One of the most common refrains I hear from people is, "I canít create information productsÖIím not an expert!"
Yet what is expertise?
Many organizations have tried to pin down the exact criteria that make an expert. They talk about university degrees earned and awards won and how much youíre quoted in the newspaper. But I think thereís a much simpler way to look at it.
Can you teach another person something they didnít know? Is that something of value to the person?
Thatís the only form of expertise you need to be worried about to create information products that enrich the world.
The Road of Knowledge There will always be someone else Ė at least one more person, maybe several more Ė ahead of you on your road to knowledge. They will know more than you do.
Donít sweat it. Instead, realize that those people are your teachers and mentors.
There are also people behind you on the road to knowledge Ė and you are their teacher and mentor. They can learn from you. You donít have to know every last thing there is to know about a topic to offer them helpful information.
Your fifth grade teacher didnít know everything there was to know about mathematics, but he or she was still able to teach you math.
Did you ever say to your math teacher, "You know nothing about string theory! How can you teach me long division?" Of course not.
The knowledge he or she had was perfectly suited to your needs at the time. There was value in what your teacher could share with you despite the fact that it wasnít the be all and end all of math.
In fact, if it had been the be all and end all, the information would have been useless to you. You werenít ready for all that. You were ready for long division.
Itís the same with information products. There are students at different levels of study. For every level, there is a teacher needed.
Donít stay quiet, thinking you have nothing to offer because someone else has more. There is room in the world for more than one teacher on any given topic. In fact, there has to be. Who has the time or energy to reach 6 billion people all on their own?
If youíre going to wait until youíre the acknowledged grand poobah and supreme expert in the universe, you will never create an information product. Youíll be waiting forever. And all the knowledge you do have will be lost to the world. Who Are You Not To Shine? Do you still question what you have to offer? Perhaps these words from Marianne Williamsonís book, A Return To Love, will help.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure... We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?... Your playing small doesnít serve the world."
Remember those words anytime you find yourself thinking, "Who am I to write a book about this?" or "What makes me think I can create a tape set about that?"
Your playing small doesnít serve the world! It doesnít help the people behind you on the road. Donít hide. Donít wait. Share what you know.