I have learnt from my experiences that unsolicited advice should neither be given or taken. People give you plenty of free advice in two situations— first, when you are a beginner and second, when you are progressing on the path of success. Some advice could be friendly and a wake-up call for you, but some advice might be malicious and could mislead you. That is why we should not believe every person blindly.
A decade ago, I survived a very bad phase of my life, as I had to spend five years fighting multiple ailments. My health deteriorated and I had to undergo various therapies and take medications to bring it back on track. During this period, I could not concentrate fully on my business and had to postpone expansion plans. After I had recovered my health, I decided to implement those plans with an upbeat mood.
Once I was invited for a business luncheon. During the party, I disclosed to my group of friends that I would like to expand and grow my business to new levels. After the lunch, a person, who was a senior trader I wasn’t much acquainted with, came and advised me with a grave face, saying: “Look Datar, You have just recovered from various ailments. Why are you unnecessarily increasing your burden and taking greater risks? Business is better when it is compact and within your capacity.” Since the person himself was a senior trader, I took his advice seriously. The organiser of the party, who had overheard our conversation, cautioned me, he said: “Don’t listen to him, as he himself incurred a huge loss in business. He tells the same thing to everyone — not to increase the burden.” I smiled and turned a deaf ear to the unwanted advice. Let me mention here that I started some more superstores and a new line of wholesale trading after this incident— all of which fetched a good fortune.
I remember another incidence. We had launched an advertising campaign for our Al Adil brand and its products. The ads were being shown during some TV shows. One day, a viewer wrote to me and advised not to play our commercials during useless TV shows as it would not serve our purpose. He had also mentioned an example. I was surprised and wondered why would the person watch the TV show if it were useless as he was proclaiming. I realised that the show must have something to attract certain viewers. I then instructed our media managers to increase the penetration of advertisements on TV shows and within a short span of time, the popularity of our brand increased more. The campaign became a success.
Friends, take professional advice rather than free advice, as long as it is impartial and beneficial. I like a quote by author Croft M Pentz — If you listen too much to advice, you may wind up making other people’s mistakes.
Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar is the chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading