Who is responsible for the consequences of bad advice?

The book, 'The Secret' is based around a similar principle that “entrepreneurs” use when writing their books and speaking at business events. It claims if we believe in something hard enough (say, getting a new job), then it will eventually happen. In the broader sense, it plays on the notion that we are in control of our own destiny and can bend reality to align with our will. This makes for a powerful message. And while advocates of The Secret and start-up businesses would arguably be uncomfortable bedfellows, these two groups share more in common than they would like to admit.

For instance, when picking up any start-up book written by a successful entrepreneur, the underlying theme is always the same – do what I say, and you’ll succeed. However, if one was to follow their advice and fail, would the author consider themselves culpable? Of course not. The demise of any business lies with the failings of the individual who started it.

This is also the essence of any “business consultant’s” advice. The success of anyone they advise is welcomed and lauded as evidence of their expertise. Yet, will consultants speak of or even claim responsibility for a start-up they helped and ended up folding? Who is considered at fault in such circumstances?

I think the answer would be the same as that of Rhonda Byrne who wrote 'The Secret'. Essentially, if the advice doesn’t work, that’s your fault, not theirs.

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