Conventional WisdomIf those presidential elections taught us anything, perhaps the BEST lesson a business owner can take is this:

Don’t fall for what the crowd is telling you.

I make it a point to steer clear of political noise with my weekly posts to you, so I’m not here bringing some kind of pithy electoral analysis. Facebook is rife with that right now, and I don’t care to add to the noise.

And you know what Facebook is also overflowing with? Cat videos.

Look — who doesn’t love cat videos?? But the point is this: just because the crowd thinks something is great or true, doesn’t make it so.

But I’m continually gobsmacked by all the tepid “advice” bandied around for recent college grads and business owners. Not that I have anything against inspiration — I truly don’t! — but so much of what passes for good advice out there can lead you into a trap of your own making. Trust me, as someone who has been there.

So I’m taking aim at some common pieces of advice for managing your career or business today, and I’d love to hear any of your non-conventional wisdom as well…

How Conventional Wisdom May Be Hurting Your Long Island Business & Your Career
“I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.” -George Bernard Shaw

Slavishly conforming to conventional wisdom about how to thrive in your calling is something I think we should all avoid. But with Buzzfeed and all those other internet sites tossing around conventional wisdom left and right, allow me to question some of it…

1.) “Just do your job.”
Your job description is a bare minimum. Fulfilling it means you’ll probably keep your job, or that client contract, but you won’t stand out when buyers are re-upping contracts or managers are deciding whom to promote. Push the envelope a little so your contact sees that you’re committed to helping the organization, not just safeguarding your position or contract.

2.) “Never say ‘No.'”
You can’t do everything, know everything, or even attempt everything your boss or contractor asks. Be willing to admit when you don’t have the answer, or that you don’t have time for every assignment. Then work with your contact to solve the problem, and accommodate his or her needs.

3.) “Always go for the promotion or the larger contract.”
You don’t have to accept more projects than you’re ready for, or a management position that doesn’t match your goals. Pursuing advancement for its own sake may lead you on a business path you don’t really want. Be sure of what you’re going for, and let your manager know what you’re interested in. Then get to work preparing yourself for the position you want.

4.) “Network constantly.”
Aim for quality, not quantity, when you network. A “contacts” list with 700 names of people who barely know you won’t be much help when you need specific assistance. Instead, be selective so you can maintain solid connections with people who can really help you with your career or in the growth of your business. Go deep — not wide.

Feel very free forward this article to a Long Island and Stamford business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? These particular articles usually relate to business strategy because, as you know, we are Profitability Consultants also specializing in tax preparation and planning for Long Island and Stamford families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.


Michael J. Kessler, CPA
(516) 449-2852
(203) 658-5092

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