Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Become an Expert at Anything in Just Hours

Sure, it seems like there are 1000's and 1000's of folks who hold themselves out as experts in various fields. And for some, it really takes years of education and experience to qualify as an expert.

On the other hand, I think you would be surprised how quickly you can become an expert on some topic where few care to compete for the title. For instance, at age 24, I was hired to speak and write articles as an expert on small security hardware devices. There might have been five people in the whole country who would have cared to have the title of padlock expert. If you wanted the title today, you could probably become as expert as I was in 80 hours or less.

Most of the time, I'm not interested in becoming an "expert" in order to sell my services, but rather to provide answers to life's daily issues. Someone calls and says they are experiencing pain of a specific type in an certain location on their body. Within 15 minutes or so on the web, it is possible to be pretty sure you know what the problem is. Now you are on the way to becoming an "expert" on bunions or AC arthritis or heartburn.

If you want to dig deeper, you can get about all you need on the web today. But as you surf and pick up the terms of art and the main issues, you will also find reviews of books that can take you to another level. You may also learn of others who are "experts" in the field. Some of those will have websites, blogs, or articles published that you can read. You will be amazed at how often those individuals will answer a well thought out e-mail or even pick up the phone if you call.

Now that you know how easy it is to become an expert, please keep that in mind when you hear someone giving their expert advice in the news or on a tv special. Their title may not be the result of any unique research or a lifetime of training and experience. In fact, the odds are against it.

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