My “Expert” Advice

If you read the headline expecting me to pontificate on some area of expertise that I possess, it won’t be happening. Instead of offering my advice as an expert, I thought I’d offer my advice TO the experts out there. And here it is…

Stop it!

Just what the heck does it take to be considered an expert these days? From my point of view, not much. Somebody attends a weekend seminar on some thing or other, and by Sunday Night  they have a few dozen business cards they printed at home advertising their services as a consultant in an area that 48 hours earlier they were considered a novice. This kind of crap has to end.

I first noticed this phenomenon in the personal training industry. To this day you can still take an online course, go take a test a few weeks later in a nearby city, and suddenly you are worth 60 bucks an hour. Really? Come on! This is not to knock the real pros out there. In fact, it is to defend them. Investing a weekend of your time does not instantly make you a valuable commodity. It takes many of those weekends.

I remember years ago when I was trying to learn Japanese, a tough language. I was to the point where I could hold a reasonably simple conversation. Then I met a woman who told me that she was fluent in Japanese, and she learned it all from watching Shogun. I would never have claimed to be fluent after three years of study, but it turns out I could have achieved fluency by merely watching ten hours of TV. That still leaves time to get my personal training certificate before the weekend is over!

A friend of mine built custom props for entertainers. Another friend asked if he could help out in his shop in order to learn about the trade. After a mere two weeks of sweeping the floor, this ‘friend’ sets off on his own feeling that he had finished his apprenticeship. He had a web site up offering his building services before he had any tools.

So here’s the bottom line: Don’t sell yourself as an expert unless you really are one. You are ruining it for those that put the time in, and giving everyone in your supposed area of expertise a bad name.