Good Advice…Where is it?
Finding good advice for a small business has never been easy. If you are like me, you have found more and more that the easy information available via the “worldwide waste of time” (the Internet) is mostly useless. Yes, you MAY find factual advice, but truth alone is not necessarily good advice.
With the explosion of instant / pseudo experts receiving large remuneration for pushing specific products on the myriad of media and communications outlets, the foremost problem becomes separating the valid information from the hype.
Not only do you need to research the credentials of every expert, but you also need to assure that your expert really is an expert? I have no problem with advice from an expert with a vested interest, as long as I know about that vested interest and how it might affect the advice.
So, how easy is it to become an instant expert? Just read and comprehend a summary of a book on the subject of the wanted expertise. Now you are an expert!
What follows is a list that I have compiled and summarized from multiple sources (including many books) on how one can become an instant expert:
Read and comprehend multiple books on the subject.
Read and comprehend trade newsletters on the subject.
Join a trade organization(s) associated with the subject.
Write an article for publication in a trade publication. Even if the trade publication does not accept your article, you can, as I have seen many pseudo experts state “As submitted to <trade publication name goes here>.”
It is very important to remember that multiple best selling authors have only made money selling books and not from the concepts they espouse in their books.
Successful, long-term, real-world experience is the most reliable measure of a good expert. The best experts are still involved in their area of expertise in some manner, in order to keep up with the latest developments. My personal opinion is that if the expert is not currently active in their area of expertise—Stay Away!
The hardest part of finding good advice is determining what fits your needs. No matter how much good advice you receive, you must accept the fact that there are certain things that you will never be able to do well.
For instance, even though I am able to play the piano, I know that I will never be a concert pianist. Does that make me feel inferior? No! It would just be stupid for me to spend hours, days, weeks, months, and years attempting to do something that I will only be able to do marginally at best…Given my abilities. Although motivation will help me with the use of my abilities, it is very important to remember that motivation will not improve or increase my abilities.
Good advice that fits your needs can make your weaknesses into strengths. When you are involved in a small business it is very important to have general knowledge in many areas about many things. You can expand your knowledge base by constantly reading voraciously in a wide variety of subject areas, but it is also important to get to know your limitations…accept them, get advice and get help where you truly need it and quickly move on.
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