by Niall Doherty

Ever since I started telling people that I wanted to make a living as an online entrepreneur, so I’ll have the freedom to travel the world and pursue my passions, I’ve been getting a lot of feedback. This feedback can generally be divided into two categories: Advice and opinion.

What’s the difference?

Everyone has an opinion, and they’ll gladly share it with you. In the last several months, lots of people who have never even tried to start a business have given me their 2 cents on the topic. I’ve also heard from many people who have tried and failed to start a business. They’ll often start by saying, “Let me offer you some advice…” but what they’re really offering is an opinion. I’ll usually be respectful and listen to what they say, but I don’t take any of it to heart.

Advice, on the other hand, only comes from people who have already done what it is that you’re trying to do. They’ve been there. They’ve done that. They’ve actually succeeded and so they can advise you how to do the same.

That’s why I pay serious attention to the likes of Corbett Barr, Everett Bogue and Colin Wright. Those guys are where I want to be, and they share how they’ve succeeded on their respective blogs. I read every word they write, and have learned a lot from each of them.

The next time you receive feedback, consider the source. Don’t take relationship advice from the loneliest guy in town. Ignore the triathlon tips coming from the drunken hobo. Shrug off the business lesson given by the lifelong cube-dweller. Folks like that obviously don’t know what it takes to succeed. Listen only to people who do.