You have this tool too, you may not know it yet.
There are 150 million adults (over the age of 18) in the United States today. Each one of us has individual interests, hobbies, training, and experiences. Sewing. Social investing. European soccer. Machine learning. Bartending. Farming. Photography. The list goes on and on and on. Think about it — there are definite and specific things you know that I don’t know.
Compared to me, you are an expert.
And therein lies an opportunity for you. So, let me ask you — what are you an expert in? Don’t believe you are an expert yet? Fear not and read on.
Let’s build a baseline from which you can evaluate yourself. If you are just coming out of high school or college, you may not yet have a professional expertise. At the very least you have an interest and some knowledge that can turn into an expertise. So my question for you – and your challenge – are you ready to put the time and effort into becoming an expert in your area of interest?
If you have spent 3, 5 or more than 10 years in the workforce, I guarantee you have an expertise. It can be as simple as, what is that thing that you have been doing that the rest of us have not? Again, tending bar? Basic accounting? Fixing cars? Spending every weekend shooting skateboarding videos?
These activities make you an expert, as compared to me.
Now, since this is an entrepreneurial website and I write about entrepreneurship, let’s place this expertise in context. If you are looking to start your own company, you can look no further than at the areas that you are an expert in.
To achieve anything in this world, you must identify your power and then use that power to separate yourself from the rest of the world.
There are two distinct steps here so listen carefully. First is identifying your area of expertise. Let’s assume you have a target in mind already.
Second is developing your expertise. The good news is that there is no lack of options for you to achieve this goal. Obviously the Internet is a great place to start. From Wikipedia to niche websites, blogs and forums; getting a good read creates a foundation from which you can build upon.
Next, get out and meet one-on-one with people around this subject. Find others who are swimming in this same pool. Ask lots of questions. Probe. Be curious. Don’t be shy – you are building your expertise and they are as interested in the subject as you are.
Lastly, get involved with the subject. You can’t learn to dance by just reading a book.
This article first appeared in INC.COM – find more of my articles there.