You are about to go on a stage and perform a song. You have chosen the song ‘Nothing Breaks Like a Heart’ by Miley Cyrus, your favorite artist.
And as you are about to step onto the stage, you suddenly realize that you don’t quite know how to sing. Even though you have taken a few weekend classes, your voice is miles away from Miley’s.
The problem is – You are not an expert.
What do you do, if you are not an expert? Should you stop creating content? Should you abandon that blog, that podcast, that youtube channel?
Who is an expert?
An expert is an insider, who has ‘been there and done that’. He has grey hair that symbolizes years and years of experience. He possesses in-depth insights that mere mortals can’t see.
Think Brene Brown, the famous researcher.
Think Michael Hauge, the storytelling expert.
Think Shawn Coyne, the great editor.
These people have the birthright to produce content. They are allowed to share their wisdom because the truth is on their side. We, on the other hand, are hypocrites.
We are not there yet. We have not built big businesses or moved mountains. We are merely getting started.
The imposter syndrome is real
I feel it every day. Am I good enough to create content? Arent there all these people, better than me, who are already leading and inspiring people? How will the audience take me seriously?
‘Not being an expert’ haunts me, hurts me, and prevents me from taking action. Should I just quit?
Pretending is uncomfortable
When we pretend, we expend energy. Being someone else is too big a burden to carry. We can do it for a while, but eventually, it becomes very tiring. And wouldn’t pretending eventually make us scam artists?
Can we let go?
Instead of fighting it, can just drop the whole facade? The whole notion of being an expert. How about we choose a path that is a lot more authentic?
How about we become explorers instead?
An explorer is not an expert
An explorer is learning and documenting his findings. An explorer doesn’t necessarily say that “Hey, I have done this already”. Rather, he would find himself saying “Hey, I want to go there. I am not sure how exactly to get there. But let’s find out together shall we?”
Being a reporter
An explorer is discovering things on the behalf of the audience. He is sharing his learnings and his mistakes through his journey. Perhaps, his ideas are not original… but who cares?
– An explorer could learn from experts and document his findings.
– He could interview the experts, ask them thoughtful questions, and share the answers with the audience.
– He could do small experiments and share the process with the audience
But would your audience respect an explorer?
Do you know how hard it is to learn a new skill? The amount of time that goes in? And let’s not even get started on the information overwhelm. Your audience has access to all the experts, yes. But they are drowning in information.
They are confused and overwhelmed. The experts, even with all their wisdom, have not been able to solve all the problems of the people you seek to serve.
You can be their sherpa. You could help distill the wisdom of experts in a format that is much more suitable, and digestible for your audience. You save their time and effort. And of course, you save them from a lot of frustration. An explorer is doing a big service to the audience.
Teach someone who is at level 0
An expert will be at number 10. And you could be at number 3. But guess what, your audience is at number 1. And perhaps a 10 cant teach a 1. But a 3 is more qualified to teach a 1. Because a 3 knows the situation of 1, much more intimately than a 10 would.
How Louis Grenier built Everyone Hates Marketers
When he started his podcast, Louis Grenier was no expert. All he knew was that he wanted to fight Marketing BS. He was unhappy with the way Marketing was perceived by the world and so he decided to do something about it.
He was merely exploring. Interviewing the experts and learning from them. Demystifying and decoding their advice into something simple and actionable.
And people loved his authenticity. They joined him. And soon enough, he built his true fans. His podcast has been downloaded more than a million times.
How Tim Grahl built the StoryGrid podcast
This is how Tim Grahl introduces himself in the StoryGrid podcast – “Hi my name is Tim Grahl and I am a struggling author trying to publish a book”. Tim is an explorer who built a podcast with Shawn Coyne, a sort of legend in the world of book publishing.
The premise of the podcast is simple – Tim shares his challenges with Shawn on the podcast. Shawn gives him advice on improving his story, writing and the overall manuscript.
The podcast has become a hit amongst the authors. Tim now works with authors and helps them launch their books.
There are 2 ways in which you can be a creator
You can either be an expert (who has been there, done that) and has an insider’s view.
Or you can be someone who is an explorer, someone who discovers, reports, and documents.
You don’t have to be a Miley Cyrus every time. You can just document your journey of becoming one.