Imagine you're an expert.
You solve many people's problems.
You're sought after, hired all the time…
And paid well.
That's the dream, isn't it?
Are these two statements true for you?
- More money would make your life easier.
- You dread a the idea of a dead-end job.
If so, you're in the right place.
Without going back to college?
I'm absolutely serious.
In fact, I've got 7 surefire tips to help you become a high-earning expert without getting a new degree.
(In case you're wondering, yes – I think I'm qualified to talk about this. I never got a degree in Fashion, yet I've created my own million-dollar style company. And it's helped over 100 million men since I started it several years ago.)
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Expert Tip #1 – Find A Burning Problem You Want To Solve
This is what very few people – maybe just around 1% – think about while they work their current job.
You can say you're a doctor, a lawyer, the company IT guy, whatever. But those are generic descriptions. What exactly is the problem you solve? What do you bring to the table? What need do you address? Is it a burning problem that lots of people would benefit from not having?
Sit down and really figure out the answers to those questions. Doing so is a key step towards becoming a legit expert.
Say, for example, that you work as a copywriter. Is that all you can say to a potential new employer? Of course not! Add some more details. Are you an email copywriter? Do you specialize in email copywriting using Infusionsoft? If your answer is yes, awesome! If not, learn a specialization! Businesses nowadays need that type of copywriter. Reaching out to customers via email is a burning problem for them.
Concrete (and truthful) information like that will increase your value to your current and future employers. It shows your deeper level of thought and understanding. It increases your value. It makes you become:
- A hundred times more attractive to potential clients or companies.
- Justified in charging a premium for your service, or in asking for a high salary.
Your biggest selling point isn't the skill per se, but how capable you are of using it to solve a problem. And becoming more capable doesn't have to mean looking for a new job. Perhaps consider taking a higher-level position in the company – one that pays better – when you can prove your capability. Companies value problem-solvers.
Expert Tip #2 – Never Stop Learning
People go to college learning what they're supposed to learn, reading what they're required to read. Once they claim their degree – that's where it all stops, right?
You must keep learning beyond that degree. But there's no need to work towards a third or fourth one. In fact, the only thing a degree will guarantee these days is student debt (at least in the US).
There's a cheaper alternative learning source that's sort of grown “out of style” now: books. How many books do you read in a year? Have you even picked up a book since graduating from college? Consider reading more, gents. The benefits are vastly underrated.
I make it through 50 books a year on average. How? I listen to audiobooks since I know it's sometimes hard to be laser-focused on pages and pages worth of text. It's the perfect way to absorb information while I drive, work out or do chores. Even if I don't take in as much of the info compared to actual reading, I still learn enough.
I also watch videos online and listen to podcasts whenever I can. You'd be surprised at how much fantastic knowledge and insights are available from those platforms. Search for what's relevant to your skillset and your chosen burning problem. Spend a little time each day hunting down new information. Sharpen your sword. It will make a huge difference in the long run.
Expert Tip #3 – Never Stop Practicing
Learning goes hand in hand with practicing. How so? Think about when a child first starts to ride a bike.
You can read books about it, watch clips on YouTube, or have Papa walk you through each step. But none of that matters if you don't actually ride your bike. Practice – and the mistakes that always come with it – makes you as close to perfect as you can get.
Whether it's your knack for PowerPoint or your eye for detail behind the camera, keep practicing and sharpening your skills. That includes re-mastering the basics as well. Why? Because it's hard to make progress if your foundations are rusty.
Even world-class athletes, and their coaches, know this, which is why they focus on basic drills when they practice. Repetition, reinforcement, the habit of practiced excellence – those lead to consistently thriving at something.
Expert Tip #4 – Choose The Right Niche
Here's where you reflect on what you want first and foremost. Your niche matters. By picking the wrong one, you could be wasting your time and efforts, resulting in an unsatisfying life later on.
What do I mean? If you're someone who's eager to spend more time with his family, it may not be the best idea to work at a big advertising agency with the crazy deadlines and hours. If you dream of making big bucks (there's nothing wrong with it) you probably shouldn't pursue an academic career.
This is not where you think about passion. You gain a passion for something after developing your expertise in it. Instead, determine what lifestyle and work environment would make you happy every day. Next, take into account your skill and the relevant burning problem. Then figure out how to fit those two pieces together. That's how you'll discover your niche and define it better.
Do you love nature trips? What if it turns out you're also quite handy with a camera? A potential niche could be a career in outdoor photography. You might enjoy this line of work, visiting various remote locations that make each day feel like a vacation. That passion for photography will only grow as you become more skilled and experienced.
Expert Tip #5 – Share Your Work & Expertise
Many of us are hesitant to do this. We fear that any work we freely share and display will get stolen or plagiarized. And that's understandable.
But consider the other end of the spectrum. By choosing not to share your content, (especially if it's fantastic stuff) you miss out on a valuable opportunity to promote yourself. You become inaccessible to people who might otherwise want to do business with you.
You ultimately have more to gain than lose by sharing your expertise. Treat it like a public portfolio. It should represent just how good you are. That makes it easier for clients or companies to hire you at a high ticket. They've seen your work, assuring them that you're low-risk – or even the BEST guy for the job. And gentlemen, that's the trick to more success and earning power in all industries: to be known as the best in your field.
Expert Tip #6 – Remember It's Also WHO You Know
Equally important as your expertise is your network, gentlemen. These two major factors of success need to balance each other out. They're not mutually exclusive.
Is this about becoming best friends with everyone? No. But any well-to-do expert knows how to get out there and make himself referable. Part of that is knowing how to nail first impressions. Another part is how you communicate your expertise.
How would I go about that? Let's say I'm sitting for a conference next to with this woman in her 40s, who works in finance…
- It's clear that she’s not a target customer of RMRS. But I believe she may know people whom I could help using my knowledge of style, such as her husband.
- We greet and exchange introductions. I eventually ask if she notices how most men do not dress well (presenting the burning problem).
- She answers yes – perfect! Now I explain that my mission is to help other guys become the men they know themselves to be.
- I go on to share about my online business, YouTube channel, the courses and products I offer. I'm prepared to answer her questions.
- The conversation is about to end. I take out my business card to give to her.
- We part ways. Even if we don't meet again, I've become memorable enough for her to refer me to the right people.
You can try a similar approach, gents. Every time you pull off selling yourself, you build upon your reputation. But remember not to focus on first impressions alone. Your reputation can soar to new heights – to the point you can be a highly paid full-time consultant – or it can suddenly go crashing down. It depends on the actual work you deliver. Actions speak louder than words. So deliver on your promises!
Expert Tip #7 – Go Where You Can Connect With People
This one is self-explanatory. From personal experience, I can say that connections-wise, nothing substitutes for attending live events. Conferences and conventions where you meet everybody in the flesh and feed off their energy. At such events, professionalism and humanity overlap. And it's marvelous.
That said, be selective about where you go. I have a long list of criteria when I consider joining conferences similar to Menfluential. I don't take note of just conference title. I research who else is going, identify those I'd like to reach out to and plan what I'm going to say to them. If I RSVP yes to an event, I try to contact other attendees and introduce myself beforehand. Yes – that demands time and patience. But in doing this I'm investing in something that'll yield lucrative returns in the future.
Though I encourage you to do likewise, it doesn't have to be live events. You can organize your own Mastermind event. Or work together with colleagues to host a meetup for people with a common profession or interest. It doesn't have to be located in a swanky hotel. A separate section at a nice restaurant or somebody's comfy living room will do. The advantage here is you control who shows up. You control the kind of people to eat with and mingle with.
Don't Delay Or Ask To Become An Expert – Just Make It Happen
Almost all successful people in life don't wait around and ask for permission. They know what they want, and they embrace it. They know there's no reason not to get out there and take action.
You've got all the initial guideposts in this article. Now's not the time to overthink and overanalyze. If you do that and question your abilities, it'll be quite a ways before you gain any momentum. It's better to just think “now or never” repeatedly. Just go do it. Now.
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