How To Be An Expert

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As a coach and as someone who has worked as a manger of a business and several departments, there is this common notion that in order to be successful you have to make yourself an expert in your field.  That is to say that for me to be successful, I have to be an expert on training people to get the results they want from training and in the field of business or team management.

So how does one become an expert in their desired field?  How do you become the voice and the man or woman that people seek out.  It probably is not as difficult as you think.

First and foremost be yourself.  You can read all the books out there that deal with success.  You can read blogs like this one, but find a way to incorporate the ideas that resonate with you into your own unique voice.  You are not me, you are not Gary V, or Simon Sinek, but if you believe in their principles and philosophies learn how to give them your own voice.  Learn how to incorporate their principles into your overall process and goals.  No matter what else you do with the rest of the items put on this list, if you cannot be true to yourself, then you will be setting yourself up to fail.

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A close second is stick with what you know.  This is especially true if you are a coach or a trainer.  If you know how to get someone the results they want using nothing but pushups, situps, and pullups.  Then focus on getting them those results using only those elements.  You can grow on your own and then implement those elements as you get better, but stick with what is getting the results your clients need.  The same holds true with running a business.  If you motivate your team by getting out there on the floor, rolling up your sleeves and putting in the work, then do that.  Don’t try to make yourself into someone people are afraid of, if that is not you.  If you are not a hard nosed, take no prisoner type, then do not try to make that your leadership style.  Stick with the style of leadership you know.

The third piece of advice ties in nicely with item number two and that is never stop learning.  Even as you grow into being an expert in your field, you had better never think that you know it all.  There is always someone who knows more or can shed some lights on the areas where you are weak.  When we stop moving and allow ourselves to become stagnant, others pass us by.  No matter what we do or what we are trying to be a expert in, there is always a need to better ourselves.  There is always a need to take time to focus on ourselves.  If we get better, than we are better able to lead and serve our clients or teams.  Through doing this, you also set the example for anyone who might be watching you on your team.  When you are constantly pushing, constantly getting better, then they know that you care!

Another critical piece of becoming an expert and admitting you make mistakes.  In this day and age of political correctness, please pardon the term, but if we desire to be known as the best and an expert then it is imperative that we “man up” to mistakes and then share the lessons we learned from them.  We cannot simply sit back and act like we have always been perfect.  Becoming an expert means embracing the good and the bad.  Telling the story about how one time, we pushed someone a little too hard and that caused us to watch closer.  Owning our mistakes means that we are concerned about growing and being better.  It means that we are in the game and not just a bystander on the sidelines.

The final piece of advice, I would give to anyone looking to be the expert in their area, is no matter what…have fun!  Enjoy what it is you are doing.  If you don’t care about training methodologies or helping people live healthier lives, then do not try to be that expert.  If you don’t care about helping others to be leaders, then get out of that space.  Find what it is that you enjoy and grow in that space.  When it stops being fun, give yourself a gut check before you quit though.  There are hard days, there are bad days, there are days where quitting is easy, but make sure that you are doing it because you have truly lost the desire to be there.  You can find your fun again.

These five pieces are just a starting point.  A bonus sixth, don’t be afraid to share your gifts and knowledge.  If you have such a passion about what you do that you cannot even think about keeping that information in, then you are probably on the right path.  Enjoy what you do, strive to always be better, and share your knowledge with the world.  You will get there in no time!