That path to becoming an expert can be scary. It's filled with hard decisions, confronting self reflection and requires a discipline that not all possess. While the journey may be overwhelming before the first step is taken, the end result is something most professionals strive to become. The expert.
The expert has the power to sift through the opportunities in front of them and confidently say ‘no’ to most of them, because the expert understands the importance of finding a niche. Narrowing their scope of work and focussing on a select market or audience gives the expert time to go deep into their chosen field. This depth of knowledge and experience is what sets the expert apart from the competition.
The expert has positioned themselves in such a way that their skill set is unique. Ideally through becoming the expert they have filtered out most of the prospects and competitors leaving a very focused few that they are willing to work with. This exclusivity is what will cause these select few to a premium price for the experts time.
The expert understands the value is in the strategy rather than the execution of a plan. The deep thinking required to help identify and solve the right problems faced by a client is the expert’s strength. The deliverables can be done by the expert as well but only through the commitment of working on the strategy first. Strategy and execution must be charged separately.
When becoming an expert, gaps in knowledge and understanding will become obvious as they start to zoom in on their area of expertise. If questions are asked that they don’t have a clear answer for, it is the experts duty to research and develop the answers to fill the gaps. The expert will write about these discoveries because they know there is clarity through articulation. Experts write to discover what they know.
The expert will constantly be testing their positioning by developing their thinking and putting themselves into the situations where they can flex their expertise. That situation will depend on the type of expert but for most it’s on the front line, actively engaging with clients and helping to solve the problem at hand. This is where the best ideas are formed.
The expert needs to be comfortable with getting uncomfortable. If the expert is confident that they are going to get the price they are asking for an engagement, then they aren’t charging enough, and must charge more. Profits must be made so there is time and resources to grow their expertise. The expert is not the cheapest option and never will be.
The expert is bold and brave because they have no fear. They know that if they fail it's not the end of the world. Worst case they have to get a regular job like everybody else. Without failure the expert can embrace the unknown with confidence. The expert isn’t a particularly special person, just someone who is disciplined and able to make the hard and uncomfortable decisions with confidence.