Have you ever been offered an opportunity and as exciting as it seemed, you felt that you knew nothing about it? Why were you even chosen in the first place? I recently heard a professional leader talk about her career path and how she jumped at opportunities that aligned with her professional goals even when she felt that she knew nothing about the particular position. However, she decided to go for it and go for it, she did. This particular person who is a therapist ended up getting a political position which was unheard of in her area. She started out feeling as she knew nothing but ended up being the go to expert.
In a conversation with a mentor, I explained some concern about not being an expert in a particular area in which I was being asked to write about. She smiled and said, “Just because you are not an expert now, does not mean you cannot become one.” That statement soaked in and I realized that I gain expertise knowledge often in two ways: reading and talking with other experts.
As an introvert, I must admit, I prefer the former! Especially, on a day like today. I am in a hotel room and is raining and storming outside. I told my family that I could just curl up with a hot tea, some Kenny G in the background and a million books. If there is a such thing as a readaholic, then I am one! I thoroughly enjoy reading and learning and if you can read and learn then when an opportunity arises, could you not read and learn about it? And guess, what books are affordable or FREE and we like FREE, right?
In addition to reading, I often stress the importance of finding other experts. My grandmother used to say, “There is nothing new under the son honey!” In other words, there is probably someone else out there who has done what you want to do or at least has the transferable skill set to help you do it. Find the experts! Pay the experts! By experts I mean people who have a reputation for success. I just want to make this point because it seems that there is a trend of people saying they have experience or expertise in an area but with investigation, it is simply not true. Who has a proven track record?
Now back to the opportunity….this may sound like hocus pocus but in my experience when people get serious about their purpose and get focused, opportunities come. Opportunities that are big and maybe even intimidating. I don’t think these opportunities are by accident but arise from setting intentions which means intentions can also be set to learn, even about topics that you know nothing about! Check out this article about Demonstrating a Willingness to Learn New Skills and don’t forget at some point, you knew nothing about the things that you know about now!