This post is a follow-up to "Express your uniqueness"
There's a little principle I found not long ago.
I call it the hidden benefits of giving advices.
Last December, I was on a train back from Paris and decided to use this four-hour trip to work on a couple of blog post drafts. A few weeks before, I had a workshop with an entrepreneur in Sweden. We meet from time to time to exchange ideas about her strategy and business.
With the end of the year fast approaching, we came to discuss the best practices on how to review the past year, and draw goals and expectations for the coming one. That's an important exercise I like to do, but I never took the time to properly formalize a way to do it. Thinking it was a great opportunity for me to improve my methodology, I decided to write down the process I described to her.
Explaining it and answering her questions had given me a lot of raw material I could use to write. And, in the train, when I put myself to work, it felt much easier, than it should have been, to write the post that would become Review and forecast: the time-traveling machine.
Back to this year for a second example.
Besides my professional activities of consulting, I also try and help (pro bono) a few fellow entrepreneurs on their journey. Among them are three founders from where I grew up. Our relationship is still pretty new but we've already had great discussions.
Lately, we've talked about the ways a small business can differentiate itself from others. Or, put another way, how they could leverage the very specific knowledge gained from researching their market in order to establish and build a trusted relationship with leads.
Suggesting approaches they could try, showing them some of the concrete stratagems I used in the past, pushed me to take a global view. By sharing what worked and what didn't, I'm given an opportunity to sort out hacks, successes, and failures. And, I can assure you, it's much easier when you detach yourself to do it. You become more efficient and, obviously, more objective.
Those are two examples of situations that led me to realise the existence of these collateral benefits.
By sharing your experience and providing advice, you are suddenly helping yourself too.
When you're elaborating solutions for problems that others encounter, you participate in the improvement of your own skills. Without noticing, you also build yourself raw materials that you'll be able to reuse for your own business. Finally, as I mentioned in the second example, it can help you distinguish bad behaviours from good ones, so you can adjust your business' strategy as well.
For all these reasons, I think you shouldn't be afraid to give advice and share your journey. I've already developed my idea that we all have something unique to bring to the table. No doubt, your own very special combination of experiences and skills will be useful to someone. And the hidden benefits derived from giving advice are so huge for you too, that it would be a shame not to try.
As a conclusion, I'd like to add a few words about how you could start giving advice. First, if you want to do one-to-one advising, you can find websites where your profile is indexed by a search engine and allow interested people to find and contact you. As an alternative, you can also join a community of like-minded professionals. Chances are, you will easily find people facing problems that you've already encountered.
And if you'd rather try experience sharing without the pressure, you can begin by answering questions on popular discussion websites (like Quora or Reddit) or start a blog.
Start today. Help someone, help yourself.