Friday, December 15, 2017

What Makes You an Expert?

May 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Pick My Brain

If you have listened to any marketers lately, you most likely were given the advice to establish yourself as an expert in the field. Write articles and books and blogs and whatever else you can think of that confirms you are, indeed, an expert, and find sources that you can just make your own. Sound easy enough?

So, what does it mean to be an expert in your field?

The definition of an expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source whose knowledge or ability is based on research, experience, and occupation in a particular area of study. An expert has knowledge above that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially and legally rely upon the individual’s opinion.

In my opinion, experts have a great deal of knowledge regarding their subject and personal experience behind what they are saying. I believe there is a passion and determination in this person to know absolutely everything they can in their field. In many cases, what a person has chosen to do is a perfect fit to their personality and based on something in their past that sparked their interest originally.

All the suggestions from the marketers are well and good and are a necessary part of building ones business and brand. Being seen and heard and getting people to talk about you can help your business tremendously. But is it ethical to call yourself an expert, or is it a marketing technique to sell your wares?

There are a lot of people out there with a lot of experience and a lot to offer. There are also a lot of people out there who have no business doing what they are doing.

Years of experience on the job doesn’t necessarily make you an expert. You could have been physically present at a facility but not be truly engaged or have gone on to continue your education. Multiple degrees and certifications do not necessarily make you an expert if you have no natural ability for what you are doing.

As a consumer, you have to be very careful to educate yourself when choosing whom you work with. You want to find people who are truly honest about their qualities and their knowledge. Not everyone can do everything and it would be beneficial to all of us if people would take a good look at themselves. What are your strengths and weaknesses?  Build on the strengths and allow others to handle the things you are weak at.

The decision to call yourself an expert requires you to take a personal evaluation and a degree of ethics. It might be helpful to ask a respected peer to help you with this evaluation.

Take a look at:

  • How much valuable education do you have?
  • Does your field require license/certification and do you have the appropriate documentation?
  • How much time and experience have you got under your belt? Have you put in your 10,000 hours?
  • Have you done enough continuing education?
  • Have you presented to an audience of qualified and educated listeners?
  • Have you been recognized by your peers and have a sound reputation?
  • Do you have a specialty?
  • Do you have your own innate thought process by which you can make quick and accurate recommendations?

Due to our changing world, there are new careers emerging all the time. Careers most people don’t quite understand yet and are skeptical of. Be open to these, as they are developing to fill a general need. When choosing individuals to work with, be sure that they have a good reputation and can show value in what they are offering. These experts got to this place because it was a natural fit and something brought them there. They are people who carefully moved forward in their careers and not people who woke up one day and decided they would do something different and teach themselves how to do it.

The internet is a wonderful source of information and should be used carefully to educate yourself on various topics that are affecting your life today. But, you may still need that person of value to give you peace of mind.

A true expert has knowledge, experience, passion and a willingness to help others attain their goals while respecting their own limitations.

Ilona Horvath House

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