Expert! Expert! Read All About It!

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

30 August 2019

If you missed the last time I confessed to my TV-less existence, I’ll spill the beans once more. I haven’t watched an adult television show for entertainment in over five months. I entertain myself at the end of each day by reading. Most of the time I read non-fiction novels about a plethora of interesting subjects (mental health, self-help, and autobiographies are my favorites) because, to my way of thinking, learning should and could never end.

This past week, my ten-year old nephew made a comment that knocked my socks off. He said, “You are the smartest person I know. You are way smarter than even my teachers.” My reply to him was, “You’ll always get smarter if you commit to learning. I’ll never agree with you that I’m the smartest person because there’s so much more I have to learn!”

My Journey

I’ve tossed around the idea lately about writing a book. I wouldn’t write a book to tout any special talents or expertise. I’d want to write a book about my story and my growth. I’d like someone to read it and not think they’ve found the holy grail, but I’d like them to say, “Wow! This happened to you and you survived? That gives me faith and hope that I can too!”

I’m no expert on life, but I’ve made enough mistakes along the way and learned some very hard lessons because of those mistakes. I don’t think anyone should “learn from my mistakes” (as my mother used to say). But I do think they can learn that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn a lesson. And if you can share that lesson with others, what else is there in life?

Salesmen and Vendors

Lately, I’ve gotten quite a few spam emails from folks claiming to be experts on web development, SEO, business development, or application development. Here’s my take: If I see the word expert in your email outreach, which is otherwise colder than Antarctica, I trash it. If you’re truly the expert, why are you spamming me? Wouldn’t you have people knocking down your door for your services?

In today’s digital playground, it easy to boast about your expertise. But as a wise man once said, “If I walk in a room and tell people I’m the most honest guy they’ll ever meet, that’s the last thing they’ll believe about me.”

Like honesty, expertise is better demonstrated than professed.