August 19, 2009
More and more I’m witnessing a dangerous trend – the one where suddenly, due to the vast amount of information found on the Internet, everyone seems to be an expert at everything! I remember a friend once told me to “beware of the Internet – it lies!” Well, he was a bit overly dramatic, but he did make a good point in his efforts to try and save me from what he thought was certain disaster. At the risk of sounding just as dramatic, let me explain what I mean…
I often receive requests from clients saying something to the effect of, “so-and-so told me that I should be doing (blank) so can you please change (blank) for me right away”. The “blank” can be anything from SEO to newsletters to website copy or design to email addresses and more. What concerns me is where is this advice coming from? Is it coming from a proven expert in that field or is it someone who read something on the Internet and are simply sharing what they heard? I fear it is the latter more often than not.
Who are you listening to when it comes to important business decisions? I realize that we all want to make it big in business and we often feel we don’t have the knowledge to do this so we tend to listen to others to seek guidance.
But think about this for a moment. Who are you trusting your business decisions with? Ask yourself an important question before acting on the advice you receive: Is this person trained in this field or is this simply their personal opinion?
With anything, we must be cautious of all the information that is available to us out there – especially when it comes to website and eBusiness related topics. There are many people that feel because they have read a book or done some on-line research that they are now educated enough to be advising others on certain marketing and business practices.
I’m not saying to disregard these people – many have great intentions of wanting to help and can be a great sounding board for ideas and there are also great experts in their field that can offer valuable business insight. However, there are also many that have been misled themselves and could be giving incorrect advice and there are also many that have intentions of wanting you to buy their product or service and will tell you anything to sell you on what they think they know!
For those well-intentioned souls, unless they are experts in the field they are giving advice on, what they are telling you is simply their personal opinion that was derived from an unknown source which may or may not be what is best for your specific situation. The latter scenario is more obvious but it’s often hard to detect their level of expertise due to them being a smooth talker and skilled at targeting your vulnerable state of not knowing what you don’t know! How easily we can be fooled into buying into a well told story when we have nothing to compare it to or be able to gauge whether this person really knows what they are talking about.
The bottom line is to be careful on who you get your knowledge from. There are a lot of “know it alls” and “experts” out there that either don’t really know the bigger picture and may give inappropriate advice or they are just trying to make a fast buck and really don’t have the proof that their system works.
Seek knowledge from those that are educated and/or experienced in that field and can offer proof of their expertise. When you think about it, you wouldn’t be asking your mechanic for medical advice nor would you be asking your coach for legal advice! When it comes to making business decisions, trust those that are knowledgeable and have experience in relation to the information you seek.
The next time a friend, family member, business associate or even your gardener gives you their personal opinion on how to run your business, remember to do your proper due diligence by researching the information you are given and see what the experts have to say before jumping to make changes that may or may not be in your best interest. The same applies for buying into the tele-seminars, e-systems and weekend long workshops that cost thousands of dollars – make sure these offerings can show proof of their success before making that investment. At the end of the day, you are the one responsible for your own success so do what feels right for you (yes, use that intuition of yours!) and be careful on who you take advice from!
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About the Author: Susan Friesen uses her heart-centered principles in running a successful service-centric website development and eMarketing firm in Canada. Her passion is helping entrepreneurs and business owners build a successful on-line presence and enjoys being a part of their on-ongoing support team. Find out more at www.eVisionMedia.ca. Get biz tips and inspiration by following her on Twitter!