Deborah Hill Cone writes here specifically about financial journalists. The gist of her piece is that financial journalists are, en masse, the last people anyone should listen to for advice. The thought being that if you’re a savvy and successful investor, you’re unlikely to be still meeting deadlines and under the stress that journalism is.

To paraphrase (and mix metaphors in the process) he piece, “If you can’t do teach” or in this case “If you can’t do, write about it”.

Of course she’s right/write. The majority of so-called experts around the place, be it in business, IT, real estate etc – make more money from selling their advice than they do from taking it. It’s why I’ve always been dubious about the “10 secrets to commercial property investment” type seminars and books.

So who do we listen to? Those that are doing it. In the business world steer clear of business advisers who aren’t actually in business. Similarly I’m incredulous at the number of people holding themselves up as gurus in corporate governance who don’t understand the basic premise of the business.

Bottom line – if you’re talking about something, you need to come from a history of understanding. That’s my take anyway….. (made more personally relevant due to my exposure to a chap who tends to be a self processed expert on…. well pretty much anything and everything)

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Ben said…
    In the business world steer clear of business advisers who aren’t actually in business.

    Absolutely correct here Ben. There are advisers everywhere these days. I have a friend who goes to a life coach for advise on life in general, and she has to pay a huge amount of money monthly. I told her that life coaches are spewing out meaningless random sentences similar to the techniques used by psychics known as cold-reading.

  • I’m still trying to figure out if those glasses have been cleverly applied by some photoshop exponent …

    BTW Falafulu Fisi, nobody is forcing your friend – as you imply – to pay anybody anything (apart from taxes, rates, etc. of course). Life coaches are like lawyers – some good, some bad, some terrible. To tar them all with the same brush is surely a folly.

    Mentors are a type of life-coach. Many successful people have had mentors or similar who have helped guide them through life. Would you have the same views of mentors? No offense … just interested.

  • Robin

    Some good points – I act as a business mentor but from a perspective of being in business not as a self styled specialist with no active involvement

    Horses for courses

  • sorry Ben the irony is too much…! – just what is the difference between a voracious blogger and a journalist.. ?? methinks the pot is calling the kettle black :o)

  • Ouch Grant – and no I have to disagree. I’d like to think that I don’t blog about anything that I don’t have some degree of expertise in. I’m not against advice per se but rather against the advice of those who are in no position to give it…..

  • um… don’t journalists get paid (or at least try to)? and have to meet deadlines? and get marginalised by editorial directive (get edited / told what to say)?

    so, while bloggers might gain income as an aside, they do tend to set their own deadlines and pretty much say what they want, don’t they?

    of course, there are exceptions emerging with paid bloggers etc., but that’s just corporate PR and / or old-school journalism trying to muscle in on “the new channel” isn’t it?

    guess i’m with ben on this one, then…

  • Thanks Tom – nice to have your support! Stay tuned

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