What do you think about when you hear the word “expert”? Do you picture a professor with a Ph.D. or do you picture yourself? What makes you hesitate about putting your picture under the Expert heading?
Think about your own experiences and education. Think about your training and your clients. Think about your blog posts, your research, and your continuing education. Do you think the average person signs up for specialized training?
Regular people may do lots of reading about certain subjects they find interesting but they don’t necessarily hang up a shingle and call themselves a coach or an expert. They don’t have the same passion you have for helping others or for learning every last detail of your specialty. An interest, yes, but not necessarily a passion.
Let me break it to you: If you have paying clients, you’re an expert.
Combat Your Negative Self-Talk
I’m betting that at some point you have coached clients about combatting their negative self-talk that often sneaks into their psyches and threatens to sabotage their success. Do you follow your own advice? Do you have self-doubts about your path to success? Do you compare yourself to other coaches and wonder why you’re not further ahead in your business when they seem to reach success so easily?
Every single person has self-doubt and insecurities at some point in their lives but that doesn’t mean you have to sink under the weight of those insecurities. Instead of suffering in silence, take an action step to dig yourself out of that hole. Send an email to your list. Engage with your followers on social media. Write a blog post. Each of these tasks will help your business move forward while focusing your attention on your expertise instead of wallowing in self-loathing.
Also, hold yourself back from comparing yourself to others. “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and you don’t know how many hurdles that other experts had to jump to reach their success.
Embrace Your Expertise
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of “expert” is “a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.” Notice how there’s no mention of degrees. There is nothing that says you have to have a Master’s or Ph.D. or any other letters after your name to be an expert (excluding the medical profession, of course).
In other lines of work, you’ll find that years of work experience often trumps formal education simply because not every life experience can be taught from a textbook. The same can be said about the coaching business. You will find coaches who have gone through the certification process while you find other coaches who are successful business owners with no certification but who have learned lessons through their experience. Of course, your credibility will grow if you become a certified coach and if your audience sees that you’re constantly learning and taking classes but when you’re just starting out, don’t be afraid to embrace your expertise and working experience because you definitely know more than your tribe. You have done the research. You have offered your expert advice to help others online. You have a deep-rooted passion for your specialty and for helping your followers.
YOU are an expert.