Are You An Expert At What You Do?

By: Jennifer Tribe

One of the most common refrains I hear from people is, "I can’t create information products…I’m not an expert!"

Yet what is expertise?

Many organizations have tried to pin down the exact criteria that make an expert. They talk about university degrees earned and awards won and how much you’re quoted in the newspaper. But I think there’s a much simpler way to look at it.

Can you teach another person something they didn’t know? Is that something of value to the person?

That’s the only form of expertise you need to be worried about to create information products that enrich the world.

The Road of Knowledge There will always be someone else – at least one more person, maybe several more – ahead of you on your road to knowledge. They will know more than you do.

Don’t sweat it. Instead, realize that those people are your teachers and mentors.

There are also people behind you on the road to knowledge – and you are their teacher and mentor. They can learn from you. You don’t have to know every last thing there is to know about a topic to offer them helpful information.

Your fifth grade teacher didn’t know everything there was to know about mathematics, but he or she was still able to teach you math.

Did you ever say to your math teacher, "You know nothing about string theory! How can you teach me long division?" Of course not.

The knowledge he or she had was perfectly suited to your needs at the time. There was value in what your teacher could share with you despite the fact that it wasn’t the be all and end all of math.

In fact, if it had been the be all and end all, the information would have been useless to you. You weren’t ready for all that. You were ready for long division.

It’s the same with information products. There are students at different levels of study. For every level, there is a teacher needed.

Don’t stay quiet, thinking you have nothing to offer because someone else has more. There is room in the world for more than one teacher on any given topic. In fact, there has to be. Who has the time or energy to reach 6 billion people all on their own?

If you’re going to wait until you’re the acknowledged grand poobah and supreme expert in the universe, you will never create an information product. You’ll be waiting forever. And all the knowledge you do have will be lost to the world. Who Are You Not To Shine? Do you still question what you have to offer? Perhaps these words from Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return To Love, will help.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure... We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?... Your playing small doesn’t serve the world."

Remember those words anytime you find yourself thinking, "Who am I to write a book about this?" or "What makes me think I can create a tape set about that?"

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world! It doesn’t help the people behind you on the road. Don’t hide. Don’t wait. Share what you know.

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