The urge to give advice to a colleague usually comes with the best of intentions. But it's important to remember that you shouldn't give life-changing career advice to someone without considering the full scope of that person's situation. You'd never want to steer someone into a major business and life decision without knowing if they're actually capable of handling everything that that change will bring with it.
A while back, Mike McCormick took to our Insurance Soup Facebook group with some solid advice on agents who offer potentially hazardous advice to other agents before really thinking it through. Check out his thoughts below:
"I have seen people give the advice "Go become an Agent and stop making someone else money" a TON of times in Insurance Soup.
Hell, I have given the advice myself from time to time.
Unless you know the person it's frivolous advice to give.
There is a LOT that goes into being an agent and some people just dont have it in them. That does not make the person a bad person, or a failure, or anything. We all have our skill sets and sometimes business ownership is not one of them.
Giving the advice to a stranger to abandon a situation they may be having success with (and often times perhaps even the most success or happiest they have been in their career) is dangerous.
So much goes into being an Agent. You're no longer working 40-50 hour weeks. Often in the beginning you're working 70-80+ hours. Can you stomach that?
Do you have the financial fortitude to weather the storm? And yes it is a storm. A violent and often times completely unpredictable storm.
You are taking on a whole slew of new expenses in many cases. E&O Insurance, business insurance, an accountant, an attorney, start up expenses, marketing expenses, a rater, a CRM, and more.
You have WAY more responsibility than to simply come in, sell, and go home. It is an undertaking that leaves many in shell shock.
I have been fortunate to experience success pretty much in anything I have done in my career and I was totally blown away by the amount of work and responsibility that went into opening up my own shop.
I am all for the person who wants more for themselves.
I am in total support for the ambitious entrepreneur-minded individual who is financially, emotionally, mentally, and physically capable of making the leap.
For the most part we're all virtual strangers in Insurance Soup. Some of us know each other, but with 39,000 of us stretching from coast to coast and from Texas to the Northern most parts of Canada we are virtual acquaintances at best.
Not every solider makes a great general. More do not than do.
If someone is asking questions and showing interest, educate and inform.
Please, please, please do not steer or direct a stranger into making career decisions that you have no idea if they are capable of handling or not.
This group was founded on the idea of support, education, and camaraderie and while intent is good we should all be mindful that we are doing no potential harm with misguided advice.
I say this to all of you out of love.
I know all of your hearts are in the right place."