Two lawyers in a room, sitting side by side. Technically, each one is just as competent as the other.
Then one of them stands up, takes the stage and speaks for an hour in front of a crowd of people hungry for information. This is the expert.
The other attorney, however, isn’t an expert. He’s just a lawyer. Perhaps a very good one, but not an expert.
What makes one the expert and the other a bystander?
Public opinion makes the expert. Get enough people who agree that you’re the bee’s knees and suddenly … you are.
Look around you and find those who are the recognized experts in their chosen fields. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, pundits, teachers and more. Each one is an expert because they have been anointed by a group large or small.
In order to be anointed, you’re going to need to impress people one by one. And to do that, you’ve got to get out of your shell and be where the people are.
- Make friends.
- Listen to others carefully.
- Give an opinion when the opportunity presents itself.
- Write relentlessly.
- Be informed about the world around you.
- Share the knowledge you have.
It’s a slow build, a relentless march that many of your colleagues don’t care to undertake. That difficulty is precisely why there are so few recognized experts in any given field, and why the stage is clear for you to make your move.