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You are an expert. Even if you don't feel like one.
Hey there, fellow design enthusiasts and business owners! Grab a hot cup of cocoa and settle in for a story that might change how you view expertise. Today, I want to share a tale that happened to me and taught me a valuable business lesson that I still carry with me to this day. So get cozy.
To hear the full telling of my story, listen to Episode 324 of Resourceful Designer: “You Are an Expert.”
Back in the day, when I was just a young whippersnapper, I found myself in an unexpected predicament while travelling with my parents to see my oldest brother in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Let me set the scene for you: it was December 1984, my brother was getting hitched, and my parents and I flew across Canada for the occasion.
After a beautiful ceremony, and while the newlyweds were off honeymooning, my Mom, Dad and I hopped in our rental car for a trip to Victoria, British Columbia, located on Vancouver Island, to visit my grandmother, who was not well enough to attend the wedding.
A common misconception about Canada is that it's perpetually snow-covered. Contrary to this belief, various regions, including British Columbia, rarely face substantial snowfall. Little did we know a snowstorm had graced the island, causing a roadblock on our way to Victoria. Who would've thought a mere 1.5 inches of snow could halt an entire highway?
Now, my dad, not one to give up easily, decided to exercise his expert negotiation skills with the police officer in charge of the roadblock. And here's where the magic happened. My father, armed with his Ontario driver's license and a humble yet persuasive argument, convinced the officers that we could brave the treacherous snow-covered roads.
The business lesson that unfolded before my eyes was this: you don't have to know everything to be considered an expert. All you need is to possess more knowledge than the person you're engaging with. In this case, my dad showed the officers that he understood these road conditions better than they did, highlighting his experience driving in snowy Ontario winters. My dad wasn't a better driver than those stuck at the roadblock. But he did possess a unique skill that gave him the advantage.
It was a lightbulb moment for me—realizing that expertise isn't always about having the most qualifications or training. Rather, it's about having the right knowledge and confidence to back it up.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs and designers grapple with self-doubt, fearing that their current knowledge and experience level might not measure up. This story reminds you that you don't need to be an “expert” to succeed or charge fair prices for your services.
Let's take a moment to reflect on this valuable lesson and how it applies to our own professional lives. As designers, web developers, and creative entrepreneurs, we often face situations where we're asked questions or put in positions where we need to assert our expertise. And that's where this lesson truly shines.
This story serves as a rallying cry for those hesitant to enter the entrepreneurial world due to perceived limitations. Clients seek your services because they lack the expertise you possess. Your knowledge, no matter how limited it may seem to you, holds immense value to them.
Remember, you don't have to know every little detail or have a golden trophy of certifications. What matters most is being knowledgeable in your field and having confidence in your abilities. Expertise is not a fixed destination but a continuous learning and growth journey. Don't let self-doubt hinder your progress. Embrace your current knowledge and skills, and watch as your confidence transforms into the expertise that clients value and are willing to invest in.
Understanding your client's needs, staying up-to-date with industry trends, and constantly expanding your knowledge base will help you establish and strengthen your status as an expert.
I encourage you to embrace your inner expert. Embrace that you already know much more than you might give yourself credit for. Use that knowledge to confidently navigate through the creative landscape and elevate your business to new heights.
If you've enjoyed this story and the lessons it carries, make sure to follow Resourceful Designer and catch every insightful episode. And remember, you are an expert. Embrace it and let your passion shine.
Until next time, Stay Creative, my friends!
Ready to level up your design business? Tune in to Resourceful Designer's next episode for more expert tips, industry advice, and inspiring stories. Don't forget to visit my website to join our vibrant community of creative professionals. Let's conquer the world, one design project at a time!
CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcription of this episode. This transcript was created with the help of AI and transcription tools. It has not been edited for errors or accuracy.
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