People have a deep, intrinsic need to feel heard. I’ve found the best way to charm anyone is to ask for advice. This is especially effective with old men, who generally control the most resources. Hence the old adage “Ask for money, get advice. Ask for advice, get money.”
Paul Buchheit describes the fundamental problem with advice well, “Limited Life Experience + Overgeneralization = ADVICE”.
As a first time founder, I was inundated with unsolicited advice. Now I’m inundated with people pretending to ask for advice when they really want my money or introductions to people with more money.
My angel investor/mentor Travis gave me the most memorable advice I ever got: ask for stories, not advice. Stories are much more fun to listen to and more fun to tell. The listener can draw their own conclusions.
One thought on “Ask for Stories, Not Advice”
So true! I also like, “What do you do when…”, under the same umbrella of specificity.
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