What If You Could Be Who You Want To Be… Right NOW?

Young funny man in glasses writing on typewriter

 

Greg, you can’t just be what you want right now. That’s silly. Hold on a second, Mr. Doubter. It might not be what you think. Read on and then yell at me if I wasted your time.

Have you ever said anything like this to yourself?

Self, I wish I were a…

Writer
Entrepreneur
Musician
Business owner
Speaker
Teacher
Preacher
Actor
Artist
Tech developer

Have you followed that up with statements like these?

I’m not really a writer, business owner, teacher, musician, etc.
I could never make a living at that.
I don’t know enough to do that.
My work isn’t good enough to be that.
I would probably fail at that.
My friends would laugh at me if I tried that.

I have. I’ve talked myself out of a ton of fun, adventure, art, and good work before I even had the chance to try.

But I discovered something that changed all that for me: How to define who I am.

I am what I do, what I think, what I believe, and what I feel.

How do you define a writer? Isn’t it someone who writes? Isn’t a musician someone who plays music? Isn’t an entrepreneur someone who starts and runs a business? Is there anything in these definitions that says you have to be great at it, or make a living doing it? Is there anything that says you have to be a huge success and never have failed at it?

No!

So, I don’t let those concerns stop me anymore. When I want to be something, I just start doing it. That doesn’t mean I’m great at it immediately, but I am doing it. At that moment I become what I’m doing.

Why not you?

If you want to be an entrepreneur start working on a side business today.
If you want to be a teacher – teach.
If you want to be an artist – create art.
If you want to be a singer – sing!

But whatever it is, why not start doing it today? It will flip a switch in your mind to make what you want to become possible.

You might hate it. You might fail (temporarily).

But you also might love it and realize this is what you were made to do. You might just end up living that life of purpose, meaning, and joy that you always imagined.

Once you start doing it, you can truthfully say,
“I am an entrepreneur.”
“I am an artist.”
“I am a teacher.”
“I am a _____.”

This doesn’t mean you will immediately become great at what you love, but at least you’re now doing it and becoming it.

Don’t miss how important this process is in really finding your Passionate Purposes. Most of us drift through life not knowing what we really want to do or why we’re here. Some of us try to figure it out. We come up with ideas and feelings, but we’re never quite sure we’re really living out our purpose.

If that sounds like you then start by doing the work to figure out your potential Passionate Purposes. (My free ebook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose, and my longer book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, can help you with that.) And then start taking action in pursuing a few of them.

Try out all kinds of things that interest you and see where they take you. Taking action on one of your interests could lead to a burning passion that becomes your vocation. (It might even lead to a lifelong purpose that brings you great joy and wealth!) Or, you could find you really aren’t that excited about it after all. If so, just mark that one off your list and move on to your next potential purpose.

Taking action is the only way you will really know. But don’t try out all your ideas at once. One or two at a time is plenty or you’ll become so scattered you won’t accomplish anything.

Try at least one new thing this week and tell me how it goes. If I can help you with anything, just ask.

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

Let’s GO!

How My Trumpet Can Keep You On Top

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In 5th grade I decided to join the elementary school band and play the trumpet. (Why the trumpet? They let us try all the instruments, but I couldn’t keep my cheeks from puffing out when I tried the trombone. Yup, that’s the kind of thought I put into my instrument of choice.)

In the first week of practice we had auditions. Out of 36 trumpets, I was 33rd chair. (Take that chair 34, 35, and 36!) Let’s just say I was not awesome at this.

All of that changed when our band director handed out the music. We were going to play the theme from Rocky! (Gonna Fly Now) This was in 1978. The movie had only come out two years earlier and I loved that song. And, the trumpets had an amazing part.

I took the sheet music home and started playing it. But I didn’t have the melody. I was playing boring low notes the whole time. I didn’t understand why. (I’ll explain in a minute.) I really didn’t sound very good. It was painful to listen to me.

My mom saw me struggling and got me private lessons. I had a really cool teacher who said my embouchure – the way my mouth was on the trumpet – was all wrong. He showed me what to do and sent me home.

I worked my butt off and the next week my teacher was stunned. He said my embouchure was now “super good” and we could start really learning how to play.

I practiced hard.

Three months later my band had auditions again. This time I jumped from 33rd chair to 3rd chair. I even beat out all but two of the 6th graders who had been playing a year longer than I had. Wow! All the hard practicing was really paying off.

Then, my director asked me to hand in all my music. I didn’t know what was happening. Had I done something wrong? Was I in trouble? Nope, she just wanted to give me the 1st part for every song. I didn’t understand. What did 1st part mean?

I was so new to music that I didn’t realize there were different parts depending on how good you were. The best players played 1st part melody. I had been playing 3rd part harmony. Now I was getting the 1st part for all our songs – and that included the first part to ROCKY!

I rode my bike home as fast as I could and started playing that song, imagining I was running up the steps in Philly. I was playing the melody. I sounded like the theme song! (Well, kinda. I sounded like the simplified 5th grade version of the song, but I was playing the MELODY!)

From there I fell in love with the trumpet and ramped up my practicing. In junior high I was in two bands, practiced in the marching band after school and spent at least another hour practicing at home each day.

In 8th grade I auditioned for the all county band and made 1st chair. That meant I was the best junior high trumpet player in all of Orange County, Florida (Orlando). I thought that was pretty cool.

In fact, I got a little cocky. I let my practice schedule slip. I didn’t work as hard on new songs. I didn’t ask my private teacher to push me as hard.

The next year, as a 9th grader I auditioned for the all county band again – and only made third chair. An 8th grader was second chair! How did I let this happen?

I realized that I had become complacent with my trumpet. I wasn’t looking for new songs and new challenges. I was resting on my accomplishments. While I was doing that, other people were working hard to get better. And they passed me by.

How many of us have done that in some part of our life or work?

Sometimes it’s because we get bored or tired. Other times it’s because we aren’t paying attention to the changes in our business or life. Still other times we aren’t looking for the ways to innovate and change to reach a new level of success.

If we want to fix that, we have to keep looking for the next Rocky Theme Song that gets us excited. That’s what helps drive us to put in the hard work it takes to become the best version of ourselves we can.

Question for comment:

What’s your next Rocky? What’s gonna make you fly now?

(If this post resonated with you, please share it, and my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding and Pursuing Your Purpose, with a friend.)

Daydream Your Way To Success

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Being called lazy is one of the worst things you can call an American. We take great pride in being busy and working hard. I mean, we’re not Austria!

But, what if working really hard looks like you’re being lazy? Isn’t that what happens when you’re thinking and daydreaming? And isn’t that where we make the biggest advances in everything we do?

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”
– Henry Ford

(That’s exactly what I tried to tell my 10th grade trigonometry teacher. “I’m not goofing off and being lazy, Mr. Leaf, I’m thinking big, deep thoughts!” For some reason, he didn’t believe me. If only I’d had the Ford quote back then.)

Henry Ford told his engineers that they should spend time everyday just thinking. He knew that was how they would come up with improvements for the factory line and new models of cars. Busy work wouldn’t do it.

Everything humankind has ever made began with a thought. Everything that ever will be made, innovated, or invented will begin with a thought. There’s no other possible way to begin anything. Think about it. (Even that requires a thought.)

Einstein published his five most famous papers while working as a junior patent clerk in a Swiss patent office. He said he had more time to think at that job, than he did once he became a science professor working at a University.

We need to schedule time to think, brainstorm, let our minds wander, and daydream. It is virtually impossible to be at your creative best in 5 to 10-minute increments. You can’t invent the next best thing when you let your email, text messages, and meetings (oh, the meetings, make them stop!) constantly interrupt your flow.

(Yes, that meetings comment is aimed at you, Mr. Everyone needs to come to my 2-hour bore-a-thon so I can hear myself speak and show how important I am Guy.)

There are two types of thinking I’m referring to here.

  1. Thinking about a problem, obstacle, or goal. You focus on the issue at hand at the expense of everything else. You look at it from every angle, research it, learn about it, and brainstorm new ideas.
  2. Letting your mind wander. You don’t have an agenda here. You have blocked off some time – one to two hours – to just let your mind lead you where it wants to go. This is usually the time that all the things you’ve been thinking about, but putting off, work their way back to the front of your mind. The cool thing is, quite often new ideas start popping into your head. (It used to happen for me when I was jogging. But, I hate jogging, so I stopped that. Now it usually happens when I’m sitting on the beach or taking a shower.)

Remember, thinking doesn’t mean you’re lazy. It means you’re doing some of the hardest and best work there is.

Action steps: 

1) Block out one or two hours to think. Don’t allow any interruptions. Most of us can’t do this everyday, so pick one to three days a week to do it. It helps if you let others know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, so they don’t think you’re just goofing off.

Oh, and if you can’t stand just sitting and thinking, you can do any repetitive, physical activity that doesn’t take much of your conscious brain power to do. I’m talking about things like walking, jogging, swimming, cleaning the dishes (your spouse will appreciate it!), gardening, mowing the grass, etc. That type of activity might even spur your thoughts on.

2) Write down every thought that comes to you that could be useful.

3) Take your best ideas and spend some time thinking about how to put them into practice.

4) Take action on the new idea right away. Don’t let the idea fade.

Questions for comment: How do you find time to think? What benefits come from it?

“The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

Albert Einstein

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

Everything You Want to Become and Do Begins With a Thought

What are you thinking about all day long?

Take a look around you right now. What do you see? A couch, a chair, a computer, walls, furniture, lights, windows?

Everything manmade was once nothing more than a thought. Someone had to conceive of the couch you’re sitting on before the plans were made, the materials were gathered, and the work was done to make it and ship it to the store where you purchased it.

Someone had to dream up the house you’re living in before it was built. I had to think of every word in this blog post in order to write it.

Everything that gets done in this world begins as a thought. From the first automobile to manned spaceflight to the Internet to cancer treatments to magnificent symphonies and works of art, everything had its origins in a thought.

I find that incredible.

The same holds true for who you are. Everything you do and everything you are begins as one of your thoughts.

What you think about leads you to who you are, who you will become, what you do, and what you will do.

What have you ever done that didn’t begin with a thought?
When have you ever made changes in your life that didn’t begin with a thought?

We have to change our thoughts before we can change our behavior. If we keep thinking the same things we’ve thought every day, we will keep doing the same things.

So what are you thinking about all day long? Are they your original thoughts, or are they thoughts other people put in your head? Are they positive or negative thoughts? Are they helping or hurting you?

Whatever you focus on, you will tend to get more of it. Your conscious and subconscious minds will get the message that this is important to you. They will work all day and all night to help you with whatever it is you’re thinking about.

Isn’t that amazing?

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.
–Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism

Your subconscious mind doesn’t care if you’re thinking negative or positive thoughts. Since you’re focusing on it you must want more of it, right? That’s the way your brain works.

Earl Nightingale, in his seminal work The Strangest Secret Ever Told, relates it to how a farmer and his field work together. Whether he plants corn or poison ivy in his field, the field doesn’t care. It will grow one just as well as the other. The field doesn’t judge what you’re planting. If the farmer plants corn and cares for it, the field will yield a wonderful crop of corn for him. If the farmer plants poison ivy, the field doesn’t listen to the farmer say, “No, I don’t want poison ivy, I want corn.” All the field knows is the farmer planted poison ivy, so that is what he is going to get.

What are you planting in your mind every day?

If you constantly think negative thoughts, don’t be surprised if you get negative outcomes. I’m sure you’ve seen this in your own life. When you get in a funk and start complaining about things you can quickly get in a downward spiral that is difficult to get out of.

Most of us have also experienced the opposite. We’ve had something good happen, we’ve focused on it, and then we’ve gotten on a roll. We feel like we’re in the zone and everything is working out for us.

Questions for comments:

What are you telling yourself in your head all day as you keep repeating your habits?
What are you thinking about all day long?
That is what you are and what you are becoming.
What thoughts do you need to focus on to create the change you want?

Choose your thoughts carefully. Choose your focus carefully.

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

Three Questions For Your Weekend

Determine your Passionate Purpose, become world class at it, use it to serve others, and enjoy the entire ride.
–Greg Knapp

If you’re struggling to find your Passionate Purpose, or you just want more out of life, I have three questions to ask yourself this weekend.

1) What things have you done that you’re passionate about and bring you joy?

2) What things have you done that you feel have created meaning in your life?

3) What are you good, or even great at? (Or what could you become great at?)

To have this work, you need to spend some real time doing deep thinking. Start with your childhood and slowly work your way to today.

Look at every type of thing you’ve done in every category you can think of. Go DEEP.

Don’t censor yourself, or let other people’s expectations color this exercise. This is all about you.

Action steps:

  • Schedule some time by yourself. Ideally, find a quiet spot that you enjoy.
  • Turn off all electronic devices – yes that means your phone!
  • Pray or meditate on the questions
  • Keep writing answers until you have at least 10 answers to each question.
  • Then come up with 10 more
  • Look for overlapping answers
  • Narrow the answers down to your top 3

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

What Are You Taking For Granted?

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My oldest is a senior in high school and will leave for college in a few short months. She has been on a trip with my wife over the past several days auditioning for theatre departments at different universities. I’ve missed them both and it has made me face the reality that very soon I will lose the daily contact I have with my daughter.

I will no longer get to talk to her in person about the good and bad parts of her day.
I will no longer get to hear her singing and watch her dancing each day.
I will no longer get to eat dinner with her each night.
I will no longer get to hug her and tell her how much I love her before bed each night, and so much more.

Just writing that hurts my heart…

It’s not a surprise that my daughter is going to leave soon. We’ve been planning for it since she was born. We’ve spent a lot of time together and have a great relationship. But, now that the time has almost arrived, I have this horrible feeling that I took most of our time together for granted.

How often do we do that with the important things in our lives?

What are you taking for granted right now? I have an idea to help you find out.

Action Steps:

1) List the most important things in your life.

2) One at a time, imagine how you would feel if each one was taken away.

3) The ones that would really hurt to lose, start spending more time on.

Hey, it’s not a surprise that all you have is going to be taken away one day. All of us will die. What important relationships and goals are you going to spend your time on before that happens?

Let’s GO!

(I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets. Click here for more details.)

“Better Safe than Sorry” Is a Lie

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After my last blog post about planning your escape from your current job, I received an email: “Greg, it sounds great to go after the life you want, but haven’t you ever heard the phrase, better safe than sorry?”

Yes, I’ve heard that expression. (In fact I just read something about it in Bob Proctor’s book, It’s Not About the Money. I don’t believe in coincidences, so let’s talk about it. )

My emailer continued, “I’m, nervous about trying something new and leaving my safe, stable job where I know I have a steady income.”

I totally understand where that guy is coming from. We were taught from an early age that the “safe” thing to do is to get a “good” job at a “good” company with a good salary, health care plan, and sick leave and vacation policy. When you get that, hold on tight and don’t let go.

I get it, and I always tell people that to decrease your risk you should keep your day job while you begin working on your Passionate Purpose. Then, slowly transition to your new thing.

With that in mind, here are the problems I have with the idea of “Better Safe Than Sorry:”

1) It implies that if you play it safe you will never be sorry.

Is that true? I’ve gone the “safe” route a few times where I still regret it to this day. I’m sorry I played it safe. I missed out on some great stuff.

No one on his deathbed ever said, “I didn’t really enjoy my work. I never went after what I really wanted. Maybe I could have lived the extraordinary life of my dreams. But, better safe than sorry!”

Don’t you want more than a job you barely tolerate because you think you won’t get fired?

2) Is any job really “safe” anymore?

During the 2008 recession, the United States lost 8.7 million jobs. How many of the people who were let go thought their jobs were safe? I thought mine was. Boy, was I wrong. How about you?

But, Greg, the recession is over. “Good” jobs are safe again. Really? Hmm…here’s a report from CNBC:

“In the first four months of the year, employers said they would hand out 250,061 pink slips. That is the highest total for the January-to-April period since 2009.”

I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer. I’m a glass is half full kinda guy. But, I’m also realistic. You could lose your job today. There is no safe job anymore (unless you work for the government – then you’re more likely to die than be fired). So does it make sense to stay in a job you don’t like, or even hate, because – better safe than sorry?

I think it’s safer to follow your passionate purpose. You will enjoy your work and life more right away. Because you love what you do, you’ll keep getting better at it and improve your chances to generate more income regardless of what’s happening with our economy.

And you’ll have fewer regrets.

Questions:

  • Are you fulfilling your Passionate Purpose with your current job?
  • Are you excited to get out of bed every morning?
  • Do you know that your life counts and that you matter?
  • Are you a success because you’re doing well financially, even if you don’t like your job?
  • Or, does your success come from using the gifts you were born with to make the most out of the purpose you were created for?
  • Is it time to start working on your Passionate Purpose today and create a plan to transition away from your current “safe” job?

Let’s GO!

(I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets. Click here for more details.)

Have You Ever Fallen Into The Impressive Trap?

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Why we do something is vital to the level of motivation and persistence we give to it. It also figures prominently in determining how much enjoyment we get out of it. Sometimes we put out a lot of time and effort before we realize we’ve anchored it all to a “why” that doesn’t serve us very well.

I was reminded of this when my daughter was practicing the piano and working on a fairly difficult jazz piece. After a while she plopped down on the couch beside me, looking frustrated.

I asked her what was wrong and she said, “I want to impress people by playing this song, but it’s hard.”

Before I could stop myself, I laughed out loud. I reminded her that if it was easy, everyone would do it. But then we got to the more important point. Doing something to impress others will never truly satisfy. The feeling you get from it is hollow and won’t last. It also means you’re allowing others to determine your worth. Why would you want to do that?

We all know this, yet somehow the “impressive” trap can sneak up on us. My wife, Anne, admits how it got to her in the story of her two careers.

Her first degree is in finance. Anne had big plans to become a senior executive in the banking industry. In just her first few years out of school, she was well on her way as an assistant vice president in private banking.

But, then she started volunteering as a tutor for at risk students at an inner city elementary school. She loved helping the little girl who was assigned to her. After a while, Anne realized she enjoyed tutoring much more than she enjoyed banking. If she was going to be honest, she didn’t like her job at all.

Anne had thought about becoming a teacher earlier in her life, but she worried about what other people might say. “Anne, you’re a straight A student, why would you use that just to teach elementary school?”

She knew that people say they value teachers, but many think if you’re a teacher it’s because you can’t do anything else. Or, you just want your summers off. Anne knew that wasn’t true, but she was letting other people’s opinions decide her fate.

She finally admitted to herself that the main reason she chose to be a finance major and go into banking was to impress others. Anne wanted people to know she was smart. She wanted the prestigious job title. She didn’t want anyone patting her on the head telling her what a cute, little teacher she was.

Once she figured that out, it didn’t take long for her to rework her “why.” She wanted to help inspire and teach our children to make our future brighter. Anne went back to school and got her Masters in Education.

She has helped change the lives of countless children and just won the award for teacher of the year at her school. She gets great joy out of teaching! She found the “why” that motivates her.

The “whys” that truly motivate us for the long term, and for the best results, are intrinsic. It’s not about impressing someone, or making our parents/significant other/society happy.

It’s about creating the extraordinary life of our dreams. It’s about growing, learning, being challenged, and achieving. It’s about enjoying what we do, not just the results of what we do. It’s about being the masters of our fate and embracing that.

Most of all, it’s about transcending ourselves, making a difference, and living a life that matters.

“Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”
–Daniel Pink

What is motivating you right now?

(I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets. Click here for more details.)

Do You Have the Success Mindset?

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“My will shall shape the future.  Whether I fail or succeed shall be no one’s doing but my own.  I am the force. I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility.  Win or lose; only I hold the key to my destiny.” – Elaine Maxwell

In almost every presentation I give, I tell people that everyone can pursue their Passionate Purpose and live the extraordinary life of their dreams.

But last week I had someone come up to me and say, Greg, you don’t really believe that everyone can be super successful do you? (He obviously didn’t know me well, yet.)

I told him, “Yes, I am positive this can happen for everyone. I’ve seen so many people do it I know it’s true. It’s also very exciting for me to think of so many people tapping into and using their gifts to live a life that matters and makes a difference. What saddens me is I know how few ever will.”

The problem isn’t that everyone can’t, it’s that everyone won’t. And the biggest thing that holds people back is their mindset. Do you have the success mindset?

Successful people believe:

  • I am where I am in life because of my decisions, thoughts, and actions
  • My future is determined by the decisions, thoughts, and actions I begin to take right now, it’s not based on my past
  • Blaming circumstances or people does not help me become successful
  • What I focus on I get more of, so I will focus on what I want – not what I’m afraid of
  • My knowledge and abilities are not set in stone
  • I can learn anything I need to become more successful
  • The more I learn and grow, the more successful I become
  • If I serve enough people, I’ll be rewarded with everything I want
  • If I super-serve people, money comes easily, is good, and I will use it to do great things
  • Money isn’t the goal; it’s one of the outcomes of a great goal

For many people, those ideas don’t make sense. Society has beaten into their conscious and subconscious minds a negative, depressing philosophy about life. They don’t believe they can ever live the life of their dreams. They spend more time being worried and fearful than working on what they want and whom they can serve.

What are you focusing on? Whatever it is, you’ll get more of it. What you feed your conscious mind is what your subconscious mind continually focuses on. It doesn’t care if your focus is negative or positive. It will focus on either one. We can program our subconscious to focus on what we want by filling it with positive thoughts.

So why don’t we?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
–Phil 4:8 NIV

I’m sure you’ve heard you reap what you sow. That’s true in more ways than just in actions like planting and harvesting, or hard work and rewards. It’s also in what you sow in your mind and what you sow in your heart.

If you never sow big dreams in your mind, how will you reap them? If you never sow wealth and success in your mind how will you reap it? If you never sow deep love in your mind how will you reap a great marriage and family?

There’s an old saying that seeing is believing. I agree with that, but there is more than one way to see. If you can see it in your mind so clearly that you believe it, then it’s just as real as seeing it in the physical world.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
– Napoleon Hill

That’s an imperative for the success mindset. You need to train your brain to make what you want so real in your imagination that you believe it as much as if you saw it with your eyes. When you do that, you’re on your way.

Remember, it is impossible for something to come from nothing. Everything that has ever been created was first a thought.

Spend some time thinking about the success mindset and work on challenging some of your core beliefs that are holding you back.

My next post will include the action steps to creating your success mindset.

Let’s GO!

Would you like a life coach, but you’re just not ready to commit the money it costs to get one to one coaching? Check out my 40-day Ecoaching course

How to Position Yourself As an Expert

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If you aren’t an expert yet, check out my blog post: How to Become an Expert in Your Field. If you haven’t read that post, please read it before you continue with this one. I outline the steps to quickly become an expert in your field.

This post isn’t for anyone just pretending to be an expert, this is for the people who have put in the work to gain massive knowledge and experience in their field, and truly are experts.

Now, how do you position yourself as an expert? How do you let people know you really know your stuff? It’s time to display it.

1) If you haven’t already, it’s time to create your website/blog.

This is simple to do and is really a requirement if you want to be taken seriously. If you followed my earlier advice and blogged about your journey to becoming an expert, it’s now time to shift the focus of your blog to sharing your expertise with your audience.

Through your research and study you’ve discovered what your target market really needs. You know their problems and their pain. You have the answers for them. Focus your blog on that.

Ask for comments and interact with your audience. Give them what they want.

2) Guest blog and guest podcast for other experts in your field.

Blogging and podcasting can become a chore after a while. Most bloggers/podcasters enjoy having guests give them free content. This is a true win-win. The other blogger/podcaster gets some free content, and you get to build your brand and your expertise by having your content appear on another expert’s site.

The best way to do this is to read/listen and comment on a few blogs/podcasts that you enjoy. After doing that for a few months, reach out to the blogger/podcaster and ask if she would be up for having you guest blog or be a guest on her show.

Tip: It’s great to go after the big bloggers and podcasters, but many of them don’t allow guests to post, or want big names for interviews. Aiming at some of the lesser known but good blogs/podcasts might be the better way to go at first.

3) Write articles for a trade magazine or professional publication.

This is similar to guest blogging. You will still be trading your free content for exposure to their audience. Once you’re published, you can display this in an “As Featured In” area of your website. It’s a great way to continue to build your expertise and your brand.

You’d be surprised how many publications are looking for good, free content. You might be able to turn it into a recurring gig. That could lead to paid gigs and more opportunities as an expert in your field.

4) Create “How to” videos for YouTube

“How to” videos are super popular and a great way to show what you know. If you can solve someone’s problem in a short video, they will see you as an expert.

  • Make sure you tailor these to your target market.
  • Keep them short and simple – three to five minutes at the most
  • Let your personality shine through.
  • People want to see the real you, not an overproduced video.

5) Write a “how to” book or ebook.

Nothing says “expert” louder than writing a book about your field. For many people this sounds impossible. I get it. It took me a long time to believe I could write a book. Now that I have, I’m looking at writing a book a year.

Here’s how you can do it. Self publish your book so you won’t have to wait around for a publisher to choose you. You can do it even quicker if you make an ebook

I used Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing to write my first book and ebook. It was easy and free. There are plenty of other sites that will help you self publish. Find the one that you like best.

Use your blog to write your book. The average non-fiction book is about 50,000 words. If you blog a 500 word post each weekday, that’s 10,000 words a month. You’ll have a book written in just five months. Even if you only blog three times a week, your book will be done in 9 months!

Of course, you’ll have to edit your posts to make them into a coherent book, but it’s a great way to repurpose your content.

6) Teach people you know “how to.”

Beyond making videos, go help someone. Start with a friend or family member. Ask your network who you might be able to help. You’ll start to be seen as the go to guy in your area. Ask for referrals from the people you help and start charging for your expertise.

7) Speak

Repurpose part of your book, blog, or videos and turn it into a 20 minute speech. Make sure it solves a problem for your target market. Entertain, inform, and give a couple of useable takeaways and you will be a hot commodity.

There are all kinds of networking, service, and civic groups that need guest speakers. Connect with the meeting planners and offer to speak for free. If you can give them a compelling description of your talk, most will be more than happy to have you. You can sell your book after the talk. Just make sure your speech has great content and isn’t 20 minutes of you trying to sell them something.

Take a step back and look at all you’ve learned and done in your field and your niche. Guess what? You’re a pretty darn good expert. Congratulations.

(I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets. Click here for more details.)