BY: Josh Pies, Chief Attention Getter
Are you out standing in a particular field or are you outstanding in YOUR field? The subtle difference of that one space between “out” and “standing” is harsh. Okay, hear me out. I’ve asked this many times in live events: “If a tree falls in a forest without a human present, does it make a sound?” The audience usually says yes or no. My response is, “I don’t care”. It did not affect anyone, and I am not really worried about it. I don’t care. If an expert “experts” and nobody is there to experience it, are they actually an expert? Did they actually make a sound?
If we are in our collective race for building a business, growing and thriving, earning money, and better affecting the world in a positive way, then we’ve got to spend some time expressing our expertise in order to become known.
We must be known.
That beautiful field pictured is a beautiful field. Go meditate out there. Go take in nature. Fine things to do. But do you want to leave your career standing in an empty field where there is nobody to experience what you have to offer? That is a terrible place to be.
Be clear, not I nor anyone in the world is even able to care how good you are at what you do, if you are taking that amazing quality and hiding it.
WE. DON’T. KNOW.
I’d like to share a personal story with you about an expert I know who has failed miserably in regards to expressing his value to the world and – truth be told – he’s nearly bankrupt and driving a bus now instead of being a world leading expert.
His name is Tommy (for this article’s purposes). Tommy is nearly 50 now and has spent the last 35+ years with his face buried in books. He has read, and I make no exaggeration here, THOUSANDS of books cover to cover. He takes notes on every one of them. He analyzes them deeply and frankly – he’s wicked smart. He has rich expertise on Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Templars and Knights and Kings and Queens and dynasties and every other historical whatever you could know. I know a number of Ph.D’s in history who have less than ⅓ the library of books Tommy owns and they haven’t read them the way he has. His expertise on many topics is incredibly deep.
Tommy also, interestingly, has not done the work to get his degree in anything. He also has never published a blog or shot a video. He doesn’t go to lectures. He doesn’t even write letters to editors in local papers. He has amassed world class information and locked it inside of a brilliant mind for his use only.
The world still will not know of him even after this blog post because I have not actually named him nor have I proven his worth. It MUST be done by him. He must demonstrate his expertise to be seen as an expert. Let’s face it, if he has any hope of monetizing his expertise this is truly the only way.
Tommy is out, standing in a lonely field, reading (and eating ramen noodles).
He’s the smartest bus driver I know and he may leave it that way. I’m trying to reserve value judgement – the world needs bus drivers – but if you are hiding your expertise and you are not ok with being a bus driver the rest of your life you need to figure out why you are hiding your light.
You know, I’m having a memory right now. When I was in children’s church years ago, we had a song about being a light unto the world. The lyrics said something about, “Would you hide it under a bushel? NO!”
In some ways, your expertise is analogous to the Gospel. Would you hide the light of the world? No. You do not want to hide your gift to the world either. You want to share what you have and affect people.
That brings me to content creation. This is my mantra. This is the thing I stand on. You have to do something to show your expert-ness. Likely you have customers, you have clients, they get to know your specialty to a certain degree. Are you asking for the referral? This is old school… like sales stuff. Are you asking for the referral and asking people to talk about you and are you doing things that cause other people to talk about you? Have you set up a talk trigger?
Edify people in knowledge and ability. Some people will run with what you teach and do it for themselves. They may not hire you and that is just fine. I promise, it will be the rare minority. (Interestingly, that same minority often become your best brand evangelists because you’ve helped them become accomplished at something.)
Everyone else is in that group of other people that will just gain confidence that you are the guy, you are the girl, you can be a delivery agent of awesome for them.
I gotta get you out of that empty, lonely field. I want to get you out of this empty field, beautiful as it is, and get you into publicly consumable content creation today because if a tree falls in a forest, whether it makes a sound or not and the human is not there to hear it, it does not affect humanity.
Do not be out standing in your field when you can be outstanding in your field.