The eleventh chapter of Proverbs has some real gems in it, but to keep things brief today, let's just look at one simple concept. I owe this to you after my extended discussion about the tenth chapter.
Tucked into the guidance about honest business dealings, the dangers of pride, the value of righteousness, hypocrisy, wisdom (of course!), giving, and the eternal worthlessness of riches, we find this immeasurable treasure:
"Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." (Proverbs 11:14, NKJV)
The advice here is simple. Don't go it alone. Whether the adventure you're embarking on is for business or personal reasons, seek the advice of people you trust.
Sadly, the scrapheap of history -- and if you're willing to admit it, your life (unless you are blessed with perfect judgment) -- is littered with the refuse of bad decisions. From the very beginning in the garden, where a man and woman ignored the counsel of God Himself through the modern era, we see the dreadful results of bad decisions.
If we were to explore just the most infamous ("Infamous is when you're MORE than famous") blunders in history, we would see that the people who made the mistakes never lacked access to counsel. In fact, in many cases there were plenty of counselors, but the decision makers chose not to accept the guidance. The refusal to heed advice can be just as dangerous as not asking for counsel in the first place.
Here's something else to think about. Counsel is a two-way street; it involves a giver (or givers) and a reciever. If you care about somebody, you must be willing to offer honest and thoughtful counsel.
It can be an intimidating experience, especially if the person you're offering advice to is not open to it. However, if you have something meaningful to share, it is your duty to at least try to share it, whether or not the other person receives it. Who knows, maybe you've been delivered to this precise time to alter an otherwise disastrous event. Give it your best shot and move on unless you're invited to discuss it further.
In a nutshell, don't approach problems in a vacuum. Instead, seek wise counsel and consider the advice with prayer, and an open heart and mind.
Likewise, if you come upon an opportunity to provide counsel, consider the situation carefully and prayerfully, and then offer honest advice whether or not it jibes with the recipient's preconceived solutions.
When it comes to counsel, be willing to openly receive and give it.