Why You Should Never Ask for One-on-One Advice

December 11, 2015, 3:53 PM UTC
Photograph by Josh Currie

The Entrepreneur Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “When making a tough business decision, how do you know when to trust your gut?” is written by Craig Morantz, CEO of Kira Talent.

When I was 17, I was presented with an opportunity to get revenge on the person who stole my $2,000 custom-made bike. My mentor at the time suggested having his friend teach him a lesson by causing him physical harm, something I was uncomfortable with. I felt a tightness in the pit of my stomach and decided not to listen to his advice. Little did I know at the time, this was my first important business lesson: Seek out advice from those you look up to, but keep in mind that everyone is human and has the potential to offer poor advice.

As I moved into my 20s and early 30s, I continued to seek out advice from the mentors I looked up to, but it was always one-on-one advice. A pivotal turning point for me came in discovering the hidden danger of taking advice from a one-on-one interaction. I learned that discussing important business challenges with individuals—no matter how smart they are—can be misleading and dangerous, because individual people have limited world views. Now I bring others to the table at the same time in order to unlock additionaloften hiddenvalue. Besides, who has time to ask four people the same question separately?

See also: This is How the Most Successful Leaders Make Tough Decisions

It’s especially important for entrepreneurs to trust themselves on letting go of employees who just aren’t the right fit. My advice is to hire slowly and fire quickly. I hate firing people. It’s one of my least favorite things to do as a CEO, but I’ve never regretted firing anyone, and I’ve let go of many employees. What I do regret is how long it took me to take action in those situations. We know in our guts whether or not a person is the right fit for a position in the first four weeks. Trust your gut and let the person go if it just isn’t working out.

There are many different decisions business leaders must make when it comes to things like hiring, firing, pivoting, and highstakes transactions. While it’s great to seek out advice from others, always take what they say with a grain of salt. Remember that your decisions have led you this far, so listen to yourself and make the decision that feels right to you.

If I had listened to my mentor when I was 17, I might have been able to get my bike back and inflicted some good oldfashioned revenge, but I instead trusted my gut. Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you reactthat’s the trusting yourself part. The role of the advisor is to uncover what you inherently already know. Trust that the answer is inside of you, deep down in your gut.

Read all responses to the Entrepreneur Insider question: When making a tough business decision, how do you know when to trust your gut?

The Best Way to Make Fast Decisions by Vijay Ramani, cofounder and CEO of Totspot.

What Every Leader Can Learn From Alfred P. Sloan About Tough Decisions by Frank Fabela, Vistage CEO peer advisory board chair.

Proof Data Can’t Always Help You Make Decisions by Morgan Hermand-Waiche, founder and CEO of Adore Me.

Doing This Will Help You Make Tough Decisions by Suneera Madhani, founder and CEO of Fattmerchant.

Here’s What Happens When You Don’t Trust Your Gut by Gesche Haas, founder of Dreamers//Doers.

Here’s What You Should Do When You Have to Make a Tough Decision by Alexander Goldstein, founder and CEO of Eligo Energy.

Never Make a Big Decision Without Doing This First by Feris Rifai, cofounder and CEO of Bay Dynamics.

Here’s How Questioning Decisions Can Ruin a Business by Pat Peterson, founder and CEO of Agari.

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