What are you an expert in?
Does having letters after your name make you an expert in something? In theory, yes. It means you have some sort of certification that allows you to be an expert. Take my nephew as an example. He has an M.Eng – a masters in engineering – and, if you ask him if he is an expert, his answer is: “Technically, probably in something.” Full disclosure, he is sitting next to me as we ride the SkyTrain so I can show him how to get to his new job – his first real job. But the letters after your name are not the only thing that determines if you are an expert.
What makes an expert?
In my world, an expert is being five steps in front of those behind you. This definition comes from my mentor, Dov Baron, as well as many others.
Sometimes education makes us an expert, sometimes it is life experience or a combination of both.
I bring this up this week because I did a workshop and one of the participants wants to empower women like her – women who are from the same cultural background, who are settling for what they have been conditioned to. She told me she needed to build her business and be successful before she could do it. When I asked why. She told me that one of the business mentors said she needed the credibility of a successful business so the women would listen to her.
Who do you need to tell you that YOU are an expert?
This hit me hard. She needed a successful business to be an expert. Forget about the fact that she is going against cultural norms by even starting her own business or that she gave up a good, comfortable government job, for which her family actually had a party for her when she got it, to pursue her dream of changing women’s lives.
She is afraid of what people will think. She doesn’t have a lot of confidence yet, but it is coming. When she talks about it, you can see the emotion in her eyes. She is an expert; she is leading her charge in the world. Also, for those who are in a job that they are supposed to be really happy about but it is soul-sucking, she is the expert on how to get out.
She doesn’t know what is yet to come with her business or her cause, but she will figure it out and continue to be those five steps ahead of those women that come behind her.
Now it’s time for you to look at YOUR life
So what are you an expert in? If I ask this question, I usually get blank stares until we start digging. Where are you five steps ahead of those following you? This is where the sweet spot is and you are the expert, baby!
If you wish to connect with me and explore further what makes you an expert, click here.