Are you an expert? Know the 7 factors influencing your status

Today’s topic is… YOU. This post will show you:

  • Whether you are an expert
  • 7 factors that influence your expert status.

The first thing to know is many experts don’t realize they are experts.

And if they do, they do not want to admit it.

At least that’s often the case here in Minnesota where there’s a culture of trying hard to never, NEVER come across braggy and boastful.

Honestly, if you’re a Minnesotan, you could win a Pulitzer and none of your family or friends would know unless they had reason to peek inside the cardboard box hidden in your closet. (Why they would snoop in your closet is a whole other discussion.)

10,000 hours and counting

Back to you and, more importantly, whether you are, indeed, an expert.

Merriam-Webster, the online dictionary, says an expert has “the special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject.”

(Yep, sounds like you!)

But does “mastery” mean? What’s involved?

According to Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000-Hour Rule,” it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to master a skill.

Woman holding basketball

Becoming an expert takes focus and effort.

In your case, that’s 10,000 hours dedicated to counseling, managing, selling, healing, designing, creating, fixing, entertaining, teaching, growing, baking, branding, training, promoting, writing, midwifing, sewing, accounting, lawyering or what have you.

Ten thousand hours of practice translates roughly to 3 hours a day, every day for 10 years straight.

(Whew! That’s a lot of time. I hope you are an expert on something you loooove).

7 factors influencing your expert status

Seven factors contribute to how others perceive your reputation as an expert.

According to Wikipedia, these include your (1) credentials, (2) training, (3) education, (4) profession, (5) publication or (6) experience.

I’m going to add another key factor: (7) social proof, such as customer testimonials, endorsements, awards and publicity.

Social proof means other people and organizations vouch for your expertise or view you as an expert. (Publication, which Wikipedia cites, is another powerful form of social proof.)

You can tap one or more of these 7 factors to further build your influence as an expert if you choose. Publishing articles in industry magazines, adding testimonials to your website, or sharing publicity on your company are excellent ways to communicate with your  customers.

You, The Expert 

See? You’re an expert, or you will be if you stick to practicing your chosen skill.

Plus, now you know the 7 factors that influence your perceived status as an expert.

I’m glad you’re You, The Expert!


Interested in sharing your expertise and to make the world a better place? Check out my new  *Expert-to-Authority* package.


Your turn

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below:

What’s one area in which you rule as expert? Do NOT be modest!


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14 Responses to Are you an expert? Know the 7 factors influencing your status

  1. Rebecca Huse says:

    Gorgeous Maire. Amen! I have been in the personal development industry for over 10 years now and being an ‘expert’ has definitely been effortless for me because as you pointed out so wisely its gotta be what you love. If anyone out there is daunted by this 10,000 hours thing I would just want to say if its what you love time flies.

  2. Lisa says:

    It’s funny… I was just reading 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, and he said you can be an expert if you read the top three books in the subject area and do a couple of “expert interviews.” This kind felt a little uneasy… sham-like, if you will. So I am EXTRA happy to see this post–it re-confirms that hard work, passion, time commitment, and sharing are what really makes someone an expert! My expertise area is food as medicine… and I feel so much gratitude that I picked something way back when I wasn’t sure about it that led me to where I am today (I get to talk about food all the time!).

    • Hey Lisa – I read the Tim Ferris idea, too. Makes a person view some “experts” with a degree of skepticism. Alas! Dish up everyone a delicious serving of food as medicine–we need it!

  3. 8 years ago I completely healed my digestive system after an Irritable Bowel Syndrome diagnosis. And I have been studying digestive health, nutrition and stress reduction for the last 15 years, which makes me an expert in Malcolm Gladwell’s eyes but I think of myself as more of a life long student of digestion and knowledgeable consultant rather than an expert because this field is an incredibly complicated one to master for anyone.

    • Excellent point, Angela! Once you pass the 10,0000-hour mark, you can’t just coast. There is sooo much to learn, so many ways to improve, so much more to bring to the table. Thanks for your comment.

      By the way, your story sounds very inspiring and important. I’d better check out your website!

  4. Marie,

    Some excellent points here…reinforcing something I’ve learned in energy work…the secret to Mastery being Practice! We have to do to learn, and the more energy sessions I’ve practiced, the better I have become at performing them. It’s a truth but not one we always want to face.

    Cheers and thanks for the share


  5. Gyda says:

    Loved your blog post! The Minnesota “thing” in the beginning made me instantly like your personality and want to read more.
    Reminder of the 10.000 hours was also a good reminder for myself – to keep on going 🙂

  6. Megan Dorsey says:

    Great post! I work in the field of education — test preparation and college admissions. My clients see my experience and education as a sign of my expert status. However, in the field of education, so many people are focused on official credentials and publications. Funny how what clients want differs so greatly from what peers look for.

  7. Thanks for the post. Very interesting. I’m surprised when people view me as an expert. It is not something that I feel comfortable with as there is the expectation that I always know the answer or what to do.

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