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Many of us are experts in a particular area – fitness, finance, or something else. As an expert, it’s often easy to expect people to seek you out and beat down a door for your knowledge. After all, you are the expert and you have the solution to people’s problems!

This is a common scenario sadly. When I first opened my private personal training gym in Santa Barbara, we had a strength coach who was extremely knowledgeable and proficient. He could help an athlete get better at their sport or help you drop those hard to lose 10 pounds you’ve been struggling with. Yup, he had the answer to your fitness problems.

He washed out after a few months – he couldn’t make it. Why could someone with so much formal and practical education not make it in a place where others, seemingly less knowledgeable then he, thrived?

He was an expert, but he sat in his ivory towner (or our landing at the office), read books and articles, and waited for people to come and seek him out.

This is a crutch that many gurus have and they often believe that sales and marketing is somehow beneath them. “I wouldn’t do that”, they say.

These experts fall into what I call the victim mentality. They feel they are owed something due to their knowledge and hard work obtaining it, yet they don’t go the extra mile and obtain the skills that allow them to share their knowledge with the world. It’s sad.

Our brains are preprogrammed to allow us to justify just about anything that we deem as a threat to our egos. It’s automatic and as far as I can tell, you can’t stop it. But, what you can do is realize that this is a natural condition and train your brain to catch it in the act and ask quality questions to get you back on track. I won’t go into this process here, but it’s worth studying.

Gurus, or experts, often justify to themselves that they have the answer to people’s problems around what they specialize in, and therefore people should seek them out if they truly want to solve that problem. When people don’t call or show up, these same experts believe that they’ve been somehow wronged and that their potential customer is the villain, thus further pushing them away. They go into victimhood – blaming their potential customer or their competition. Often this turn into resentment and can manifest itself into isolation or self-destructive behaviors.

The successful expert has taken the time to learn how to communicate their value to their audience. Often this is through providing value first and really diving into the real problems that their audience is trying to solve. For example, why does someone really want to drop 10 pounds? Is it because they want the number on the scale to be smaller, or is it because they want their husband to look at them with the same level of desire they felt when they first got married? Figuring out what your audience really wants, then delivering value, is the key to being a successful expert rather than a bitter one sitting in an ivory tower.

Homework for today:

  1. What are you an expert in, or an area in your life where you know a lot more than the average person?
  2. What problem do you solve? I’m not talking about the logical solution, but what problem are you really solving when you break it down to its core?
  3. How can you, today, provide value to your audience? Are you delivering value first, before asking for the sale, or are you the ivory tower expert who expects to get paid before showing value?
  4. What is one thing you can do to improve in your sales and marketing each week? (Hint: subscribing to Author of Your Own Story is a darn good start!)

There’s freedom in truth and freedom in doing the hard work. To me, there’s nothing tougher, and nothing more rewarding, then doing the hard work on yourself. Change your mindset, feed your brain, and become the Author of Your Own Story!