified to talk about what they’re charging for. Trust me.
In the grand scheme of things, there are few people who have built absolutely incredible businesses. Sure, there are a lot of great entrepreneurs out there. Plenty of fantastic businesses.
But there are more wannabe’s than be’s. It’s easier to create a $100 online course about entrepreneurship than it is to build a $100 million business.
Because it’s easier to come up with–or regurgitate–advice on entrepreneurship, more people do it.
Don’t be fooled by the snazzy branding, a podcast interview, or their latest ebook: not everyone is qualified to sell their thoughts.
How I consume content, and how I create it too.
I consume content with a grain of salt, and I’ve also begun to create content with a grain of salt too.
When people are giving advice, I want to know why they’re qualified to give that advice. I fully understand that some of the best coaches were the worst players. I want to know what makes them the best coach.
My favorite coaches are usually willing to say one of three things: “I did it,” “I learned from my mistake,” and “I don’t know.”
I want to learn about how to create multiple streams of income from someone who has created multiple streams of income. I want to learn about how to avoid legal mistakes from someone who got sued and fixed the problem. And I want to talk about the future of virtual reality from someone who’s willing to fully acknowledge that they can’t tell the future.
Since those are the qualities I look for in my advisors, I create content in the exact same way.
I encourage you to do so, too.