How to Really Become a Remarkable Expert and Grow Your Business

Author : , Date : February 15, 2016

Listen to the blog:

Download this episode (right click and save)

 

 

How to Really Become a Remarkable Expert and Grow Your BusinessThey say you can become anything you want to be if you work hard enough and if you have the talent; that includes becoming a remarkable expert.

But is that true?

Absolutely it’s true!

It’s a known fact that established experts have great businesses that are highly successful and profitable.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in manufacturing or retail.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a service provider or if you’re a coach or consultant.

It used to be that experts were easy to spot. They were defined by the degrees and accolades hanging on the wall, the number of New York Times Best-Selling Books they wrote, the places they were invited to speak at or by the sheer and overwhelming success of their business.

Today it’s not so easy.

Anyone can build a website, populate fans on social media or create content that makes them appear to be an expert.

A few years ago I met a number of people who appeared to be experts. They had a lot of talent. But what they didn’t have was the experience one could point back to over-and-over again.

But to listen to them, you would never know it.

You would think they are on top of the world!

I know because I was that person. I was the one who had to be an “expert” in my field because I told myself that people only buy experts, or so I thought.

I was that guy who was not always truthful with myself for the sake of the sale, and it ended up hurting me and my business.

But, over time I overcame my own limitations, fears and insecurities and learned how to grow into a business owner who really cared about my prospects and customers and worked hard every single day to learn, fail, grow and do it again.

Across the web, in webinars, and in presentations across the country I hear “experts” say time and again; “If you want to sell more you’re going to have to become an expert!”

But wait a minute… how do you become an expert?

Should you even become an expert?

What is an expert?

Just because you have a successful blog, strong social media presence or some other social validation doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re an expert.

You may have a $1 million or $50 million dollar company but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an expert.

In the short video above and in the rest of this article I am going to share with you the secret to becoming an expert… well it really isn’t a secret.

It is a true statement that if you can position yourself as an expert in the marketplace that you can make a great living. You may even become a celebrity in your industry.

But, before you believe all the hype, let’s determine what an expert is and what it takes to become one.

 

What is an Expert?

 

According to business dictionary.com, an expert is defined as a:

 

 

“Professional who has acquired knowledge and skills through study and practice over the years, in a particular field or subject, to the extent that his or her opinion may be helpful in fact finding, problem solving, or understanding of a situation.”

 

 

Being an expert in your industry or field is not about how good you are at something or how smart you are; it’s about how you take what you know, learn more, and develop your skills and talents, and overcome challenges and adversity through experience over time.

One is not an expert because they made money overnight or they built a massive, instant following on social media.

That’s just one small piece of it.

Experts are in the business of continually learning, over time and then taking what they learn and executing it.

Then they repeat it.

As one emerges as an expert they experience many failures and those failures will teach them more than any successes ever will.

In the end, an expert is someone who can take his or her education, training and experiences and uses them to teach someone else. Over time, they learn what to do and what not do and they help others who benefit from those learning moments and experiences.

Experts have the ability to understand real problems because they have seen and experienced the same problems over time.

 

 

 

Experts think instinctively and they have a unique way of understanding people, complex problems and issues and they can quickly communicate it back in a simple form that can be received by all.

It’s a developed skill. It’s an earned skill. It’s an intentional skill.

Becoming an expert is more about the preparation and development of one’s skills.

In an interview in 2010, Tom Brady talked about the importance of the team developing their skills and being ready and at the top of their game:

 

“We only have one time a week, 3 hours a week, and everything is a build-up for that time (meaning the game). If you’re less than best in those three hours it’s a pretty crappy week. I think you have to put that pressure on yourself in practice because it just doesn’t magically come together… oh don’t worry I’ll flip that switch. It don’t work like that.”

 

If you’re going to be an expert, if you’re going to be at the top of your game, you must be prepared to put in the time to:

 

  • Be competitive and not willing to settle or be complacent.
  • Continually learn… you will never have it all figured out.
  • Get coached up… it’s easy to get into bad habits and get sloppy.
  • Push yourself… if you’re not willing to put in the time someone else will.
  • Be patient… experience and wisdom comes with time.

 

If you find that you’re not there yet, then you’re not yet an expert.

That’s okay!

It’s a lie to believe you have to be an expert to be successful. No one starts as there and no one expects you to be something you are not.

Don’t put that pressure on yourself and don’t believe the lie that for you to be a success you have to be an expert today.

Experts are developed and created over time.

 

Why are So Many Falling Into the Trap of “Instant” Expert Status?

 

If it’s true that experts are developed and created over time, why are so many playing the “fake it till you make it” game?

It’s a very dangerous thing to do and if you get caught doing it not only will you be exposed; you will likely pay a very steep price for it.

There are three primary reasons in my opinion why so many are falling into the trap of “instant” expert status.

 

Reason #1 – Lack of a Consistent and Relevant Message

 

Remarkable experts all have one thing in common – a remarkable message.

Your message communicated over-and-over again creates competency, and competency is the reason that people follow experts and buy from them.

Those who don’t have a clear, relevant, powerful message will never become experts.

Why?

What makes an expert an expert is their ability to articulate based on their ability to solve a problem or understand a situation; and the recognition by the audience that they understand what business you are “really” in.

When developing a message you dive deeper into your business and develop competency with the audience through discovering:

 

  1. The “specific” problems you are passionate about solving.
  2. Tangible values your customers experience and how do they feel about the experience.
  3. The “specific” problems you solve for each tangible value.
  4. Who are you “specifically” solving each problem for (in detail)?
  5. How are your products or services are “a” part of “a” solution?

 

Your message is at the very heart of becoming an expert. If you have not defined your message I can guarantee that you will never become an expert.

If your audience doesn’t understand your areas of expertise because you are all over the place in your message and communication then they will never recognize you as an authority.

Below, I will offer you a way you can learn more about messaging and how you can start the process of getting clear about the business you are “really” in.

 

Reason #2 – Insecurity and Fear

 

The second reason is because of your own deep insecurities and fears about being able to market, sell and grow your business.

You probably feel that your prospects want to buy from someone who is established and has a track record.

The truth is that most of your prospects don’t care.

I had to learn that lesson for the first several years in business when I started back in 2005.

It was my hang-up.

It was my problem.

It was not my prospect’s issue until I made it one for them.

What your prospects care about is can you communicate to them that you understand their problems, needs, wants or desires and can you give it to them.

They just want to know that you are competent.

Anything beyond that is a bonus.

Will it matter to some people if you’re not an expert?

That depends on how well you’ve created your message and how well you can back it up with action. There will always be people who want and are willing to pay for someone who is tried and tested.

If they don’t want to hire you then it’s not your problem. It just means that right now you’re not ready for them, but you are for someone else.

Don’t let your fears and insecurities get in the way of growing your business.

Confidence is built by doing what’s right over-and-over again. If you are honest with yourself you will build an incredible company based on what’s real over what is not.

You will never lose sleep wondering what your prospects or customers think and feel, and you’ll never have to worry about being exposed as a fraud.

A good conscious is great for business!

 

Reason #3 – They Believe What “Supposed” Experts Say Who are Taking Advantage of Them

 

You read it right… if someone is saying they can help you become an expert tomorrow if you will take their course or if you hire them for coaching I believe strongly that you are being taken advantage of.

Any time you take the initiative to get help it’s part of a necessary process. But just because someone taught you something wonderful and you learned something really valuable, it doesn’t mean you’re suddenly an expert.

It just means you’re more equipped to help your customers than you were before.

Again, becoming an expert takes time and experience in conjunction with what you learn.

Experts who claim you can become an instant expert aren’t being honest with you in my opinion. They don’t have your best interest at heart.

 

Pulling It All Together

 

What is an expert?

I’m going back to our original working definition:

 

“Professional who has acquired knowledge and skills through study and practice over the years, in a particular field or subject, to the extent that his or her opinion may be helpful in fact finding, problem solving, or understanding of a situation.”

 

If you really want to become an expert you can and you should become one!

What an expert really does is prepare themselves over time through experience to make a difference in the world in the best way they can.

Experts aren’t experts because they say they are experts.

They are experts because they made such a huge difference that others said they are experts.

The audience backs up the “expert” status through high social validation and more importantly validating the expert financially by spending their money.

While you may not be an expert today, it doesn’t mean you can’t be one in the future.

But for that to happen it will require the following:

 

  1. Discover what business you’re “really” in and create a relevant, unique and dynamic message for your audience.
  2. Take the pressure off of yourself to be an expert.
  3. Focus on those who are able, willing and ready to hire you.
  4. Become a great networker.
  5. Earn the validation over time of becoming an expert.

 

Becoming a remarkable expert is a function of clarity, and clarity is communicated through a consistent and relevant message.

Are you ready to begin the process of becoming an expert?

Are you ready to gain the clarity you need to become another remarkable expert?

 

If so, click here and learn why you should create a message that will change your business forever!

 

In addition, you can also get a FREE copy of my highly popular eBook titled “The Shift – Making the Fast Paced Transition from Mass Marketing to Context Marketing.”

In total, over 1,500 of your peers have the read this book.

Be sure to get it while it’s still free!

 

Click here or on the image to get your free copy today.

 

get-your-copy-of-the-shift

 

 

Do you have a thought, comment or question? If so, please share below in the comments section. I want to hear from you and engage with you!

 


 

Where I contributed this week:

 

Don Purdum on Business to CommunityI’m extremely excited to share that my first article was posted over the weekend on Business2Community.com. Please check out my article titled “How to Attract Your Prospects and Make Them Care” and throw a little support towards my first post there.

 

 

I contributed to SuccessfulBlogging.com in a round-up titled “110 Top Bloggers And Entrepreneurs Share Their Most Successful Social Media Action” – I’m #2 on the list so please check it out as well.

 

Over the next several weeks there will be numerous other articles and contributions where I will be featured. I look forward to sharing them.

 

Where I was Mentioned Last Week

 

Thanks for mentioning me Todd Worley in your post titled “5 Facebook Groups Every Blogger Should Join

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
BEFORE COMMENTING We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Links are not allowed in the comment and they will be removed. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here

24 thoughts on “How to Really Become a Remarkable Expert and Grow Your Business

  1. Hey Don,

    Great post here.

    I think everybody’s an expert in their own mind. They just have to develop the confidence to truly and fully display their expertise.

    Your second point regarding fear, is so accurate. I know a lot of times a lot of people including myself have certain insecurities about things and clients don’t care. It’s not their issue. They just want whatever service you’re providing to them done me done right.

    Experience trumps all.

    – Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I think you’re right! LOL… Or, at least they believe they have to present themselves as something they are not in order to get what they want.

      That’s a recipe for disaster.

      You nailed it, there insecurities and fears are not ours. If we focus on being ourselves, honest with them in the process and just be secure in who we are and where we want to be.

      Great comment Andrew!
      ~ Don

  2. Hey Don,

    I remember that old cliche “Fake It Until You Make It”

    Having this mentality will leave you stagnant. It does take time to become an expert. You never stop learning and experiencing when it comes to building your home business and blog.

    #2 resignated well with me. When i first started in IT, I can remember when me and one of my teachers was applying for the same job. I told him I was applying for the same position, he snickered and pretty much told me I didn’t have a chance. But I also believed that he wasn’t going to get the position either because it seemed like he had no experience or a lot of knowledge judging by the way he taught. Eventually I found the right job for me which was the perfect fit and I didn’t have to be someone that I wasn’t to get it.

    This holds true with your business and blog. You will be able to resonate with someone out there. You may not have 10 years under your belt as far as experience, but there’s always someone that will be able to relate to you and what you promote. That’s key and it shows competence in and of itself.

    Thanks for sharing Don! Have a great week!

    1. Hi Sherman,

      I’m so sorry, I somehow missed your comment and I’m getting back to you late…

      Fake it till you make it… what a scam. Why lie should I lie to myself and create a false narrative and extremely bad mental habits.

      There is still a way to be genuine and honest with ourselves and others while we are in the early days of building our businesses or desiring that next stage of growth.

      Congrats to you… your story is a great illustration. It’s not about my insecurities, it’s about my relevance to my audience.

      Thanks so much for your great comment Sherman and again, my apologies for not getting back to you sooner.

      ~ Don

  3. Hello from Thailamd Don,
    As someone who really does want to make a difference in the world you have now given me my next challenge – to become and exoert in my field.

    However, to me becoming an expert is going to take lots of time and effort so in the interim I am going to focus on being as competent as I can as well as having a focus on my engagment skills.

    A critical partof the process for me is the point you made about focusing on those prospects who are ready to accept you for what you are right now and then for me to earn my validation as an expert over a period of time.

    That right there was the biggest takeaway for me and something that removed the stress of associated with achieivng an expert status.

    Many thanks for sharing as always your skills and knowlege Don – greatly appreciated.

    Best wishes from the remote Thai village blogger come expert over time!

    Peter

    1. Hi Peter,

      I’m excited I could present you a challenge! That’s always my goal for my readers. Pushing us all one specific article at a time towards clarity and excellence.

      Time is our friend and yet many of us treat it likes it our doom. Patience is the ultimate key to success so long as we are patient for the right things.

      Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I was in DC from Thursday morning through Saturday night attending networking events and leading an all-day bootcamp.

      I hope you have an awesome week Peter!

      ~ Don

  4. Hi Don,

    I love what you said about how the “fake it till you make it” can be a dangerous game.

    I think a lot of us chase these titles and statuses for marketing purposes. It’s too bad too because I’ve seen some “experts” succeed without a standard of care – while others have genuine wisdom to share, but may not be quite so savvy.

    What you’re promoting here is balance, and this is what we need more of.
    Sure, it’s great to be damn good at what you do. Competent and able to deliver value. But when we get caught up in the name itself, it’s really nothing more than an empty need of the human ego.

    See, I would consider you an expert in your field not only because you’ve practiced your craft (and yes, it’s a craft) for a while to the point of establishing a well-rounded sense of what you know and have to offer…

    …but in addition to that, you’ve taken the time to CARE about others. It’s obvious. Yes, you know your stuff, but you actually want to see others succeed as well.

    You’re like a crock pot. That’s what makes a true expert. That perfect combination of maturity, knowledge and CARE – all in good time.

    1. Hi Dana,

      Fake it till you make it… what a dangerous game. Not just cause you can get caught but because you are lying to yourself; and that’s always a dangerous thing to do.

      It creates bad habits and extreme vulnerabilities.

      Balance is exactly what I promoting in this article. I’m so delighted that you caught that.

      Sorry I didn’t respond sooner. I was in DC from Thursday morning through Saturday night at networking events and leading an all-day bootcamp on Saturday.

      Hope you have a great week Dana!

      ~ Don

  5. Hi Don,

    I completely agree with you, to truly be an “expert” it’s
    important to put time in and continue learning about your craft.

    I love what you pointed out about being patient, I think
    that’s an important one to remember!

    Thanks,

    Sue

    1. Hi Sue,

      So many want to be something they are not ready for. I know I’ve been there. I would tell myself that if “I’m just perceived as this I can get that…”

      One of the problems is when is it enough? When do you arrive?

      I think the important thing is to continually master or crafts and work at becoming the best. If we do that, the audience will define us if we’ve created the message well enough for them to do that.

      Thanks so much Sue for stopping by. Sorry I didn’t stop by sooner. I was in DC from Thursday morning through Saturday night at various networking events and leading a bootcamp all-day Saturday.

      Have a great week Sue!

      ~ Don

  6. Hi Don,

    Excellent. #2 is the expert slayer. Seriously, those fearful, insecure energies cut out your business at the knees.

    If someone visits my blog and sees where I’ve been they may perceive that I know what I’m talking ’bout. Through my content and thru some spots where I’ve been featured. Really, rooting out the fearful, unclear, “I am a total freaking fraud” energies allowed me to pop up on those sites, to write in my voice, to be authentic, and to not care about people’s opinions of me, and how I lived my life.

    One brilliant quote I read recently, from Rika Zimmerman: “Perfectionism is protectionism.” That perfectionist attitude many aspiring authorities take is almost always rooted in #2, that overpowering fear, that insecurity, that belief that, in fact, they could never be an authority or expert.

    Gotta get clear and gotta root out that fear to be more of who you really are and to become an authority in your business niche.

    Fab post Don, and fun video on Facebook too, about being desperate and rushing around…..super creative 😉

    Ryan

    1. Hi Ryan,

      My apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I was in DC Thursday through Saturday night and it has been an insane few days, all in a good way of course. I actually blogged about it today.

      With that said, I love the quote you shared by Rika. There is no such thing as being perfect. Number one, we all have to agree on what perfect is… That by itself will throw out perfectionism.

      But even if we could all agree, then we would be paralyzed and nothing would ever get done!

      But, as long as we are clear we can step out it boldness and confidence!

      I’m glad you liked that video. That was the one I shot when I first got down to DC on Thursday. Talk about a rat race… geesh. LOL…

      Have an awesome week Ryan. I’ll be by your blog soon.

      ~ Don

  7. Hi Don,

    It’s great that you’re writing about this topic – right up my alley!

    My two cents worth:

    If someone is in sales, it’s not that important to be an expert. In fact, some experts are too top heavy with knowledge to be truly effective as sales people.

    Actually, I recall a funny definition of an expert – an ex is a has-been, and a spurt is a big drip. ha ha

    But seriously……

    A long time ago I sold insurance. I became quite competent at it without seeing myself as an expert. From time to time I would encounter a business owner who had a more complex requirement. I couldn’t handle the complexity, so I brought in an expert. The expert was a technical wizard who dazzled a wet around the ears young guy like me.

    Nevertheless, the sale was made by me. No way was I going to let that drone sabotage my sale with all his technical mumbo jumbo! (The prospect’s eyes invariably glazed over towards the end of the interview.)

    On the other hand, you and I know there is an Army of people out here who are what we might call non-sales types. They have a lot of knowledge about a topic that the marketplace may find valuable. So how do these folk convert their knowledge and expertise into a significant income stream?

    Well, it’s a big question that requires a multi-faceted response. But to keep it simple, in my humble opinion, they need to do the things you are already talking about – testimonials, case histories, creating valuable content, run a blog (with engagement), active in social media, public speaking gigs, offline networking events, etc.

    If they don’t have case histories and testimonials they should take on just one client for free (or almost free), do the work and build a compelling narrative around the customer’s results.

    Don, I love what you’re doing. You’re a catalyst for change – a change agent. People should talk to you!

    Kim

    1. Hi Kim,

      Excellent point about people in sales vs experts. I am, however, referring to entrepreneurs and business owners and in my opinion if they want to go that direction it can only help their business for a variety of reasons.

      Great story Kim, I wouldn’t let the drone near my sale either.

      It’s funny because I was sharing in the thread below how a number of business people have positioned themselves as experts and had phenomenal success. Just to name a few I was thinking of people like Mari Smith, John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Michael Gerber, Robert Kiyosaki, Neil Patel, Gary Vanderchuk and Jim Collins.

      There are even people like Jack Welch (the former CEO who turned GE around in the 80’s) or Lee Iacocca (who turned around Chrylser).

      Your methods are exactly the prescribed way to do it, but again in meeting my definition it has to be someone who has not just the methods but also the experience and wisdom.

      I always love it when you come by Kim! You’re a wealth of wisdom.

      Have an awesome week Kim!!!

      ~ Don

  8. Hi Don,

    The term expert is to take lightly. What I mean is that true “experts” in anything are kind of rare, because some people are not even true expert in their own field to start with.

    As I’m saying this I’m thinking of doctors for example. An honest doctor will tell you that in fact they still know very little about diseases and how to body may reacts to certain things. So what they are saying is that while people may consider them as “experts” in the medicine field, they still have lots to learn.

    I like that phrase of Einstein that Donna mentioned, the more you learn about physics the more you realize how little you know about it.

    This said, to me an expert is someone who has been through stuff, as in been there and done that. Again to take doctors as an example. An expert in cancer would be the person who’s had the cancer and came out alive, not the healthy doctor that suggested treatments for them.

    Now, let’s take cats, a subject I know well. You are going to read books about cats behaviors, but from experience I know that, just like people, we can’t define any singular cat by so called cat behaviors. Why? Because each cat is his own person, with his own set of particular behaviors of his own, just like people. I know that because I’ve spent decades with cats.

    Do something to a cat that likes it, and another may run away. “Experts” that write books about cats, rarely say that. So, that goes to tell you, the word expert is relative.

    I enjoyed the good read.

    ~Sylviane

    1. Hi Sylviane,

      Based on the working definition I used, your explaining exactly how a doctor is an expert. Being labeled an “expert” doesn’t mean one has arrived and knows it all.

      In fact, an expert is always learning, growing, staying on the cutting edge of their field. If they stop, they become someone who used to be an expert. The truth is that is going to happen.

      I said in the article; you are labeled an expert by others, not yourself. If you’re labeling yourself that too me is arrogance in the extreme.

      Also, it takes years to gain the experience, knowledge and wisdom to achieve that kind of status.

      The brilliance of Einstein and what made him an expert was that he realized what he didn’t know and yet he discovered and changed our world. Without him our world would have been very, very different. He changed it in a way that no one else could have!

      He met the definition that I outlined in the article.

      Can the definition be relative? Sure it can.

      Here is the thing for me… If someone aspires to do amazing things and help a lot of people I say good for them. If others label them an expert I say good for them.

      We shouldn’t run from the label just because some have given it a bad name or because we aren’t comfortable with it.

      Society needs experts because they make the world a better place.

      Thanks for sharing your views and opinions Sylviane. I value you deeply!!!!!

      Have an awesome week.

      ~ Don

  9. Hey Don,

    Thanks for the post!

    Personally, I don’t even want to be classed as an “expert” – not now, and probably not ever. The reason I don’t want to be classed as an expert is due to all the “experts” popping up all over the place, exactly as you described at the beginning of the post.

    What matters more to me is giving people useful information that helps them. I don’t need to be the best, or the guy “at the top” – I just want to write meaningful articles on topics that will help the people that take the time to read them.

    However, not everyone has the time to read every single blogger’s posts. Appearing as a “professional” (by which I literally mean you have a picture of yourself in a suit) can help, but you have to get the eyes on your page to show new readers you have good stuff to offer.

    Unfortunately that has backfired for me a couple of times, with people thinking I’m a pop-up “start your own business with just $10!!!” kind of expert… You can’t convince everyone otherwise, you can only try your best. Usually it goes over well, hopefully no one thinks poorly of me…

    I will never describe myself as an expert, but I would take it as a compliment to be called one; and I think that’s where the distinction is.

    Enjoyed the post, and I’ll subscribe for future posts!

    Keep up the good work,
    Tom

    1. Hi Tom,

      First, I want to thank you for leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts. It’s great to have you here on my site.

      I completely understand where you are coming from.

      As I said in the article; “Experts aren’t experts because they say they are experts. They are experts because they made such a huge difference that others said they are experts.”

      I would never tout myself as an expert either. To me that’s a bit too arrogant and brash. But, if others do it, what a compliment.

      I shared in Donna Merrill’s comment on this article that I believe the idea of being an expert has been unfairly and harshly frowned upon. LIke you affirmed, there are a lot of people masquerading out there.

      Yet, I find that in much of the offline world the concept of an “expert” is embraced, especially when it’s defined as tightly as I did in this article.

      For example the following would be considered experts: John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Michael Gerber, Robert Kiyosaki, Neil Patel, Gary Vanderchuk.. and many more.

      These folks have spent a lifetime learning, building their skills, failing and then teaching others. They meet the classical definition that I shared.

      That doesn’t mean that it’s for you or that it should be for you.

      But I what I would say is that if someone is spending their lives learning, growing, failing, overcoming and then sharing those experiences and wisdom then they are are likely sought out in lots of different ways.

      There are some amazing “experts” out there and if someone legitimately aspires to that then I say go for it!

      I appreciate your views Tom and I do hope to see you again very soon!

      Have a great week.

      ~ Don

  10. Hi Don,

    I’d have to say I kind of agree with Adrienne here.

    If you can help folks and improve their lives, you’re an expert to them. “Expert-ness” does not really exist as a static thing. It’s fluid and shifting and totally relative to the person you’re teaching something to.

    Michio Kaku is considered by most folks to be an “expert” in physics, yet I’ve heard him describe himself as being in his infancy as a physics student. Yet, to most of us, he is about as expert as you can get.

    Einstein said that the more he learned about physics, the more he realized how very little he knew about it.

    I never teach my students to become experts, but simply to learn to help improve lives.

    The problem, otherwise, is that they get overcome by that fear and doubt you talk about, and never think they’re good enough to move forward… even when I can see that they really are.

    Even the definition you’ve given here says that a person is an expert “to the extent” that he/she has acquired skills or knowledge that “may be helpful” to others… what I call “improving lives.”

    And as for growing your business, people want to solve their problems. I don’t think they care if you’re an “expert” or a “student” or anything else. If you demonstrate that you can help them solve their problems, they’re going to buy your products, hire you for consulting, and follow you wherever they can find you.

    So I guess I’m in the Adrienne camp here… I think.

    I guess I’m just altogether uncomfortable with the word “expert.” It’s too “loaded” with a wide variety of connotations.

    Hey this was fun. You’ve definitely challenged me to think a bit deeper into the whole concept of what it takes to be an expert.

    Thanks for that, my friend. I always find myself doing a bit of soul searching when I visit your blog.

    1. Hi Donna,

      I think that thanks to those who are pretending to be experts or those who have “burned” people online there is definitely an anti-expert bias out there. As you said, there are connations that some may not feel comfortable with.

      There is nothing wrong with that at all.

      I find that in much of the offline world the concept of an “expert” is embraced, especially when it’s defined as tightly as I did in this article.

      For example the following would be considered experts: John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Michael Gerber, Robert Kiyosaki, Neil Patel, Gary Vanderchuk.. and many more.

      These folks have spent a lifetime learning, building their skills, failing and then teaching others. They meet the classical definition that I shared.

      Also there is an important distinguisher I made… I would never say I’m the or an “expert”, but if others say I am because of what I’ve done for them I find that to be completely acceptable.

      Personally, I say if you believe you can achieve that level of success then go for it!!!

      Now, I agree with you 100% that one does not need or have to be an expert to make a difference, solve problems or grow your business.

      I definitely said that in the post.

      But there are some who have the drive, ambition and ability to achieve at great heights and personally I want to encourage that.

      I’m glad I could challenge you Donna and that you’re doing some soul searching. I am as well.

      Have a wonderful week!

      ~ Don

  11. Hey Don,

    I was always uncomfortable with the term expert only because I feel that in any given area we are always learning because things are always changing. Even those who are at the top of their game, although they definitely know their stuff, things are always evolving. For that reason alone I’ve been uncomfortable with that term.

    It’s like you said though, if we know enough to help that person who comes to us then we are an expert in their eyes. That’s all that matters IF we can help them. That is something that I definitely agree with.

    Thinking back over the people who I view as having expert status you’re right. They are very consistent with their messages, who they are and how they can help us. Those that are all over the place, well I’d be surprised if they’re doing good at all.

    It does take time because we have to get in the trenches and do the work ourselves. That’s why I’m very confident about what I do because I’ve done the work, I’ve gotten the results and I know how to help others do the same. They have to do the work though, I certainly can’t do it for them. Just like what Tom Brady said, you just have to keep practicing so when game day comes you’re giving it your best.

    I will continue to hone and improve my skills as well Don so that I can be the best I possibly be for my clients. Thanks for sharing this message and I hope you have a fabulous week.

    ~Adrienne

    1. Hi Adrienne,

      There is no question about it, you are one of the best and most honest “experts” I’ve ever met. You meet the definition of an expert to a tee that I quoted in the article.

      I actually think it’s good that you’re not comfortable with being labeled an expert. That’s one of the great things about you. Even though you are deeply respected and admired across the business blogging community you are one of us. You’re not above us; you’re beside us.

      Like you said, none of us have a hope of being an expert for long if we come to the conclusion we are done learning all there is to know.

      It is such a deep pleasure, joy and honor to work with you on so many different levels. You are one of a kind and you are an amazing person for your blog visitors, prospects and clients.

      Have a great week Adrienne!!!!

      ~ Don

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge