You're an Expert!
“You have brilliance in you, your contribution is valuable, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do, and you must.” – Seth Godin
You are a freaking expert! You're a rockstar! You know more than 90% of the people on this planet! What are you so amazing at? Well, I don't know, and I'll bet you don't either.
That was a bit silly. I know. But it's absolutely true. Right now there is at least one thing in your life about which you know more than 90% of the human race. I can feel your skepticism, but trust me! It's time to leave behind the Gladwellian nightmare of the 10,000 hours mentality, and start recognizing the value of 10 hours.
In under 10 hours you could:
- Learn to build a website.
- Graft fruit trees.
- Build a computer.
- Bake a cake from scratch.
- Write like 8 blog posts (at least).
- Research pretty much any subject that interests you.
Have you done one of those things? Boom, Expert! We all overestimate what it takes to be in the top 10%, and we underestimate how much we do, in fact, know. I'm not saying that after just 10 hours of work you can magically become the best Web Developer, Baker, Writer or Fruit Tree Grafter in the world. I'm saying that's all it takes to know more someone that has 0 hours of experience. To that 0 hour person, you are an expert. In 10 hours or less, you could have all the information needed to teach a 101 class or write a blog post. To start becoming an expert, you don't need to be trying to teach people who are masters at a given skill. All you need is the willingness and confidence to teach what you know.
Example, a few years ago my Mom got very interested in growing Apple trees. She decided to conduct a series of experiments to find out what apple varieties would grow best on our east Texas property. She read a couple books and watched some YouTube videos. She didn't spend anything close to 10,000 hours. She learned the basic process of grafting fruit trees. If you don't already know (it's okay many don't), grafting is a process by which a bud or two of one fruit tree which has particularly tasty fruit is made to grow from the roots of a different variety of the same type of fruit tree that's more suited to your particular soil, growing conditions, or size requirements. You do this by splicing a piece of a twig from the fruiting variety (called scion material) to the roots of the other. The sap or "blood" of trees flows only through the green layer (or cambium) just under the bark. To enable this new tree to survive, the cambium layers of the scion and the rootstock must have as much surface area touching as possible, and then be bandaged together tightly until the graft has healed.
After a bit of reading, and a lot of just cutting and splicing sticks, she felt comfortable with the process. After grafting and planting about 100 trees. We posted about the project on our farm FaceBook page. Almost immediately, we had people asking us to hold classes in grafting. So, we set some dates and held our first classes! Some of the folks who attended surprised us in that they had read many more books about fruit tree grafting than we had, but had never actually tried their hands at it for fear of failure. Because we just did it (Nike has a real point!), we became the experts to them.
I'm not a plant person. I had effectively no interest in fruit tree grafting. I haven't read anything about the subject. But I learned through just doing it. For the people at our classes, and for most of you reading this, I am an expert in grafting apple trees.
Stop short-selling your expertise, and start marketing yourself as the expert you are!
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