What Does It Mean to Be an "Expert"?

You’re ready to write THE book that will make you an expert in your field. You know the doors a book like that can open―like bigger speaking engagements, TV and radio appearances, podcast interviews, and more.

But now that you’ve opened that door, maybe you’re also feeling a little bit scared.

You might be asking yourself questions like,

  • Am I actually an expert, or am I just kidding myself?
  • Can I be an expert without a bunch of certifications or letters after my name?
  • There are other people in my field with way more clout than me. How can I play on that field?

If this sounds like what’s running through your head, don’t worry. You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone. You’re just falling prey to what I like to call the “expert myth.”

You see, no one gets to be an expert by waiting to become an expert. There's no mythical "Expert Fairy" who comes along to bless you with expert status and send clients flocking to your door. “Experts” are simply people who have chosen to own their power and their message, and put themselves out there in a big way. Once they’re visible, and people connect to what they have to say, that coveted “expert status” is a natural side effect.

I spent a long time waiting for someone to come along and recognize me as an expert. I was making a good living as a freelancer, and had contributed to some pretty amazing projects, but I was working in near-invisibility. In fact, I didn’t even have an e-mail list until 2016!

Finally, I realized that the Expert Fairy was never going to come along and pluck me out of my dollars-per-hour freelancing work just because I was great at what I did. I needed to open that door on my own, and claim the expertise that I’d spent years building.

So, I wrote a book―THE book that positioned me as an expert in my field. And everything changed. (If you haven’t read the book, grab your Kindle copy for just $0.99!)

Now, I get to share my knowledge with hundreds of writers every month as an educator, coach, and speaker. I work only with clients I connect to. My book development services are fully booked six months in advance. And it’s all happened within one year of releasing my best-selling book.

All it takes to be an expert is experience. (Notice the similarity between those two words? An expert is simply someone with experience!) You’ve been there, done that. You’ve created amazing results for your clients, and you know you can do the same for a much broader audience.

Yes, many of the “experts” out there do have tons of experience and credentials. But if you look closely, much of that cred is the result of opportunities that came after they put themselves out there as experts!

You can’t expect big doors to open for you if you never set foot outside your comfort zone. And you can’t expect to be recognized as an expert if you don’t claim that title for yourself, right now.

So, right now, I want you to start to think about all the ways in which your experience makes you an expert like no other expert. Take out your notebook, and start writing down some of the ways your experience―in business and in life―makes you an expert in your niche.

Want even more inspiration on this subject? Check out my blog post, “How the Expert Myth Actually Undermines Your Brilliance.”


If you want to learn more about the relationship between your book and your mission, don't worry, I've got you covered! Keep your eyes peeled in the next couple of weeks for an invitation to my new Masterclass! 

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Bryna René Haynes is the founder and President of The Heart of Writing, the chief editor for Inspired Living Publishing, and the best-selling author of the multiple-award-winning book, The Art of Inspiration: An Editor's Guide to Writing Powerful, Effective Inspirational and Personal Development Books. In over a decade as a writer, editor, ghostwriter, designer, and publishing consultant, she has helped hundreds of authors find their authentic voices and create powerful, memorable, successful works. She lives outside of Providence, RI, with her husband, Matthew, their Moonbeam, Áine, and their Little Star, Aelyn.