There’s no question that it’s always helpful to, “know a guy or gal.” Sometimes we need an expert to help solve a problem, open a door, connect us to an opportunity, or give us a perspective based on their experience. It’s useful, and it also has to be used carefully.
Knowing “somebody” isn’t the same as knowing “somebody qualified.” The fact is that all kinds of people are willing to give ideas or share their experience, but unless their experience is materially similar to yours, or their experience has a clear analog to what you’re facing, you may be getting well-intended but misguided information.
We believe that “who you know” is important in business, and that’s why we’d encourage you to ask yourself a few quick questions before you start taking someone’s guidance, feedback or opinions to seriously. Ask yourself:
- Have they dealt with my situation before?
- Do they actually have depth of experience with this circumstance?
- What’s motivating their advice?
- Can they link how the idea they’re sharing connects directly to the result you’re after?
There’s a great quote that says, “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” What that tells us is that, whether we’re getting ideas from family members, friends, business associates or professionals, we need to look for concrete examples that are relevant.
We based our business on the recognition that, if it’s “who you know” that matters, let’s be those people who our clients know that can truly help them. You have too much at stake to do otherwise.