Best Piece of Advice

July 29, 2015 , In: Figuring it Out, Motherhood , With: 6 Comments

What’s the best piece of solid advice you’ve ever received?  I’m not talking about ‘living each day to the fullest’ or something vague like that.

There are two things which I was told and live by.


The first was when I was working in a car dealership and answering the phone.  I once took a message for one of the salesman.  Someone was very interested in talking to him and buying a car.  When the salesman asked what this prospective customer’s phone number was, I responded that I assumed he had it already.

Big mistake.

He looked at me disapprovingly and told me to ‘never assume anything’.

I can’t tell you how many times in both my professional and personal life I’ve thought about what he said and put it to use.  And more often than not, I was glad I did.

Best Piece of Advice |

The second is from my mom.  It’s something she told me when I was quite young.  She said ‘Michelle – you never have to explain yourself to anyone.’ (Do you remember, Mom?)

This is something I live by and have used so often.  People often want to hear more than what they need to know.  I just greet them with a smile and silence.  Have to go to the doctor, take a sick day, or just make a decision that you don’t feel like you have to explain?  Guess what, unless it effects the other person, you don’t.

Other advice I (strive) to live for?

Anna Wintour has said, “Even if I’m completely unsure, I’ll pretend I know exactly what I’m talking about and make a decision.”  This one is hard, but I think really good advice.


I never write something I wouldn’t want to be made public (including texts and private messages).  I often picture my audience and imagine if I were telling it to them face to face.

Whenever I am speaking about someone, I picture them sitting with me and imagine how they would feel if they heard what I was saying.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?  I’d love to hear!

    • Luis
    • August 24, 2015

    You are the slave of whatever you say and the master of everything you don’t.

      • Michelle
      • August 24, 2015

      I like it a lot!!!!! Thanks 🙂

  1. Reply

    Thanks for sharing this post. I could definitely identify with the last one – “Even if I’m completely unsure, I’ll pretend I know exactly what I’m talking about and make a decision.” — I have had to do this when clients ask for new things in design or technology and inside I’m thinking – I have never heard of that or seen what they are talking about. So I will simply tell them it sounds great and I will have to do some research on it to see how to incorporate.

    I also liked your mom’s advice about not explaining yourself…. all too often I end up feeling like I do. Freeing to hear that I don’t really need to.

      • Michelle
      • August 28, 2015

      So glad you’re already putting that one into practice!

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Michelle Little

Writer & Photographer

Originally from the prairies and now in Montreal, I love exploring new places, eating great food and modern design. I'm mom of two wild things and paper and cake make me happy. Photographing your cutie family would make me very happy.

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