According to Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922, an expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a narrow field.
Yet, whenever we look up to experts and successful people, we tend to believe they’re perfect. We see all the success and glory and believe that these people are gifted and have something that the majority doesn’t.
They seem smarter, luckier, and better looking than the rest of us.
The problem, however, is that we barely think about their entire journey and of how they got to where they are today. We just see the tip of the iceberg and are tempted to believe that these people are different than the rest of us.
And while some people are just luckier than others, the majority of the people you might admire just worked their ass off to be where they are today.
As Arnold Schwarzenegger states:
“You can not succeed with both your hands in your pockets.’’
Getting out there, putting in the work, making mistakes, and always getting up one more time than you fell down is undoubtedly the most effective path to achieving massive goals.
Is it efficient? Probably not.
You’d for sure be quicker if you have the right network and pay big sums to avoid mistakes. Yet, if that’s not possible, all you can do is failing forward.
Learning from various sources and combining knowledge has never been easier than right now. We’re living in the information age where data and insights are more valuable than ever before. And while you can certainly become an expert by consuming content of those ahead of you, your own victories and failures are what teach you most in life.
No book, movie, seminar, or course can teach you as much as the experiences you make.
While books and courses consist of data and storytelling, your experiences are connected to emotions. That’s why they teach you the most about yourself and the world around you.
You can keep learning from best practices and those ahead of you. Yet, to achieve true greatness and become one of the best in your field, you’ll need to get out there, make mistakes and embrace failure.
The 100-Hour Rule
If you had 100 hours to invest in your personal and professional growth, how would you spend them?
Would you focus on things you’re good at, average at, or bad at?
According to Jay Shetty, successful people in various fields were asked how they’d use their 100 hours, and their answers were quite similar:
They either said their ratio would be 80–10–10 or even 100–0–0.
While most people are struggling to focus on a few things, those who succeed in business and life are the ones who know how to invest their time most effectively.
Once you invest 80–100% of your time and energy into what you’re already good at, you’ll excel at it and become unbeatable in that specific area.
If you, however, spend your time doing things that you’re average or even bad at, you could only become average or good, but not the best.
Also, Tim Ferriss, who interviewed hundreds of the world’s most successful people, shares that these people heavily invest in their strengths instead of working on their weaknesses.
You can always outsource and find people to fill the gap for the things you’re not good at, yet, focusing on your strengths and making even more mistakes in these areas will help you to stand out from the majority and become an expert in your industry.
“When it come to your skills, invest in your strengths. When it comes to qualities, invest in your weaknesses”
— Jay Shetty
Being an expert in a particular niche requires dedication, focus, and a clear path. Having several interests and combining them might be appealing, yet, if you’re only good at many things, people will choose your competitors who’re great at one specific thing.
That’s why finding your strengths, and further investing in them by making your own experiences and mistakes is priceless to achieve true greatness.
Sometimes, our strengths are not the things that we enjoy most. Yet, using them can make life so much easier and help you beat the average and be an authority instead of fighting for attention.
For entrepreneurs, high-achievers, coaches, and writers, it’s more important than ever before to set priorities and be focused on niches instead of trying to serve everyone.
Building an expert status is easier through social networks and digital possibilities, yet, it requires hard work, a sharp focus, and the will to make mistakes.
Nobody wants to learn from an expert who has just learned from other experts. Instead, we want to learn from those who actually made experiences, encountered failures still kept going.