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Posts published by “Chris Martin”

How Much Would You Have Paid for Good Advice?

Chris Martin 0

In my first two posts, I looked at what makes a good Sage and when or why you might want to pay for Sage advice.  Today, a story about a time I needed advice and how not getting that advice cost me time and money. Literally, years of my life and more than six figures.  This example is personal, and I think it reflects the kind of major life choice that people face.  When your first plan hasn’t worked out and you must pivot to something new, how do you decide the best course of action? “How do you weigh your options during your biggest life fork in the road?” When we met, my wife and I were both teaching ballroom dancing while pursuing careers in musical theater.  After we married, we moved to NYC to pursue that dream.  Fast forward seven years, and now we have a son approaching his third birthday.  Though we focused on auditioning, taking classes, and doing shows, we both had “day” jobs. I was managing and teaching at a ballroom dance studio, and my wife taught English at Berlitz. We had a small rent-controlled apartment on W49th street between 9th and 10th avenue. We loved everything about our life, with one exception: the cost of living. Living in Manhattan was simply too expensive for the three of us. Every year the rent went up, and our income remained about the same. I started juggling balances on credit cards. I’d apply for a new credit card…

Why Spend Money for Advice Online? Everyone is Giving It Away Free!

Chris Martin 0

Note: This is the second in a series of posts about I have a good friend who spent the summer gutting and re-tiling a shower in his house. He spent dozens, if not a hundred, hours of research and work, buying new tools and all the supplies.  For him, doing the work with his own hands was worth the time and money he spent. Sure, he could have paid someone else to do the work in a weekend or two, but he’d rather do it himself! Recently I asked him if it was worth all that work, time, and money? He said he had no regrets, but “Now that I know how much work it was, I might have been better off hiring someone.” How much is your time worth? Everyone has a different threshold for the value of their time, but everyone puts SOME value on it.  There are online calculators to help you figure out a ballpark number. When you’re considering spending your hard-earned cash consulting a Sage, this is the balance you’re trying to find. Will spending money now on expert advice save you money in the long run?  If you have a problem that you could research in 40 hours, how much money would you be willing to spend to just get an answer?  How much do you earn in a week?  How much would you pay to save a work-weeks’ worth of free time? As easy as that? If only it were as easy…

What makes a good Sage?

Chris Martin 1

When you need an expert opinion, where do you turn?  How do you know who has the expertise to provide insight into your situation? Is book-learning more relevant, or do you need someone with hands-on, real-world experience? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to these questions because of the diversity of problems that would benefit from expertise.  Think about the last time you needed help with a problem – where did you turn?  A friend?  Google or YouTube? Did you go to the library and do research? How much work did you do to verify that the sources you were looking at had the expertise you need? The fundamental problem with finding an expert on the internet is trust. It is all too easy to find an opinion on the internet but figuring out the motives and reliability of opinions – not so much.  Crowdsourcing sites have been trying to help solve this problem for a while now. The idea being that more people commenting on something will tend to get closer to an accurate answer. “The wisdom of crowds.” Search engines use algorithms to evaluate the way sites link to each other, with the theory being that the sites with the most links are the most reliable. As you could deduce, an entirely new industry has evolved around gaming these algorithms.  This makes large, established brands easy to find online.  For smaller, more niche experts and subject matters, finding someone you can trust can be daunting. On the internet, nobody…