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Three Ways to Let Go of “Expert Obsession”

Confession: I never went to college for list-making. I don’t have a degree in productivity. But I’ve written two books on the subject, appeared on TV and podcasts to discuss it, run a blog about it, and have a LinkedIn newsletter, LinkedIn Learning courses, and live-streaming show where I talk about it an awful lot. Yep — I’m a productivity […]

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Confession: I never went to college for list-making. I don’t have a degree in productivity.

But I’ve written two books on the subject, appeared on TV and podcasts to discuss it, run a blog about it, and have a LinkedIn newsletterLinkedIn Learning courses, and live-streaming show where I talk about it an awful lot.

Yep — I’m a productivity expert! And I became one by speaking and writing about everything I know on the subject.

If you feel like you’re not “expert enough” to start talking about your knowledge, you might have an expert obsession.

We’ve been turning to experts so much recently to help us through everything that’s going on in the news. 

But guess what? Those people are only seen as experts because they’re talking to the media — not because they know more than you. (Well, maybe they know how to pitch media effectively.)

Obviously, you don’t want to talk to the media yet if you’re totally new to learning about something — and we shouldn’t blindly trust experts just because they’re on TV. 

But I’ll bet you have important knowledge to share. Yes, you! 

Here are three steps you can take to become more confident about your expertise:

1. Accept that you’ll never know everything. 

I didn’t wait until I knew everything about productivity — because I never will. Learning is a lifelong process, and so is becoming an expert. 

You’ll never be “done” becoming an expert — it’s a process that evolves as you get more experience, do media, share your knowledge, and learn from other pros in your field. Make 2021 the year you get out there and commit to that process. 

2. Sharing your knowledge is a public service. 

I think of being an expert as a public service. There are people who can really benefit from learning about the topic that you’re an expert on. Don’t keep it to yourself! 

3. The more you share, the better it feels. 

The first time you do media will be hard. That doesn’t mean you did something wrong or that you’re not qualified. It just means you tried something new and you’re still learning. That’s a good thing! 

All new things take time to become comfortable. If your expert obsession has been holding you back, don’t feel discouraged if you experience some impostor syndrome the first time you do media. 

The important thing is that you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and sharing your knowledge. 

This is an idea that really resonated with a group of women I spoke to a few weeks ago for an event hosted by Chief, a women’s leadership group I belong to.

So many women said that the prospect of doing media or creating videos made them feel vulnerable. It’s true that when you speak to the public, you’re opening yourself up for judgement. But you’re also opening yourself up to changing lives through your expertise. 

Feeling vulnerable is an issue that everyone faces. Recognize it and then choose to face that fear. 

You’ll get the hang of this — but only if you actually get out there and try.

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BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

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