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You Can Quickly Become an Expert in Any Field

5/10/2016 Anant Goel & Alan Kyle Goel
It is a known fact that high sales producers make more money than others in the same field.

And why is that?

Research shows that high sales volume producers had the courage to approach prospects and were not afraid to have someone turn them down. And top producers had that "narrow and deep" expertise in their chosen field or professions.

What is expertise?

People who master an area of knowledge usually develop great confidence in their ability to perform tasks related to the field. That confidence normally projects an aura of trust which makes people inclined to do business with them.

You see the traits of courage, expertise and confidence in people who run billion dollar businesses, like the late Steve Jobs of Apple. I've seen the same traits in a man who fixes cars, a woman who does catering business, and the guy who fixed my laptop computer. They are good at what they do and they know it.

How can I quickly become an expert in any field?

First, let’s clearly understand what you’re saying….

Quick:  is a relative term and it depends on the hard work you put-in.
 
Expertise: is another relative term and it depends on how passionate you are about the task and how well you have learned to perform it.

Any Field: is another relative term. It depends on the depth and breadth of your knowledge, skills, and ability in that chosen field. So choose your field in which you are passionate enough to be persistent to put in the hard work to master the skills.

So, you want to be an expert…

Let me simplify and give you a simple equation.

KNOWLEDGE + SKILLS = ABILITIES + Get Recognized = EXPERT

In simpler words Expertise means: You “can” do it. You have been equipped to do it, and we have seen how effectively you do it... but, question remains if the people in your chosen field widely know that you have done it.”

In a nutshell, this is what you can do to become an expert…

  • Education and Certification: For some fields, earning an advanced university degree such as a Master's or PhD is the right approach. In other cases, you can become an expert by earning a certification (e.g. the PMP certification in project management). In other cases, you can achieve expert status by publishing a blog on the Internet or a high quality book in your chosen field.
  • Continuing Education: Be ready to learn always. The source of learning can be your junior, senior, university, post graduate, or your wrong decisions and resulting experiences. Have open minded discussions and debates on the subject.
  • Acquire Knowledge: When you learn ‘something’ new, whether it is a new fact or a new skill, focus on acquiring comprehensive knowledge about that ‘something’. Comprehensive knowledge comprises of four types of knowledge — factual, conceptual, procedural and strategic. These different knowledge types are acquired through the processes like understanding, applying, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating. When you learn a new thing, you start knowing some facts about it (factual knowledge), as you unravel new relationship how things are organized (conceptual knowledge), you get to understand how to apply knowledge or do certain things (procedure knowledge). The real learning is how to use different strategies to make the most of your knowledge (strategic knowledge).
  • Acquire Important Skills and Practice to Perfect Those: Skill acquisition comes from a combination of observing vs. doing vs. feeling vs. thinking. How do you perfect the skill? Well, that comes with practice… by doing it again and again until it builds confidence. However, note that confidence does NOT mean competence. So even if you have mastered a skill, don’t overrate your confidence as competence yet.
  • Learn How to Convert Knowledge and Skills to Abilities: In simpler words abilities means: You “can” do it. You have been equipped to do it, but we are yet to see the disposition how effectively you do it.” In order to be known for your abilities, you need to make sure you integrate knowledge and skills very well. While you are learning a new skill, you will need to be cautious about how well-rounded and comprehensive knowledge you are acquiring about this skill.
  • Differentiate Yourself from Crowd with Your Abilities: In order to be known for your abilities, you need to make sure you integrate knowledge and skills very well. While you are learning a new skill, you will need to acquire well-rounded and comprehensive knowledge about this skill. Remember to focus on strategic knowledge if you want to stand out of crowd of people having same kind of skills. Abilities differentiate people, even though they may have ‘supposedly’ acquired similar kind of knowledge and skills from a training course, for example.
  •  How can You be an Expert if no one Knows: If someone is talented but no one knows about them, the expertise is going to waste? If you trace the history of almost any successful business, you'll find that getting recognized in the media contributed to the company's growth. However, there is a delicate balance between communicating expertise to a larger public and not being consumed by the quest of chasing publicity.
  • Balance Expertise with Communications: I've seen people with tremendous expertise who are poor communicators. They don't get as much business as they should. I've seen others who are great at communicating, but really don't know what they are talking about. The lack of expertise eventually catches up to them and stunts their careers.
  • Information: Start gathering all the information in the chosen field. What happened in past? What is currently happening? How the field can be improved in future?
  • Passion: Be extremely passionate about your field and your contribution for work. There are naysayers everywhere. You be focused.
  • Observation: Give attention to tiniest details ALSO, and don't miss the big picture while doing so.
  • Patience: Be patient to gain expertise. It’s not one day or overnight show.
  • Be Kind: Once you are an expert, be generous. Be ever helpful.  
  • Share Knowledge: If you are really an expert, never hesitate to share knowledge with others. You don't lose anything by sharing.

So you are an Expert, so what now…

History of almost any successful business shows that getting recognized in the media contributed to the company's growth.  There is sometimes that magic moment when an expert meets a talented journalist who wants to tell their story. Good things happen because of it.

In his autobiography, Grinding it Out, McDonald's founder Ray Kroc wrote about the impact his interview with Associated Press columnist Hal Boyle had on the company's early growth.

My own business had a similar growth spurt because of positive media attention from Computer Reseller magazine. In 1984, I started my PC Computer retail business as an authorized IBM dealer. Same year, I had a trade show booth at the PC Expo [Info 84] at Jacob Jevits in New York City. My company was the very first PC Dealer ever to be at a trade show meant for Main Frame/Mini Computer professionals and Personal Computers were just for fun and games in the views of CSAS directors.

We were growing slowly by word of mouth but were completely unknown outside of our town Union in New Jersey. That all changed because of a story on my company─ about being at the Info’84 computer show─ in the Computer Reseller News and the Computer News. We went from being a local business to a national PC Computer supplier─ with Exxon, American Signal, Merck, and AT&T as some of our corporate clients.

About the same time, I wrote a number of technical articles─ accompanied by hugely discounted display ads─ for publications in the local news papers like Bergen Record and Star Ledger. My thoughts were of little concern to the general public, but of avid interest to the small business owners looking to automating their record keeping, accounting, and information management. Writing for those periodicals allowed me to establish myself as an expert with other consultants in the business, technology, and financial fields.

Don’t count on being an Overnight Sensation…

There is a misconception by some business people that one media appearance can make a business an "overnight sensation." I've seen people spend too much time pursuing that "lucky break."

In case of McDonalds, Boyle's story brought attention to McDonalds’ business, but Kroc had assembled an excellent company and product. The journalist shined attention on what Kroc had built.

Becoming an Expert in the Internet Age…

It is highly recommended that you focus on publishing articles in the trade journals in your field of expertise. However, the Internet makes it so much easier to communicate and find people interested in your niche. You can write a blog, or comment on other people’s articles, in the area of your expertise and use social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to communicate that expertise to millions of people who are interested.

Follow the practical advice presented here and also develop a few “psychology tricks” to shatter the common myth about needing 10,000 hours to be good at something. You need [more or less] 20 hours to be good (or even great) at anything.

Check out the video!

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