How to Be An Expert

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Scenario: "Dude, I'm already the expert in my industry. I've learned everything. Now, it's time to make some $$$. High-five!" When some crazy dude goes up to you telling you how to run your business -- acting like he's some juiced-up entrepreneurial expert with degrees off the heezy, you know he's lying. Why? The greatest experts in the world think they're still stoopid:

  • "We're light years away from learning everything."
  • "We're just getting started. There's so much more."
  • "We'll continually perfect our craft everyday."

What distinguishes experts from poseurs?

  1. One group thinks they've learned everything.
  2. One group thinks they're still stoopid.

And yet, the latter group continually kicks the former's mutha-!@^^%^ ass all-day-everyday . By realizing that you don't know every minute detail about your craft, you prime yourself for grand performance.

"Me?! Can I really be an expert?!"

Some good and bad news for you:

  • The good news: Yes, you can you sexy biatch.
  • The bad news: It'll take decades until you're long-gone.

People mistake "experts" as those born with unique talents. They think:

  • "Tiger Woods was meant to play golf."
  • "Michael Jordan was born to play basketball."
  • "Albert Einstein was meant to be a genius."
  • "Abraham Lincoln was born to be a great leader."

Boo-frickin-hoo! Those rock stars, if they hadn't (1) worked on their craft, (2) perfected their craft, and (3) continually improved their craft each-day-all-day-everyday, they would've been ordinary Schmoes selling rims to used Pintos. You, amigo/a, can be a rock star in what you do, too.

Wanna Be An Expert at Your Craft?

The ingredients:

1. Expertise takes decades.

Compare (1) an entrepreneur who built 9058029532 companies, and told you that he'd make billions in each one, and (2) someone who built one company, and stuck with it. The latter probably kicked the former's ass; Superior performance takes empowering your expertise over the long-term. According to recent research by three researchers Ericsson, Prietula, and Cokely:

The journey to truly superior performance is neither for the faint of heart nor for the impatient. The development of genuine expertise requires struggle, sacrifice, and honest, often painful self-assessment. There are no shortcuts. It will take you at least a decade to achieve expertise.

2. Expertise takes improving your expertise, daily.

Push, strain, blast yourself into learning something new that improves your expertise. According to the research study:

You will need to invest that time wisely, by engaging in 'deliberate' practice'practice that focuses on tasks beyond your current level of competence and comfort.

If you're gunning to be a fantastic Italian cook, don't be afraid to pick up a psychology book to learn how people perceive experiences. The secret to those experts: They dramatically boost their expertise by integrating external contexts to their own.

3. Expertise takes self-guidance.

"Experts continually analyzed what they did wrong, adjusted their techniques, and worked arduously to correct their errors."

You're the master of your own domain. You know your motivations, passions, weaknesses, and strengths better than your beautiful mama. Being your own coach drives you to seek consistent feedback to soar like the big-bad-flying-mutha-!@^^% eagle that you were meant to be.

Expertise takes surrounding yourself with smarter peeps.

You might think you're hot sh!t, but an outside expert will tell you differently. We're all biased into how great we think we are, that we blind ourselves from the realities of how much we suck. An expert feedback dude/tte will keep yourself in check before you wreck yourself.

"Where does the road end?"

It's a big-giant-freakish path that takes decades until that dirt nap. Drucker, Einstein, Edison, Gandhi, Ford, Disney, and Hewlett continually perfected their crafts until the end. Tiger's still perfecting his golf swing. Mariah's still hitting the studios. Steve's still innovating with the iPhone. Spielberg's still dreaming.

Be. Sexy. Learn. Forever.


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Posted on June 28

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