What makes someone an “expert”?
How much they know, how much schooling they’ve had?
How much experience they have underneath their belt?
Is it the amount of years they’ve put in?
Is it that they know everyone and everything in their industry and field?
…are they reliable, open-minded, flexible, and honest even when they don’t know something they should? We think of experts as people always knowing or having the answers. And years of experience, schooling and regular training can gain expertise, but an expert isn’t a walking encyclopedia waiting to be opened and flipped through. It isn’t someone who knows all and has done all.
An expert is wise. Wise enough to listen, wise enough to try and wise enough to learn. Someone we may consider an expert probably won’t have all the answers, but they’ll know where to find them. They may not have all the resources, but they’ll know where to look. And they may not have decades of experience, but they’re not afraid to learn. We have to begin to unwrap our heads around this rigid concept of an “expert”. Or “guru”. Or “know-it-all”. They’re limiting. They’re fixed and unchanging. Everything being in business isn’t.
Many of us are experts and don’t even know it. We’ve held on to this belief that we have to have so many years of dues paid to experience and training that we ignore what knowledge base we’ve already accumulated — what lessons and failures we’ve already learned from. Once we’ve mastered something — we got it down to a science of our own, no matter how long or short it took us to learn, we’re now an expert in it. We may not have the degrees hanging on the walls or dozens plaques with our names on it, but we’re still experts.
Better yet, we’re masters. We go about our plans, doing what we need to do as successfully as we can so we can do it over and over again. And when things need to change — when plans need to be altered — we adapt, master and move on.