By Brad Thomason, CPA
Conferring with an expert is a good thing to do if you have a complex task ahead of you. In a second I’ll give you the top three reasons why.
But before I do, to reiterate the theme of the last couple of posts, let me tell you what an expert can’t do.
Experts can’t predict the future. They can’t tell you how everything is going to play out. Not because they aren’t actual experts. But because, in addition to being experts, they’re also human beings. Who can’t predict the future.
Just to be perfectly clear, I’m telling you so you won’t make the mistake of asking one to do so. Big distraction, huge waste of time, sets impossible expectations, creates tension and disappointment on both sides. So you know, don’t do it, OK?
What then can an expert do for you? Here are my top three favorites:
1. Save you time. Information that you might spend hours (or days, or weeks…) searching for may be top-of-mind-stuff for someone who works in a particular field every day.
2.Foot guidance. As in, they can tell you to put your foot here and not there. Ounce of prevention.
3.Clean-up on Aisle Three. When things don’t go as hoped, perhaps because you ignored the suggestion on where to put your foot, having an expert on hand for Plan B can be a wonderful thing. When you turn around and ask, “What do we do now?” it’s pleasant to have that question fielded by someone with an answer that’s better than, “I dunno.” Pound of cure. Pounds of cure, in some cases.
So short and sweet. Big fan of experts (which shouldn’t surprise you…). Think you should use them (ahem, us) for any number of things.
But don’t ask us to predict the future. That’s not a service we can provided. We can often tell you what’s likely, how things may play out if the situation breaks left instead of right, and what to do about it if you have to reload and try again. But we can’t predict the future.
And by the way, if you find yourself in conversation with someone suggesting that he/she can, then follow your instincts and remain open to the probability that maybe that person is actually not much of an expert, after all. A true expert should know better, even while understanding how badly you want to be told otherwise.
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