A couple of days ago I was explaining to a very near and dear friend of mine that “I can’t coach people about success if I don’t have the success I think I ought to have.”
She called BS on this, exactly as she should have.
Because it’s the same thing for which I call BS on her, and all my other close friends.
You don’t have to be an expert’s expert…
…you just need to know how to teach what people want to learn.
The key is to write with the authority that you do have. If you can’t be an absolute expert, be a relative expert.
Developing relative expertise
Here’s criteria I use for evaluating whether or not I should learn a new skill set, that is, whether or not to develop some relative expertise:
- Is the technology or skill set interesting to me? This is the most important one.
- Can I write about it? I write to learn, and if I can’t write about something, it’s going to be difficult for me to learn it.
- Does it have any market potential for relative expertise? I might like to learn to shape surfboards, but that’s a skill that takes a decade to master, and it never pays that well in any case, even after mastering the art.
I’ll consider learning a skill that’s a good match for any one of these criteria. If it matches all three, I’ll be checking my calendar to see where I can squeeze out the time!
Know your limitations
Knowing your limitations is important, know what you know… and what you don’t know:
- As a relative expert, teach only what you know.
- Resist being cast as a guru. If you must, accept “guru” status only from other known experts, whence you are no longer a relative expert!
- Base your authority on what you can demonstrate, not on your word. Talk is cheap! Demonstration requires effort and is far more convincing.
So, does this make me the latest “success coach” to hang out his shingle here in Sunny California?
But I can help you write absolutely killer blog posts that will attract long term traffic.
I can also run a small, exotic software project for you (references on demand).
I have several other skillsets, ranging from engineering to software. Contact me if you like my writing and want to know more.