It's a title that is so overused today that it's honestly lost its shine.
I remember attending a webinar from ClickBank several years ago about affiliate marketing. One thing they pushed was for people to call themselves experts.
"You don't need to know a lot to become an expert, but you need to position yourself as if you do know a lot. This is easy to do because all you need to do is know more information than the person who you are selling to."
I don't know about you, but I feel this is sleazy. And yet people present themselves like that.
It's why you see 20-year-olds claiming they're life coaches when they're still in university.
In the end, I feel what it really takes to become an expert has been lost over time. People have screwed up what being an expert actually means, let alone how to become one.
It's like the information on becoming an expert is in the same sense a game of telephone.
The message is getting screwed up along the way.
The only difference is that we know what the message actually was at the very end of the game.
With life, we don't even know the original sender.
The True Meaning Of An Expert
What does it take to be considered an expert?
For some, it's a matter of knowing more than other people. It's why people who work for ClickBank suggested what I quoted above. They believe it's all about knowledge.
But how long do you need to spend learning and practicing?
For many people, they consider 10,000 hours to be the benchmark: the difference between an expert and a nobody.
But even that is a little vague.
Bruce Lee famously said:
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
Already we run into a disconnection.
The reason being that spending 10,000 hours doing something means absolutely nothing if what you were doing was incorrect in the first place.
This suggests that you need to be doing something properly and continue to maintain that form throughout the process.
But again, there is more to an expert than simply being good at something.
You need to have a good mindset and overall qualities.
The people that suggested you only need to know more about something than someone else and focus only on selling them something is a pretty cheap tactic. Like I said, it's sleazy.
It can work, but it can easily backfire.
Why go out of your way to manipulate someone when you can simply upgrade your life?
It's why I think not only the practice is important but also what is going into the practice and how you are developing.
You need to be looking inwards - at yourself - in order to truly become an expert. This means having a good head on your shoulders.
To put those in specific actions consider these:
- Being knowledgeable and current.
- Get out and experience life and use your knowledge to analyze and grow from those experiences.
- Being able to adapt to change and accept it. Whether that is in your personal life or professional life.
- Having great judgement based on those qualities that you've honed over the years.
All of these things are challenging aspects. Experts aren't going to give you those handouts because so many don't understand the title that they're using.
Furthermore, they won't be aware of one other crucial aspect to all of this either.
The biggest quality is understanding why you want to be an expert in the first place.
Those who are the real experts and use that title know this already.
And the reason I know this is because being called an "expert" is a sort of status. You're an authority figure. And immediately people think what an expert looks like as opposed to what is needed to become one.
As such, people think that an expert is someone who wears a snappy suit and drives an expensive car. But that's not what it takes.
Because that belief is moot when you realize that anyone can take out a massive loan from a bank and buy an expensive car and a suit.
But real experts aren't like that.
As mentioned above, there are specific qualities that people have to go through in order to become one.
That's not to say an expert doesn't have that elite vibe. But they understood what it took to get there.
They understood why they wanted to pursue that elite lifestyle in the first place.
And I'll tell you it wasn't money.
Because if you look at any big name celebrity, entrepreneur, athlete, or someone who is making a lot of money and you'll find that most have a much different story than the glitz and glamour they enjoy today.
Look at most life stories of famous people and you'll hear them saying they grew up in poverty. They started companies in their parent basement or they dropped out of school.
These experts accepted the fact that in order to become first, they had to accept that they were in last for so long.
It's this foundation that they have created that allowed them to be seen as experts. And even then, I would not be surprised if they don't use that title either.
Because a title is subjective.
It doesn't define who we are and instead creates this divide.
Which is why so many people ruin themselves or go down a misguided path because they want to be an expert or think they are one already.
In the end, an expert is a title and what I've talked above is what it truly takes to be one.
The path is long and harsh and you'll learn many things from it.
And in the end, maybe you'll understand where I'm coming from more when I say:
"I don't want to be called an expert."