Be Careful Who You Take Advice From … Because You Might End Up Just Like Them!


Ever been in this kind of situation?

You are in a group and someone who is outspoken starts to spew out their “wisdom”. They really sound intelligent, so you listen and even consider changing your game plan based on their advice. Sound at all familiar? When we are young and new to business we tend to really listen to these types, as many times we mistake a strong loud voice for being correct. As we get …. let’s just call us “seasoned” … we start to look far past the presenter, and listen for some basic facts. We look for the disconnect to their story to see if in fact they are stating fact, opinion, or they just like to hear themselves talk.

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Who Are You Listening To?

In case you hadn’t noticed, I like a lot of sayings, and one of them is:

“Your Actions Speak So Loud, I Can’t Hear A Word You’re Saying!”

In other words, lip service means nothing, but your actions mean everything. When I meet someone in business for the first time, I listen to them talk. However, as I make up my mind if they are genuine, I look to see if their actions follow their words. It might take some time, or some well timed questions, but I will figure it out. Anyone can talk the talk, but not everyone can walk the walk.

As you a starting out in Real Estate Investing, or anything else for that matter, and looking for leadership, make sure that the person who is giving you advice has the life that you want. Make sure that the area you are getting advice in, is a road they have journeyed down before you. Think about it, if you are getting advice from a well spoken person, who dresses and looks the part, make sure they truly ARE the part. If you want to be wealthy, take advice from wealthy people. If you want to be broke, take advice from broke people! Simple as that.

Taking Advice

I have been a part of the BiggerPockets network for a few months now and I have truly liked what I have seen. I have had many private conversations with several of the writers, and with the leaders. In my opinion, they are genuine and a joy to work with. Trust your gut, but in the end follow peoples actions. If you do that, you will find yourself making better decisions for your own life and business. Next time someone is spewing out information and you’re just not sure about their credibility, remember this simple phrase:

Be Careful Who You Take Advice From … Because You Might End Up Just Like Them!

The best part of this saying is this: It is also true for the successful people you take advice from. Stay close to them and take their advice, and you too can end up like them!

How does your BS (Bogus Stuff) 🙂 detector work?
How do you quickly determine if the person you are listening to has the success you want to follow?
I usually do it with a few key questions and I closely listen to the answer. Luckily my math mind works very quickly to flush out the truth.

I would love to hear your thoughts…

(Have a great Memorial Day, and please be sure to take a moment from all the festivities to remember what this holiday means, and all of those who have given their lives so that we may enjoy ours in the USA. Go thank a veteran today. Have a great week everyone!)

Photo: Angus

About Author

Glenn Schworm

Glenn and his wife Amber are the owners of Signature Home Buyers , located in upstate New York. They have bought and sold over 100 houses and counting since beginning in 2008. They are also the proud parents of 3 amazing kids and love to travel the globe, scuba dive, skydive and basically live life to the fullest!


  1. I’m a very big proponent of this ideology. I had a mentor, not in real estate but in my other current career, and I took what he said as the ultimate truth. He would talk the talk, he seemed to know so much about this topic, but then I looked at what he did for a living and how he lived and I thought, if he didn’t make it big (which he criticizes others for not doing) then how can I be sure his advice is so helpful. Eventually, I realized he liked to hear himself talk and I’ve taken much of what he’s said with a grain of salt. I only find it helpful once I’ve done my research and checked my facts. I supposed it helped that he was VERY opinionated because I’ve come up with a new belief that people think a lot, so much that they think they know, and its just not the case in many circumstances. A saying I think fits this is “just because you think, doesn’t mean you know.”

  2. Dude – Glenn, this is great topic, thanks for sharing your perspective. This world has no shortage of people who act like they have all the answers. I’ve got no problem with people who want to share their opinions with the world, but I prefer that they also be upfront about the things they DON’T know (and I want them to be clear that their opinion is just that – an opinion).

    If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that there is rarely ever one right answer to any given situation. And you’re right – actions do speak louder than words. If someone expects me to take them seriously, they ought to be able to prove their competence as well.

    • Glenn Schworm


      Many times on a room, the quieter ones are the ones you want to stay close to. There is strength in silence or in unsolicited advice. You are so right, in our business there is rarely 1 single answer to every problem, there are so many ways to skin the cat. What the heck kind of saying is that anyways??? Thanks for the comments brother!

  3. I love this one Glenn; “Be Careful Who You Take Advice From … Because You Might End Up Just Like Them!”

    So many times especially when you are new, you put too much stock in what people tell you. After all, who should you trust when you don’t know anything? I would say that you should model someone that is super successful. Try to learn from them. But don’t expect them to just hand you the “keys to the kingdom” (if there was such a thing). Like you said, do the work, listen carefully to what they are saying and ask yourself if they are successful or just full of bull. Great post.


  4. Great article! I think This also applies to most college professors, unless they happen to be experts in their field who have chosen to teach as a way to give back.

    • Glenn Schworm

      Michael, well I had not thought of that. I am sure most mean well, but without actual life experience I can see your point. Teaching about running a business and actually running a business are two different things. Though I am sure there is a lot of helpful information to help with your foundation if people choose to listen and apply. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Glenn, good post, your picture is perfect. It should be titled “real estate guru leading new investors”. When I was younger, could talk to a hundred people on how to buy property and one might try it. I was either not convincing or made it sound too easy.

    As Bob Ross said once “it took me twenty years to be able to paint a picture in twenty minutes”. It’s the same with any career/business: time, knowledge and acquired skills gets one to where they want to be.

    Too many people fall for the seminar sales pitch and will pay thousands for half truths. Give me your money and I’ll make you rich, sign here! Met a lot of first time investors brag about what they don’t know and end up losing everything.

    • Glenn Schworm

      So true, it is so important who we listen to and take advice from. The get rich quickers out there are very quick to take our money with little or no real content. I like the part about the 20 years, that one makes a ton of sense. Thanks for the comment!


  6. My way of determining this is simple: Are they successful about what they are advising you in? Would you be happy with their methods and level of success? If the answer is yes, keep listening, because they’ve done it. Take what you can, and get to work.

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