• Eric Dahl

Advice?

Advice is an interesting thing and we have all been given advice in our lives and probably shared it with others also. The word “advice,” as we are using it here, refers to “guidance or recommendations offered with regard to prudent future action.” Much of the advice that my grandfather gave me as a teenager I was too young to grasp until I got older and had experienced what he said as fact. I was recently asked for my opinion, by a person in the television industry, on where I see our industry going in the next five to ten years and where she can fit into that. I explained my theory that creative content will always be needed and sought out only the methods of distribution for that content will change via streaming and OTT. Technology and the speed with which it is changing affects all our lives and careers and it will continue to do so in the future at a faster and faster pace. I’m a firm believer in going where the others aren’t fishing and looking ahead to future opportunities before they happen. When we are providing or receiving advice a few factors must be considered. When providing it we must keep in mind the person or audience we are providing it to and where they are in their journey in experience and age. What applies to a person in the 40’s or 50’s may not be applicable to a person in their 20’s just starting the path. Next what are they seeking from our perspective. Are our words and thoughts sought out because of our age, experience, degree or current position in life? The same goes for each of us as we acquire advice from others. Sometimes we seek it out from our friends and mentors and there are times people give it to us even when we don’t want it! Personally, I like having outside advice from family, friends and people I consider more experienced to either reinforce my opinion, prove me wrong or provide a direction I hadn’t considered before. I recently asked for some input from a friend of mine in the TV and Radio business about my shows and their future direction. He had high praise for my current content but suggested a path that I am not comfortable with at this time. I gleaned some ideas from his suggestions, but my family must come first therefore any decision I make must be weighed with that in mind. That is the unique aspect of advice. We can give, ask for it or accept it, but in the end, we still have the free will to decide what we do with it and how or if we apply it or not? In hindsight I wish I had applied more of the advice my Grandpa Dahl had given me at a younger age and some aspects of my life might have been easier. But as free thinkers sometimes we must have the experience ourselves to learn the true lessons of life, then hopefully we can share those with others, so they can avoid some of our mistakes? Making mistakes in life and not taking advice is part of the game too, but that’s still okay if we learn from it, apply and share it. When I’m asked for advice or I speak to a college class of Mass Communications or Marketing students I’m mindful of where I was at that age. My personal mantra is to give the advice that I would have wanted or needed at that point in my life. We all have much to learn and fortunately I feel I’m still learning and growing everyday and I love that. Someone gave me the advice a few years ago to start writing a weekly Blog and it frightened me to start something new like this. But I have found it very cathartic in sharing my thoughts and what touches me each week even if the author is the only one that reads it? I appreciate those of you that do consume and find something for yourself in these words. My advice for this week is to stay positive and take the high road whenever possible and I will seek to follow that as well!

Grandpa Dahl from his Caterpillar days!