Back when I was working in the corporate world, I was asked to manage a type of project that I’d never managed before. Being the ambitious, career-driven guy in my early 30’s, I quickly said out loud, “Bring it on!”
Then I went back to my cubicle and said, “How in the hell am I going to do this?” I didn’t know anything about managing that type of project. So, I called up a mentor of mine and told her I had no idea how I was going to do this! She said, “You’ll be fine. You know more than you know.” I know more than I know? What does that mean? What I ultimately figured out (after hanging up the phone, wondering what the hell kind of advice that was) was that all I needed to do was to apply the basics that I already knew well.
This reminds me of one of the biggest things I’ve learned about being an expert. You know more than you know. You know so much about a topic that most of it just seems like common sense to you.
BUT IT’S NOT COMMON SENSE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD!
What you take for granted every day as part of your job, business, or whatever you do, could be life-changing for someone else. They have no idea what the first step is to prepare a tax return, sew a shirt, cook a healthy meal, or open an ice cream shop.
That’s why we have to constantly remember that we are EXPERTS! If everyone knew what we know, we wouldn’t be experts!
Here is an idea to get you started. For your area of expertise, type a search into the Internet like:
“most important thing about…”
“First step to…”
Fill in your area of expertise where the elipses are. You’ll probably get a bunch of results! What that means is that it’s not common sense.
Congratulations! I hereby appoint you an expert! Yay!
Now, here is the interesting thing. If you look at those google search results, you will probably see things you don’t agree with. Wow, now you have a way to differentiate yourself! You are the expert who does’t agree with some common point!
Do you think you have to agree with the common consensus on your area of expertise? Hell no! In fact, I hope you don’t! I hope you have something unique to say about it. Having a unique way to talk about your expertise is a great way to get your name out there AND build credibility.
Experts don’t agree with each other and that is what make them unique. Nobody is right or wrong, they just have different viewpoints. If yo udon’t believe that, just watch the news! They frequently have two experts who offer different viewpoints on a subject. It gets them ratings.
So, no more worrying that you don’t know enough. Go be an expert. Tell me in the comments below what you are an expert on!