The Best Advice I've Ever Received (And Why I Didn't Listen.)

Everyone I speak to seems to have a story about a guidance counselor, coach, or teacher who told them they were never going to go anywhere in life. You know the, “telling a 14-year-old that college may not be in the picture for them,” type of conversation.

at age 28, my moment finally came; and it was the best advice I have ever received.

Recently, someone I admire from afar reached out, candidly and on her own accord, offering to give me some feedback on a very personal creative document of mine. Always accepting of feedback, I warmly welcomed her thoughts, but the outcome caught me off guard.

Right there in front of me, embedded in a list of 10 bullet points, was the best advice I have ever received:

“Don’t quit your teaching job.”

I decided not to listen to her because I quite literally couldn’t. When I moved from Cleveland to New York City 2 months ago, I left my teaching career behind to pursue my creative passions. It was a major life decision, one I had sat on and contemplated about for years. I know that changing my career path was the best decision for me and I believe in the future of my work.


So, I decided to turn this negative feedback into a few positive reminders:

A reminder that not everyone is going to love you and your work. 

Continue working anyway.

A reminder that people can be admirable on the internet but unremarkable in real life. 

Find mentors who support your decisions and inspire you to take big leaps.

A reminder that following your heart is a way to flex your brave muscle. 

If you know you can achieve it, you will.

A reminder to keep moving forward. 

Put one foot in front of the other and see how far you can go.

Negative feedback may not feel encouraging at first, but it may be the catalyst you need to continue to grow. Believe in yourself. Learn. Be the best business owner you can be. And never give up. Don’t give up with the first negative feedback you receive and don’t give up when you receive negative feedback for the millionth time. The only opinion that matters is your own, and if you whole-heartedly believe in the work you are doing and the path you are on—not one single person in this world can stop you.

Lindy Hale