OK, I have to share my thoughts on something here...
I received the email below today. It came from a source that I often receive mailings from, usually upbeat in nature with a 'powertalk' kind of vibe. Not today....today, it got my hackles up. If you'd like to know why, read on...
"The economy continues to dishearten many, but I'm noticing a trend. Have you noticed that the "experts" are weathering the storm a little better? I'm talking about all the people they're putting on television to help us sort through this and make sense of the world and how we can best cope in these trying times. You've probably noticed almost ALL of these people are AUTHORS -- they've written books, so they're considered experts who can appear on the media, charge $10,000-$50,000 per one hour speech, hold their own seminars, be life and business coaches, etc. (He goes on to pump an upcoming event where you, too, can discover his secrets, buy his book, and launch your own media empire.)
Remember: Bad economies are GOOD for experts. The fact is people need and trust experts more in dark times than good times. They need advice and coaching. They need hope. They need someone to point the way. They need YOU. Learn how to get your book published and get your story out to the world. Join me at this event. This is the best time ever to be an expert, so I hope to see you there. More info below."
My first thought was 'oh, give me a break'. And the second thought to blaze a trail through my brain was 'Hmmnn, this 'expert' thing... I need to talk about this on my blog.
And that brings me to you, my dear readers.
You see, I firmly believe that YOU are the experts on your own businesseses.
No one else knows the ins and outs, ups and downs, daily details and future plans of your business. No one else is as devoted to it - or to its success - as you are. Additionally, you are in business for a reason, and your customers look to you to be the expert they are in need of -the expert of scrapbooking, or wine, or antiques and home decor - whatever your specialty is, your customers expect to walk into your store and find expertise there.
So although there are definitely people who can help you build a better business - with, for example, your visual merchandising or your store environment! - they are not more important to your business, your success, and your ability to thrive and prosper in a difficult economic climate than YOU are. Anyone who says so is just sellin' you something.
Yes, I am an expert. A retail expert. A visual expert. A decorating expert. A business expert. I know my stuff and my creativity, knowledge & experience are a great benefit to my clients. But I'm not the be-all and end-all, trust me. Neither is anyone else - even if they claim to be. Even Mr. 'Recession-Proof' who sent me that email. It made me a little mad, to be honest!
As for those experts charging 10 to 50K to speak for an hour.... yeah, well, they need to realize that businesses are cutting budgets for consultants, events, and speakers, and if they truly want to make an impact - instead of just a buck - they need to adjust those fees so that those people who 'need and want them' can afford them. It's not about fleecing people who are experiencing hard times. Without the right attitude, I wonder just how long his business will remain 'recession-proof'?
Off my soapbox....