I wouldn’t say I’m a know-it-all, but I often have difficulty asking for help, preferring to research and find things out for myself. This isn’t always the best way to find out the correct information. (Do as I say, not as I do I guess?)
We live in a world where information is easily accessible, to the point of misinformation being passed off as true and accurate. There are flashy headlines that we read, instead of getting the details. So much of the information we gather is superficial in this “information age”, how do you tell it all apart?
Sure, do your research. Find out the basics, compare different sources and then dig deeper into that with a trusted expert. Write down specific questions and information that will help to inform your questions.
Find people who you trust to know what they’re talking about, bring your research (if you have any) and ask them your questions. This can be anything from financial or health, to parenting or business. These professionals will know how to take all the information available and present to you only what applies to your unique situation. You get to skip deciphering if your rash looks like the one in the photo on WebMD, or if you should be saving money the way that Gail Vaz Oxlade says in her book published 10 years ago. Ask about certain areas or items that you’ve read about and how they might pertain to your individual situation. The expert you’re talking to will be able to not only help you to further understand the ins and outs of that research, but also relate how it affects you directly.
You want to make sure that expert can provide you information in writing or record your session so that you can reference the material in future, compare to other research, and most importantly remember the details and nuances that they’ve just explained to you.
When consulting a professional or expert in a field, remember that if they can’t explain something to you in a way that you understand, keep asking for more. They may not know your level of understanding and if you don’t tell them you need further information, they don’t know. However, if they can’t explain to you without using industry jargon or in a way that you can understand, especially after you’ve already asked them to break it down further, they may not understand it all themselves. Either way, they’re not the expert for you, and that’s okay.
Remember that there’s no such thing as a “stupid question”, so ask away and get the information that you need to make informed decisions in your life.
An independent financial planner since 2006, Jennifer Wallace has developed a process of goal-based planning where she works with individuals, small business owners, and their families to develop and implement a financial plan for their long-term and sustainable financial independence. In 2011, Jennifer expanded her business services to include planning for entrepreneurs and business owners with everything from increasing sales to operations management… and a little bit of WordPress web design.
As organizer of the Growing Women Entrepreneurs (GWEn) Conference, Jennifer is able to further support the success of entrepreneurs by presenting professional development through events, and networking opportunities.
Passionate about her community, Jennifer dedicates her time outside of working with her clients to supporting not-for-profits and the arts. She spends time volunteering on the Board of Gillian’s Place, a local women’s shelter, as well as on the Board of the St. Catharines Downtown Association assisting member downtown businesses. Her community and business leadership has been recognized through a municipal and provincial volunteer award, nomination as a young professional and Entrepreneur of the Year in the Niagara business community, and as a recipient of the 2014 40 Under Forty award.