Why don’t I play the guitar? It’s not because I don’t have one, I was given one for my 21st birthday. It’s not because I have no ear for music, I was in a choir most of my adolescence (until singing wasn’t cool anymore…I guess Pitch Perfect was a little after my High School time). It’s because until I started out doing this crazy job, I was lead to believe that to become an expert in anything, you needed to devote your life to it.
Let’s take that down even further. I thought to be an expert in something, I had to put 10,000 hours in (read Outliers).
10 THOUSAND HOURS!
If you want to be a master then yeah sure, put the time and effort in – but to be an expert – by definition (noun. a person who is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area) does not mean you need to be a master.
You need to be a problem solver, an adapter, and a continual learner.
Let’s say you’re just starting your career in sales. Chances are you’re perhaps not an expert in whatever it is you might be selling.
Chances are also that you want hit the ground running and do everything you can to be the best at it you can be.
So, how do you become an expert in six months? Follow these steps and surprise yourself, your friends, your colleagues, your boss (if you have one) and most importantly, your clients.
1. Purchase the top 10 most popular books on your chosen topic
2. Follow the top industry experts on your topic on LinkedIn and Instragram (Twitter is done, IMO)
3. Listen to podcasts
4. Take a course on your topic
5. Make connections with others in your industry, both with more experience than you and with less.
6. Learn everyday. Practice with your colleagues. Teach your friends and family.
7. Participate in your industry forums/groups/communities
7. Read the news about your industry
8. Attend a conference surrounding your topic/industry
Building your expertise does not have to take 10,000 hours. But it will take work.
Don’t confuse my message here. If you follow those eight steps and commit to consistent practice (that’s the real kicker) within six months you’ll be in the top 5% of anyone on earth in your field (imagine if you only needed to be top 5% about your suburb or your City, even your country!).
That’s the truth.
The top 3% might take another 10 years and to be in the top 1%, we’re talking committing your life to something.
What these few words are here to do is show you how easy it is to rise above the average and become an expert in anything you choose.
Make the choice, go forth and prosper!