There is no shortage of people telling others what to do – the bad thing is that too many of those who give advice with good intentions have no clue what they are talking about. How many of those people do you know? Or, are you one of them? Here are two real examples (I don’t have to make these up!):
1). Professional A has 50+ years life-experience. He’s held a number of good jobs but never really achieved senior leadership/management positions. He gets let go due to corporate downsizing and can’t find other full-time employment. He attends several motivational seminars and decides to start a small marketing business. He has as a low fee structure and few clients. He cannot live off revenue generated so he begins to offer to teach others how to become better public speakers. He is not a good public speaker himself, nor even considered Toastmasters,and he’s not able to pass his first-level qualification. He has noble intentions yet he cannot teach and coach others in what he does not know.
2). Student B has 40+ years life experience and holds bachelor and master degrees. She has never done a real research study in her prior school work or in her career field. She has never read the governing books and manuals, despite the fact that they are required reading. She decides to start giving advice to other students on how they should do their research projects, not realizing her advice and guidance is wrong. Again, we see good intentions but no self- awareness.
No doubt, many of us need help from others to guide, teach, coach, mentor us in what we don’t know. But please be careful who you listen to, as those speaking may mean well but cannot accurately provide the needed guidance. If you are going to contract with anyone for any reason, ask for references and check them out. If you are doing your own research project, please don’t take advice from someone who hasn’t done one or is in the same process as you are.
And be self-aware. We need to know when we should and should not try to help others. Sometimes it is best that we not add anything, or if asked and we don’t know the answer, be honest. However, if you know someone who does know, refer the person to them. If you are not wise enough to know the difference, all I can say is I hope you don’t mess someone up too badly or take their money haphazardly.
Who are you doing business with? Check their Better Business Bureau standing!
Before you invest in a person or a business, do yourself aBIG favor: check their status with the Better Business Bureau at http://www.bbb.org.
The Better Business Bureau has a graded ranking system. There can be many reasons for a business not having a rating of “A” and should not necessarily be ruled out for having a lesser rating, but at least you will have the information and can decide for yourself if you want to proceed with them.
Before you invest, do your research and make an informed decision!