My inbox and LinkedIn feed are flooded with advice on how to succeed in business amidst the pandemic. Personally, I’m not finding much of it to be useful. The advice-givers seem overly optimistic of their strategies and I just want to ask, “How do you know this works since you’ve never experienced a pandemic?”

I’ve taken to ignoring most of the advice that appears on my screen right now (especially the rampant platitudes) but there’s a small part of me that worries I’m missing out on some insightful nuggets.

Last week, I read an article that helped to allay these fears by offering guidance on how to identify informed and uninformed advice. The article, Humility—Knowing Your Limits in a Pandemic, focuses on how to avoid giving bad advice but the information also applies to consuming advice.

The biggest takeaway for me was to avoid advice-givers who are overly confident in their strategies—including experts who are overly confident. This confirmed my suspicion of the overly optimistic advisors and encouraged me to ignore the advice that wasn’t given along with some reasonable doubt.

Since we still need to make decisions during the pandemic, remember to turn to the business advice created by relevant experts and make sure the experts acknowledge the limitations of their theories.

Once you apply the theory, keep gathering results and tweaking your approach based on those results. If you’ve applied the theory with fidelity and your results continue to be far off from the model’s projections, then you need to find another approach.

Be suspicious of the business advice you receive. There are few people who have the expertise to offer beneficial advice right now and these experts should possess a reasonable amount of doubt about their projections.

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