I want you to think about the people in your industry who are perceived as leaders and experts.
Why do you perceive them as experts?
Are they the most qualified? Not necessarily. Do they make the most money? Maybe, but not always. Do they have the best looking website? Definitely not.
I perceive people to be experts based on whether they teach or not.
On January 6th, 2007 Jason Fried, co-author of Rework and co-founder of 37signals (the company that brings you BaseCamp, HighRise, and CampFire) wrote a post titled, “What’s your cookbook?” Here’s an excerpt:
“How does a chef break big and become a household name? One of the best ways is to release a cookbook or have a big cooking show on TV. Mario Batali, Julia Child, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Rick Bayless…These chefs give away their recipes, their secrets. They say “This is how I do it and you can do it too. Don’t worry, it’s not hard, just follow along.” These chefs have built empires by making their knowledge available to the public…
The best chefs in the world aren’t worried you’re going to steal their recipes and make a profit. They are simply teaching what they know.
Teach what you know before your followers become more engaged with someone else who does.
It’s easy to sabotage yourself.
I hear it over and over, “Who would buy a book from me anyway, I’m not an expert.”
That is simply not true. There is always someone, a group of someones, that have not reached the skill level you’re at now. You say you’re a beginner, but to the person just starting you are a wealth of information.
In most cases, the people we perceive to be experts are not really experts in the traditional sense. They aren’t necessarily the most qualified in their field or hold any special certifications.
Somewhere along their journey they transitioned from learning to doing to teaching.
But, who gave them permission to make this transition?
No one gave them permission. They didn’t need permission and you don’t either.
You may consider yourself a beginner but to the person that has yet to begin you seem like an expert.
Think about where you are right now in your journey. Did you start a blog recently? Did you get a raise or pass a certification exam? Did you recently learn how to do something for the first time? Wherever you are on your journey, there will ALWAYS be someone that has not started their journey at all.
Put yourself in the shoes of someone just starting out. It shouldn’t be difficult because you were recently in the same place. Your first step was to learn as much as you could.
Do you think a newbie would relate better with you (someone who recently overcame the same obstacles they are confronting now), or an industry veteran who has been at the top of the food chain for 15 years?
In the beginning it’s especially overwhelming because there is endless amounts of content to sift through. As you find sites with teachers giving away the most free information you bookmark it for later.
When I teach through blogging I think about the bookmark. Will this content earn me a place in my reader’s bookmarks? If it’s not bookmark-worthy then it’s not worth my time to write it.
Teach the nooks and crannies
Not only will the beginner relate better with you, but you also can provide detailed instructions for the little nooks and crannies and stumbling points that someone who already went through them 15 years ago would never remember.
The best time to start teaching is when you begin learning something for the first time. As your skills develop so will your audience. Early on you can recognize pieces of information your brain recently acquired. The factoids that didn’t exist in your mind 10 seconds ago. Sometimes you get an ”Ah ha!” moment of enlightenment. These may seem like small, trivial bits of information at the time, but don’t be fooled and take them for granted. It probably took you some time to search, find, and read the article that taught you this new information. When this happens to you, stop what you’re doing. Write down the things you just learned. Expand on it later. Perhaps include a few more tidbits you learn from four different sites. Accompany these tidbits with your experience and a good story to drive the points home, and you just became a teacher.
If you’re concerned that you won’t have enough readers or customers because you’re not expert enough, you should think again. There are more beginners looking for information than experts trying to teach it. There will always be someone new looking for information.
Listen to what’s happening in your industry. Hear the questions being asked. Understand the common problems and obstacles people face in your industry. Then write a blog post or a chapter in a book to answer the questions.
Some of the most talented people in the world never get noticed or the attention they deserve because they never started teaching. Whoever said ‘’those who can’t do, teach” was full of sh*t.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be the author of a book? Well, what’s holding you back?