When I googled "expert" - the image below came up in the results(source:http://www.littlekendra.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Expert.png) and I thought it was fitting for this post.
How could I possibly know that the person who is claiming to be an expert wanting to 'share' their knowledge is really an expert that can help grow my business?There are tonnes of people online with their own businesses and websites who can create a polished look with templates or neat graphic design but really what's the gauge of whether they are succeeding in their business? How do you define a successful business? I've come across "experts" who clearly have personal pride in what they have created and their ability to talk as if they have/had a successful business but give me a 5 minute phone conversation with them, and it becomes clear that they are/ are not going to be a good resource. I am writing about this because for people just starting out who don't have the confidence nor experience yet with their own business, it's important to spend your time and money wisely on resources that are supposed to be helping you. I caution you, based on my own experience having met some fakers and wasting time and energy with them, to dig in as to what these self-professed experts are trying to teach you/ sell you. Did they actually ever achieve what they are claiming they can coach you to achieve? WHAT makes them an expert? As I share my Baby Wisp experience through this blog, I hope to get us talking about what works and what doesn't. As business people, we don't need to put down other people and their business choices to feel better about our own shortcomings. I sincerely hope that is not what my thoughts written down amount to. I write this blog to share insider scoops on baby wisp products with customers, provide and ask for business advice, gather feedback and hope to grow together with people who share similar goals and have advice from their own successful business in a positive manner. If you accidentally stumble upon an over-sharer's "Dear Diary" entry or a cruel rant then back out out of trouble before it's too late and you get sucked in to all the negativity. I've known some pretty strong mentors who have openly shared humourous stories of their failures with a lesson at the end that is helpful to apply to my own business. With that preamble- here's the low down of things I look for when considering hiring or taking advice from an "expert": 1. Measures of success deal with metrics that are tangible and sometimes intangible. Identify quickly whether they truly are an expert. Consider the Dragon's Den or Shark Tank investors - will they take a deal if they don't know the numbers? Should you? Whatever service or product you are looking for, ask for some tangible measures of their success and references. If they can't provide these and only deal in intangibles - get some references and check it out. Depending on what you are looking for - it may be time to move on politely. 2. If you meet a potential mentor or resource, consider their approach. Do they do most of the talking or the listening? The experts who have worked out for me, ALWAYS do most of the listening in the beginning to fully understand what I need from them and to understand who they are talking with before they begin their schpeel.
3. When the expert does begin to talk, are they ranting about negative experiences or discussing positive experiences? i.e. "My competitor <insert NAME here of a reputable company> did X to me, my last customer did X, life sucks, you know what really ticks me off " etc etc. RUN. You will inevitably be on their black list at some point and be named in some undesirable way, whether true or not- with no way to defend yourself without engaging this lunatic into a screaming match or worse, in today's business world: a social media nightmare. Do you want that? They are not only name dropping, they are using you as their Dear Diary and man is that unprofessional! RUN!!!! You'll work better with someone who shares their positive experiences with you and inspires you to greater heights rather than using you as somewhere to hang their dirty laundry.4. Are they selling you on their talents/ business proposition or are they using this opportunity to tell themselves how successful they feel they are. Do you have time to be a stranger's therapist? I don't. Let's deal in reality. Coaches learn from failures while whiners explain them away and blame other people. 5. Lastly, follow your gut. If you get a good vibe from this person, it's usually because they send out good vibes and something in your brain has kicked in the "hunch juice". They can substantiate their competence and make you feel good and pumped up to work with them. So pump up the jam, pump it up....:-) Did I miss anything?