Have you ever started explaining something to someone and suddenly heard how smart you sound?
You think you don’t know enough about whatever the subject is, but as soon as you start talking, you amaze yourself.
You do know a thing or two. You sound like a pro.
Who knew? If you’re like so many of us, certainly not you.
You Feel Like A Newbie
If you’re in startup mode with a new business venture, it can feel like you’re not ready to give advice to anyone yet. You feel unsure of yourself.
You fear sounding foolish.
So you don’t put yourself out there. You don’t actively look for clients.
After all, you’re still in learning mode.
Learning Mode Is Ongoing
Too often we mistake learning mode as being a temporary situation. It’s anything but.
We never stop learning. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t knowledgable.
The reality is once we begin learning, there are always going to be those who are coming up behind us. We may not know everything — as if we ever will — but we sure as heck know more than those in the rearview mirror.
It’s natural to worry about jumping too soon and failing.
But if we wait till we know it all, well, we’ll be waiting forever.
Because that’s never going to happen.
Your Hand Is Forced
And usually you’re forced into discovering you’re further along on the learning curve than you thought, when someone asks for help.
You take a deep breath and start talking.
And wow, listen yourself. You know stuff! A lot of stuff.
More stuff than the person asking for help.
And that’s not only a huge confidence booster, but it allows you to see that, hey, you really are pretty good at what you do.
You can help someone else.
And doing so helps you too.
You might even be the biggest benefactor.
Your Audience Knows Less Than You Do
You have to remember, you know more than your audience does, when they’re seeking your guidance.
If you just start putting out valuable information to your target market, addressing things you know they’re looking for help with, you’re sharing as you learn.
Instead of sitting around waiting until you’re an expert, you just start doing.
Sometimes you may fall short of the mark. Other times you hit the bull’s eye.
But one thing’s for sure — the experience you gain will teach you more, in less time, than all the reading and studying you can do.
I don’t know about you, but I am often very pleasantly surprised by this phenomenon. It’s empowering to realize just how much we actually do know.
Learn — And Teach — As You Go
So what can you do to tap into this store of hidden knowledge?
Well, let me share what I’ve learned along the way. 😉
1. Write about it.
Whether you’re asked or not, you can still write blog posts and articles with valuable information for your audience. When you’ve discovered some new idea or task that’s helped you, it will help your audience as well. Share it with them.
Not only will you be adding value, you’ll be able to see just how much more you knew than you thought. Big confidence booster.
Others can bypass mistakes you’ve made by learning from your experiences.
2. Be in constant learn-as-you go mode.
You’re always learning. You never stop educating yourself and adding to your skill set. It’s an inherent part of every successful business.
And whatever you already know can always be improved upon. Every book you read, podcast you listen to or course you participate in teaches you new and better strategies and ideas.
Teach those to others along the way. Everyone benefits.
3. It’s always easier to help someone else than it is to work on ourselves.
Writers and content marketers nearly always find it easier to help someone else with their marketing and content creation than they do their own. I don’t know why, but we struggle on our own business tasks and marketing efforts, but almost effortlessly help others with theirs.
I’m betting the same is true no matter what business you’re in. Maybe it’s more clearly defined when we work with someone else on their business. With ourselves, we’re always second-guessing things.
It’s liberating to be able to help people. It’s one the best ways we, ourselves, grow.
As I’ve already mentioned, any time I help someone solve a problem, I realize I actually know what I’m talking about. The words flow, the ideas come easily.
My customer or client is grateful for the help and I gain confidence. It’s a win/win.
5. Start taking action right now.
All of us have a tendency to sit way too long where we’re comfortable. We tell ourselves we’ll get going as soon as ______________. Often it’s a rationalization we make to stay comfortable.
Simply taking action is the fastest way to sink or swim. So what if we fail. If we don’t fail now and then, how can we expect to learn anything?
That old expression about experience being the best teacher is very true. It’s failures that show us where to course correct. Mistakes help us find a better way.
Waiting until we know everything means we don’t benefit from our errors. Sometimes those errors are the only road to success.
So take action. Do something. Act as if you’re ready.
It’s the fastest, surest way to actually be ready.
If you catch yourself vascilating and putting off moving forward, start small.
Do something. Anything.
Just get moving.
Write blogs posts. Teach others.
Answer questions wth the authority you already have.
Learn as you go.
Never stop learning.
Never stop teaching.
It is the ultimate win/win.
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