You Don’t Have To Be An Expert

Job descriptions expect it. Social media “influencers” claim it. And we listen to those we assume are one.

An “expert”.

But who is really an expert?

What Are the Requirements to be an Expert?

Is it someone who has multiple advanced degrees and took place in hundreds of clinical trials but has never worked outside of academia adapting to real-world market conditions? Or someone who has worked “in the field” for a few years but now touts his expertise in books and videos – but seems to talk about the same things over and over again?

What about that handyman down the street who seems to be able to fix anything he touches? Then there’s that 20-something gal working in the fast-food joint with little supervision but always seems to get things done.

Which one of these is the expert?

Potentially, any of them are.

Do You Have an Expert Skill?

I’ve learned years ago that we should never make assumptions about people.

Each of us has skills that go unnoticed by many. But that doesn’t diminish the skills. They’re there, just waiting for the right moment to come out.

We know we possess them and it gives us confidence. The confidence we sometimes are afraid to show. But it’s there.

Impostor Syndrome

Even with a wide-ranging set of skills and talents, we don’t feel like an expert. We’re afraid to speak about them. We’re hesitant to show them. And we have that little nagging feeling that we’re an impostor.

Wanna know a secret?  I thought this way too. I did. And it lasted for a while.

There was a time when I didn’t know what direction to take. During my younger years, I held many jobs. Shoe salesman, exterminator, and printer apprentice. Later I was a musician, MLM salesperson, and licensed stockbroker. After that, a short stint as a plumber’s helper led to owning my own HVAC business. What came next? A 20+ year hospitality career.

I’m clearly NOT an expert.

Experts do what they do for many years. They are laser-focused. They write papers. They have patents. They’re on television and stories are written about them. Everyone wants to interview them and pick their brain. And, nowadays, they have more social media followers than I could ever imagine.

Those are experts! So, what about me?

As you can see, I did a little of this, and a little of that. But that’s not what experts do.

Or is it?

I’ll tell you one thing…

Put me in most situations and I’ll succeed.

I’m able to fall back on my experience in multiple industries and remember how I approached a situation.

  • What was the scenario?
  • Who was involved?
  • What tools did I use?
  • What was the plan and outcome?
  • Can it be replicated?
  • What must I do differently to get the desired outcome?

I don’t get anxious. I don’t get nervous. And I don’t worry. I’m able to remain calm and weigh my options. My decisions come quickly because I’ve been here before. I just need to tweak things a little and it’ll work.

I can do this, I know it!

This is NOT how impostors act.

This is how experts act.

They prove their worth by their actions, not their theories.

They come up with solutions to problems.

Remember that handyman I mentioned earlier? He’s an expert. Give him a problem and he’ll have a tool for it. He’ll find a way to fix it, build it, or replace it better than it was before. He’s an expert because he has experience – and confidence in his skills. He knows what to do and is not afraid to do it.

Let’s get rid of the “impostor syndrome”. ‘Cause, we’re more of an expert than we realize.


Steve DiGioia
Steve DiGioia
With 20+ years in the hospitality industry and a lifetime of customer service experience, Steve DiGioia shares real-world tips and tactics to improve your customer service, increase employee morale, and provide the experience your customers desire. As a certified trainer, author & speaker, Steve has been recognized as a 4-time “World’s Top 30 Customer Service Professional” by Global and a “Top Customer Service Influencer” by multiple industry-leading sources. He is also a featured contributor to the leading hospitality and customer service websites. With a tagline of “Finding Ways to WOW Your Customer”, Steve continues his pursuit of excellence on his award-winning blog sharing his best strategies on customer service, management, and leadership. Follow Steve on Twitter @Steve DiGioia.

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