Am I an expert? Are you? Tackling imposter syndrome.
Not too long ago, Charlotte Duckworth, an author who I have worked with in the past asked if she could ask me some questions to share on her blog. She had loads of questions about the in-house book marketing world, and thought other authors would be interested, too.
Of course I said yes, because I love doing Q&As.
(Clearly, I think what I have to say is kind of interesting, otherwise I wouldn’t be banging on all the time on a blog and a newsletter and in my Facebook group and on social media.)
But then the piece went live a few weeks after I wrote it and… I freaked out! In the introduction, she called me an ‘expert’ – ‘Top tips from expert Katie Sadler‘.
What? I’m not an expert.
Sure, I have worked with a lot of authors over the years.
And I mean, sure, I’ve generally had good feedback from the people I’ve worked with.
And I guess this is something I do professionally and have twelve years of experience in.
But I’m not an expert. I have no facts at my fingertips. I don’t have a Mastermind subject. There are people out there who are far shinier and more expert-y than I am, right?
Why did she call me an expert!?
Isn’t it funny how the brain does that? Imposter syndrome can be pretty debilitating sometimes, and can really prevent you from taking any action. ‘Why would someone want to hear about what I think on that topic? I’m not an expert.’
Then I listened to a podcast with Amy Porterfield where she was talking about online courses (I think it was this one). Her view is that you only need to have a 10% edge on someone else to be in a position to educate them on something. I mean, clearly she thinks that because she wants as many people as possible to sign up to her course making course (meta). But I think the point is really valid.
10% more knowledge than someone else? Even if your brain hates thinking of yourself as an expert, as mine does, it’s likely that it’ll accept that you there are areas (probably lots of areas) where you know 10% more than other people.
Even if you DON’T have 12 years of experience in something and should probably just own the word expert but somehow still can’t manage to do so, you can accept that you have that 10% edge.
So – what do you have a 10% edge in? What could you teach others about? Are you comfortable accepting the ‘expert’ title?