Think You're Smart in Business? Watch 'Jeopardy'

Article excerpt

You think you're smart? Many of us who consider ourselves "successful" entrepreneurs think we're pretty smart; we know an awful lot about a lot of things, sometimes to our own detriment. One cure when you start believing your own press clippings: watch Jeopardy.

I will guarantee you that you won't answer most of the questions correctly most of the time.

Try one. Alex Trebek says the category is Geography: "In 1893, the British established the Durand Line between these two countries." Sorry, someone beat you to the buzzer.

So what's my point? In business, knowing what we know isn't good enough today. We need to increasingly be cognizant of what others' with whom we are aligned know, as well as what we don't know, in order to be successful, and to be able to act upon that knowledge quickly. In the "new world order" we find ourselves operating in, the need to know has never been more important. How can you stay "in the know"?

Social networking provides an efficient two-way mechanism for your business to interact with its customers and other stakeholders on a regular basis and to help identify issues and trends that may affect your business before it's too late.

Should you invest in social networking to help grow your small- to mid-size business? Most experts say the key to success in this arena is to focus on the specific networks that are a strategic fit for your business, versus the shiny new social network of the moment.

Is that Facebook, MySpace, Google Plus, LinkedIn? I don't know, but there are a few basic principles to follow in determining which venue is right for your company.

Before you make a significant investment, you need to be sure your company's target audience is active on that particular venue. …