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Who is YOUR Trusted Advisor?

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Do you feel like you're consistently getting advice from everyone around you but you don't know who to trust? Do you make decisions based on what your girlfriends are saying you should do? Are you listening to your well intended spouse even though he or she isn't qualified to give you advice?

My trusted advisor is Melissa Stacey. She owns an organizational company called Feeling Organized and from the first day I met her until now, she's never steered me wrong. She gets me. She knows me and when I ask her for honest feedback, I know I'm getting sound advice, not just an "opinion".

People don't mean to steer you wrong - they think the advice they're giving you is smart and will work. The problem - the may not really know your business and have experienced what you're getting ready to "do" before. If you're going to have a trusted advisor, identify one that is your "Melissa".

Here are five ways you can identifying a trusted advisor:

1. He/She is experienced and successful. Successful people, in most cases, have learned how to navigate their way through the struggles and challenges of business ownership. This doesn't mean she did it perfectly. It means that she has gone through a variety of experiences that you haven't, yet.

2. He/She's non-emotional, professional and works to find a solution that is firm but good for everyone. Even though you may be the #1 priority, she still is considerate of others looks to give you advice to where everyone gets what they want.

3. When faced in a spot of adversity, he/she was calm, flawless and focused. Most inexperience business owners go to their emotions first, They say things they shouldn't, think thoughts that are inappropriate and create situations that hurt others. Your trusted advisor will be the opposite. She'll pause before giving advice, think through the situation without emotion and provide you with advice that is balanced and fair.

4. He/She's always available and genuinely cares. Your trusted advisor is someone that has already expressed to you that they are here to help you through anything. They're all in, all of the time and no matter what, will give you the advice you need.

5. He/She provides balanced feedback and will put you in your place when she needs to. This one. If you trust your advisor, then put your seatbelt on because she is going to tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what is comfortable. If you are making a mistake, it's her job to tell you and help you become a better person.

The criticality of having a trusted advisor is past important - but, finding one can be difficult. When you do, hold onto them for life. And most important, give them credit for your success because without them, you could have made a wrong turn.