You are a business owner. So, let me ask you a question: What are you an expert in?
Do you start your answer with Well, I’m not really an expert, but . . . ? A lot of people – especially women – do. Let’s start with what an expert is. BusinessDictionary.com defines an expert as:
Professional who has acquired knowledge and skills through study and practice . . . in a particular field or subject, to the extent that his or her opinion may be helpful in fact finding, problem solving, or understanding of a situation.
It doesn’t say you have to know everything.
Trust that you know enough.
Don’t Let Fear Tell You that You Aren’t an Expert
Are you holding back? Waiting to launch until you’re “ready”? Thinking about the classes you need to take before you can take the next step? Putting yourself out there… kinda.
In other words, are you letting fear take the wheel?
Next time you start to put the brakes on a project or downplay what you do . . . I want you to ask yourself this question:
In what ways do I know I AM the expert?
Think about what you do know and the steps you’ve taken to learn. Think about what you’ve read, the courses you’ve taken, the practice you’ve done.
Make a list of ways you have used your expertise to problem solve or help somebody else. Don’t dismiss work because it was unpaid or for your family or just for fun. Own all of your experience.
So maybe now you’re thinking, “Yeah, I DO know a lot about the legal aspects of setting up a business or coaching other wellness coaches or photographing my family! But . . .
Here’s where the but butts in. But So-and-so knows more or does it better or is the REAL expert.
Forget about comparing yourself to other experts. Seriously, there are so many experts on everything (and sometimes they don’t even agree). Instead ask:
What do I do that is different than other people?
We tend to think about expertise as knowing EVERYTHING there is to know about say, WordPress plugins or tax rules and regulations or how to get a Facebook ad to actually work.
What if you change the lens to say: I’m an expert in X for Y. As in I’m an expert in WordPress plugins for people who DIYed their site and “broke” it. You can fix the site. You’ve done it before. You know where to look. You know the steps to take. And if those steps don’t work, you know the language to find the answers.
Because you are an expert.
You don’t have to know everything and you don’t have to be the expert for everyone. You just need to be an expert to the people who need your message the way YOU deliver it.
Think about your favorite restaurant. Imagine if the owner decided not to open because there was already a good Mexican/Italian/sushi place in town. Maybe they have the best margaritas or know how to deal with little kids or have service that makes you feel like you are the only one in the place. Whatever it is, your favorite is your favorite for a reason.
Maybe your BFF loves the burritos at the place across town or won’t eat fish tacos anywhere else. Everyone has their own favorite. Everyone has their own expert.
Think about all the amazing business coaches out there, people who KNOW.THEIR.STUFF. That could make me ask if I know enough (true confession: some days I do ask that), but instead I think about who I’m the expert for.
I’m not the expert for everyone who needs an expert in business growth strategy. I’m an expert at working with mom entrepreneurs to use their mama advantage to grow their business as part of their lives. I know I help my clients put a solid strategy into place in their business so they can leverage their limited time better, work smarter (not harder) and tap into their unique skills that set them apart from others in in their industry.
Know what you’re an expert in and who you are an expert for.
How to Feel Like an Expert (when you aren’t sure you are one)
Even when we’ve claimed our expertise, we have days when we start to think we don’t know enough, that we’re not good enough. We get stuck in a “Who am I to . . .?” moment. Seriously, no matter how good we are or how successful we’ve been, we doubt ourselves. Next time that happens, here’s what I want you to do:
My client Alice Irving coined this term, and I LOVE it. I promise, it’s more effective (and less expensive) than retail therapy. When your confidence takes a nosedive, go back and read what people said about your services and how it helped them.
Go back to the testimonials you published on your site.
Look at the emails from clients.
Read comments from readers.
Make an “I am the expert” file where you collect these reminders that you ARE the expert so that when you start to think you aren’t enough, you know where to go to remember that you are.
You are an expert, mama. If you’re ready to claim that and uplevel your business, I’d love to talk. I’m taking on a limited number of 1:1 clients who are are ready to share their expertise with the world. If you are ready to elevate your business, let’s talk. You can book a consult with me right here, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk more!