I miss the days when you needed close to +10 years of post-grad school to be called an expert. Thanks to the Internets and social media and all those Google, Facebook and Instagram algorithms, the priority now is to create content, no matter what. It must be anything, just put stuff out there. Big companies were fast to get that. You can now contribute to sites like Forbes, Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur Magazine. It’s a win-win situation. They get free content to stay on top of algorithms, and you become an expert as you can relay your articles on all your social media accounts and add it to your website, which will give you what seems like credibility and will for sure help you reach out to more people.
Then you are on a roll. The next step is to keep giving advice even if you have no idea how you can actually implement those big ideas you are enthusiastically sharing. And if you are good-looking and confident enough, you might even end up on TV. Now that’s big. If you need a step by step guide, Tim Ferriss will show you the way by telling you what you need to do to reclaim your expert status. That’s PR baby.
The epidemic is not only touching my work life, it also has impact on my personal life. You all know how much I love yoga, and I’ve been a devoted practitioner for now close to 13 years. If you count backwards, lululemon hadn’t made its way to the East Coast yet back then. Yoga was still this hippie new age thing, slowly starting to become more popular, but definitely not the market it is now.
Being recognized as a yoga expert is also getting easier than ever. You can get your 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification at the studio on the corner, but if you want to take the fast track, you don’t even need that to start teaching. Create a great playlist, incorporate some fitness moves in there as well as some sort of mindfulness advice you found on an Instagram quote and you might become quite popular quite fast, as if you were really an expert.
Some say you shouldn’t teach yoga before 30. Maybe, I don’t know. It’s not so much an age thing, although it’s hard I guess to have a really developed practice if you’re still in your early twenties. But some people do. These are the old souls I guess. I mean what wisdom can you teach when you are still a baby? Hey kid, I’ve been practicing before you were even born, what can you really teach me unless you’ve put in it those damn 10 000 hours of practice? I’m kidding of course, I am still a baby too, but I guess that’s kind of what some more legit and a bit older people might think.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say I guess is that I miss my first yoga teachers. The not-so trendy ones. The ones that got to your bones using only a few words. How did they do it? Where did that magic came from? I guess that’s what we call expertise. I guess that’s what an expert is really all about. Someone who doesn’t need to brag about it, someone who doesn’t care that much about social media followers. Someone who teaches for the sake of it, or because, really, there is no other way. Once you’ve become an expert at something, you really do feel the need to share your knowledge, at least that’s how I feel.
Which makes me realize that I am not there yet. I am not an expert at brand management. I am not an expert at copywriting. I am not an expert in yoga. Of course I know some stuff, of course I can teach some stuff, but damn, I’m 27 years old. I hope I am not an expert yet, otherwise what am I going to work on for the next 80 years? However, even without being an expert, I can for sure give you some great advice, help you out figure things out, be there while we co-create something unique and beautiful. I don’t need to be an expert to have my work recognized, to create value.
Please stop the BS. Accept that learning is slow, that progress is important, that knowledge is a never-ending pursuit. Accept that you know more than yesterday, but less than tomorrow. Because
“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” ― Albert Einstein
If the expert says so, it is that it must be true.