The Internet is loaded with "Expert" sites; places that offer answers, help, information, products, and services, recommended by someone who is supposed to have been there, done that, and got the proverbial t-shirt. There are lots of sites but only a few good ones. So just what is an expert?

A friend of mine says an "ex" is a has-been and a "spirt" is a drip under pressure. He doesn't think much of people who bill themselves as experts. To be serious about it, though, there are many good people with expertise born of experience, success, and failure. People who are willing to share what they know with others and help those who need it. The willingness to share, however, does not an expert make. Charging big bucks for the information or service is no guarantee the person on the delivery end of the deal really knows what they are doing either. The field is well populated with charlatans, frauds, and those who mean well but actually have wrong, and sometimes harmful, information.

Finding a true expert is a difficult task. So just how do you go about it. Well, one good way is to get real testimonials, not just the ones posted on the "expert" site, from real people you meet who have used the services of the "expert". Real, satisfied, customers are probably the best source of good information about real experts and the service they provide.

Of course you can't always find real testimonials. Sometimes you just have to rely on what the "expert" says about themselves. This is where the common sense test comes in. Another friend of mine says that common sense really isn't very common. That's true. You need to examine the advertising or website claims carefully. If things sound too good to be true then they probably are. There are good deals to be found, of course. There are tried and true methods of doing almost anything, but be wary of claims of "no work necessary" or "instant success". These things are almost never true and should be red flags.

When you do find an expert that can provide great help, information, or a service, you should provide them with an honest testimonial and tell your friends and business associates about them. Bad news spreads fast on it's own. You often need to work a little at spreading good news.