Amy Rees Anderson

Great Advice Is Actionable Advice

Tonight I spoke at Brigham Young University’s student Women in Business’s Opening Social. Knowing I would have a late night visiting with students, I asked my son Dalton if he would be able to do a guest blog for me tonight so I could stay late with the students after my presentation and visit with them. Upon returning home and reading what he’d written all I could do was hope I’d done as good a job providing the students with actionable advice tonight as the speaker my son describes in this blog!:

Great Advice Is Actionable Advice (written by Dalton Anderson)

I learned a valuable lesson the other day I was sitting in on an entrepreneurship lecture series at a University. The entrepreneur shared his story about founding a business and the things he learned along the way. This particular speaker did a fantastic job, and everyone in the class remained engaged. I pondered on what he did to keep everyone reeled in, and the answer I came up with is that he gave great advice. What made it great? Well if the title was any indicator, it’s because it was actionable.

This guy shared his story the same way every entrepreneur in the series has, but throughout his story he would give advice that the students could use and act on (since, you know, it was actionable advice.) He didn’t spend his time sharing how awesome he was, or how his story was one-in-a-million. He related everything he’s experienced to the students, and explained what they could be doing right now to start and grow their business. It kept everyone engaged, and was the difference between a successful hour and a wasted one.

The cool fact about this entrepreneur is that he’s only 26! He started his business in college, and is in his senior year of his bachelor’s degree. I was extremely impressed because I’ve listened to many incredibly successful entrepreneurs who have built companies where I didn’t come away with a single helpful lesson from the class. The main difference with this lecture—applicable items shared.

Giving good advice is a skill. I think everyone has experience that can help others, but sharing that experience in a way that benefits someone else is a skill that takes being cultivated and developed. Just like anything else, being able to share good advice comes naturally to some, and to others—well that’s what practice is for. If you’re someone like me who is a better storyteller than advice-giver, I recommend practicing giving actionable advice. Think about the things you have learned in your life, and what you specifically did to overcome your challenges. Then make a mental list of those items, and when you’re sharing your story to an audience (assuming you’re the mentor), remember to add in those items that helped you get where you are now. You’ll notice a significant amount of notes being taken, and less people checking their social feed. I guarantee it.

—-Thanks to Dalton for writing such a great article with sound actionable advice 🙂

Have a great day everyone!

~Amy Rees Anderson


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