I’ve donated more money to the driving range than I’d like to admit.
You see, growing up I was told in order to improve or perform something at a high level, the best thing to do was practice. In the context of aspiring to break triple digits on the links, I thought hitting the range and swinging until my hands bleed was the right approach. Sigh.
The distinct memory of those blisters isn’t why I now cringe at that approach. I cringe because I realize I could have used my time much more effectively. When you want to get results faster than you can teach yourself, the best thing to do is seek advice from an expert. In the instance above, I should have taken a lesson with a golf-pro. Would this have required an up-front investment? Absolutely, but by calibrating my practice with their insight and instruction, I would have saved myself hours of time, enjoyed the fruits of improvement earlier, and maybe even spent less money in the long run.
This notion of expediting results by calling upon experts applies to anything. We can teach ourselves anything, but in order to get results at the fastest pace, we must call upon those who have keen insight into how to achieve them effectively. This belief is why my career thesis for young people is that you should figure out what you want to get good at, find best person at that discipline, and figure out a way to go work for them.
Where Can I Find An Expert?
Your personal network is a great first place to begin your search for an expert: it’s amazing how many people we already know and trust can help us achieve our goals. But where do you go once you’ve exhausted your network? What happens when your family and friends have never accomplished what you’ve set out to achieve?
Enter a novel service called Clarity.fm. Clarity provides direct access to a network of over 9,000 battle-tested entrepreneurs and experts who make themselves available for phone calls to provide advice. Whether we’re talking about legal advice, content marketing, or raising capital, site members have the ability to request a phone call with a host of impressive experts who’ve gone before them.
I use Clarity because I want to accelerate my results and progress. Think about it—you could spend an entire day reading about how to get your company covered in a popular publication. Taking this approach can be attractive because you wouldn’t have to pay anything, but all that dithering can come at a pretty high opportunity cost.
An alternative approach is to find someone who’s accomplished exactly what you’ve set out to achieve, not only to gain an understanding of how they’ve done it, but also glean insight into how to approach it in your own scenario. From an efficiency standpoint, there’s no question the latter appears to be the optimal strategy.
I recently caught up with Omar Baig, Founder and CEO of Physician Nexus, who frequently calls upon Clarity to grow his business. This is what he said about the service:
“What Clarity is doing is leapfrogging the learning process. Nothing I’ve come across in terms of how to learn to accomplish something quickly and effectively compares to clarity. It removes all friction from getting the knowledge and feedback you’re looking for”
I never really thought about how much friction there is to receiving expert advice outside your network until Omar brought this to my attention.
Think about how you’d try to connect with a top expert outside your network today. You might approach this by going a conference or event where you knew they would be speaking, but there’s a great deal of friction here: you’d have to spend time traveling; it’s uncertain whether this person’s talk is going to be relevant to you; there will likely be 10 people vying for their attention following their presentation, which makes getting their direct insight within the context of your situation challenging. Seems like a lot of uncertainty for that much effort.
What about trying to engage experts through online networking like twitter or blog comments? If you’re targeting a busy person, it might require weeks if not months of relationship building before you can convince someone to carve out time to connect directly with you. The fastest way to learn and enhance your performance with anything is to leverage the knowledge and experience of experts. Your personal network and Clarity.fm are two great places to start.
Where resources do you use to find expert advice?