I Speak, Therefore I’m an Expert
There are a lot of people who want to give you advice. Many will offer valuable insight but many others have no right to give you, or really anyone else, guidance. To twist a common phrase, they subscribe to the idea that “I speak, therefore I’m an expert.” It’s like the out of work whatever suddenly becomes a consultant to the industry they just left. They were probably let go from their previous job, but they’ll tell you they left to pursue other opportunities. They’ll regurgitate cliches such as “turn the impossible into the possible” or use what I call dumb quotes like “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”
How many coaches, advisors, consultants, or experts are really just trying to invent a pedigree? If a business coach’s only business experience is coaching, then how can they help you navigate the intricacies of what it’s really like to negotiate a lease, manage cash flow in the early months of a new business, or later sell a business?
Taking a course in coaching or becoming a certified leadership guru means nothing unless their background and life experience give them insight that you can’t get out of a book.
Speaking of books, how many authors churn out e-books and don’t know what they’re talking about and don’t treat the reader with enough respect to actually proof read let alone get professional editing? A fellow self-published author and I once traded books. As I attempted to read their book I was shocked at the basic mistakes such as lists (three reasons for x) that stopped short at only two, with no mention of the third item. That is disrespectful to the reader and simply sloppy work.
This rant was prompted by an update I saw on an acquaintances profile saying they were part of some consulting group with a fancy, executive style name that I won’t mention out of respect. My only thought was: Really? Wouldn’t you need to have been part of the executive level if you’re going to advise them? Wouldn’t you have had to rise up a bit higher than middle management?
I’ve said it before, I’m a nobody. If you’re reading this you’re probably here by accident (I’m glad you found me though) but I’m a nobody with real accomplishments and real lessons that I can share, not just a story of someone I knew who had a friend who owned a business.
As I plan my what next, coaching is a possibility but it’s a decision I have to consider carefully because I’d hate to be lumped in with people who are only experts because they alone have deemed themselves experts. They are thought leaders without an original thought and very little leadership experience. Where did this phrase thought leader come from, anyway? I’d prefer a do leader. I’d rather a person does something than thinks about it.