Seeking advice: Are you listening to the right people?

A young woman takes advice from an older woman as they go over materials related to the Amway business.

When it comes to achieving your goals, whose advice matters?

In a world where everyone is encouraged to share their opinions on social media, news stories and reviews of everything from restaurants to doctors to locksmiths, it’s an important question.

And it’s one that successful people have been asking themselves for a long time, starting from the beginning of their journey and continuing at the peak of their success.

Whether the advice is random and unsolicited or you sought it out from people you trust, it’s important to weigh certain factors when considering whether to take it. Do they have experience? Proven results? An ulterior motive? Do they really care about your goals?

Amway’s commitment to promoting #InspiredCoaching through the Amway Coaches’ Poll partnership brings access to successful leaders, coaches and trailblazers who shared their experiences on the road to success, including who they listened to along the way.

Dr. Jen Welter, first female coach in the National Football League, takes a selfie with a guest at an event at Amway World Headquarters.

Dr. Jen Welter, the first female coach in the National Football League, takes a selfie with a guest at an event earlier this year at Amway World Headquarters.

Trust your gut

Dr. Jen Welter found she really had to trust her gut on a lot of things as she made her way to become the first female coach in the National Football League. As the first, she had no mentors or guides who shared her experiences. She had to weigh each piece of advice against her own intuition.

“When everybody’s calling you crazy, sometimes that means you’re on exactly the right track because they just don’t see what you see,” she said. “They’ve never been in your shoes, they don’t know your heart, so how can they know what you’re going to be successful at?”

Jen shared her story at Amway World Headquarters earlier this year as part of a summit called Tackling Grass Ceilings: Building a Winning Game Plan. Amway Independent Business Owner Lauren Wilz also was at the event, sharing her experience of building her Amway business in the face of naysayers.

Stay in control

She said she made sure she paid attention to the right people. “I held very, very closely who I let influence me,” she said.

“There are a lot of people that have opinions, and there are a lot of people that are going to have ideas and directions that we should take in our life,” she continued.

“But when it came to running a business, when it came to being an entrepreneur, the only people that I let influence me were actually my business coaches. It allowed the other things to just bounce off me.”

USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan listens to Amway Independent Business Owner Lauren Wilz speak at a panel discussion held at Amway World Headquarters.

Ignore the naysayers

USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan, the first female sports writer for the Miami Herald, was at the summit, too. She said people must have strong filters for the constant naysayers and instead focus on their cheerleaders.

“Ignore every single one of them,” she said. “There’s always going to be people who say you can’t do something. … There’s so much negativity that for some reason in my brain early on I said: I’m not listening to any of this.”

Christine said she focused on the positive voices of her parents, mentors, teachers, friends and neighbors who constantly cheered her on. “I wanted this so much that no one was going to get in my way.”

‘You can do it’

It was that type of support from his father that fueled Amway Cofounder Rich DeVos in his early entrepreneurial days. He talked about it in his 2014 book, “Simply Rich: Life and Lessons from the Cofounder of Amway.”

“He always taught me to believe in the unlimited potential of individual drive and effort,” Rich said of his dad. “Anytime I’d say, ‘I can’t,’ he’d stop me and say, ‘There’s no such word as can’t.’

“He impressed on me that ‘I can’t’ is a self-defeating statement. ‘I can’ is a statement of confidence and power. My father always reminded me, ‘You can do it!’ Those words stuck with me and guided me for the rest of my life.”

Want to hear more advice from successful leaders? Read this blog highlighting memorable advice received over the years by college football coaches and business leaders.

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