"specializing, and then executing on your specialization for long enough to cultivate the reputation you need"
"...a reasonably fast ROI on the courage and work they invest in making this change."
For most forms of expertise, this superficial layer [problem behind the stated problem] translates to: you know what dumb shit to avoid. The flip side of this is: you possess competence. Not rare expertise, but reliable competence.
I’m sorry, but I have to camp out here a minute. Dumb shit is responsible for so much risk and expense and failure in the world of technology.
...you don’t wait until you’ve cultivated this deep, valuable expertise to share it. You share it as you go.
This part is CRITICAL.
You share. it. as. you. go.
this is going to sound a little crazy. I am in fact suggesting that you do the following three things:
1. Build a small audience you can share with. Make sure it's on a platform with a good feedback mechanism, like an email list.
2. Share with them on an aggressive schedule; at least 3 times/week. Intentionally work in public at the edge of your expertise. Use their questions and feedback to direct how you deepen your expertise.
3. Intentionally use the fear created by #2 above to speed up how quickly you cultivate expertise.
When you share your somewhat embryonic expertise with an audience that can give you feedback, you are doing something that will create productive discomfort. This will incentivize you to get better fast.
The stakes are high, but lower than promising a client expertise that you haven't yet cultivated. In other words, you're leaning out over your skis, but not on a client project. Doing that on a client project would be a kind of malpractice, and that's not what I'm suggesting here.
The above selection is from an email titled, [C2C] Specialization + Time -> Reputation/Market Position from Philip Morgan in his series about coding to consultant.
The below is an excerpt from Adam Croft in his email titled, How I Quit Being an Idiot.
Here's What You Do
You should take away 3 things from this email:
1. I was once more of an idiot than you. So, it's safe for you to admit what you don't know.
2. I left my childish idiot ways behind and learned. So, you'll get there as well! Even if it takes a while.
3. You just need to get started.
Don't let the "I don't know enough" or "I'm not good enough" or "I'm not sure if I'm doing this right" feelings stop you from doing the things that will help you achieve your dreams.
(Obviously - but I'll spell it out - don't do anything illegal either. I'm not advocating any form of lying, cheating, or stealing.)
You can simply put your best foot forward right now. Do now what you best understand to be "good", and correct yourself later when you find out that wasn't so good after all.
Build your first few clients, which will help you learn the beginnings of doing business well and legally. Pull in money to read books about how to get better and make your business more formal. Once you're stable and can afford it - then build a team around you to help you succeed more.
In other words - build LEGO brick by LEGO brick. Don't try and make the Hogwarts Castle set all at once, on your first time building LEGOs, all by yourself.
So... I hit a wall this week in the challenge. Today was the 13th day and the last two days my thoughts were so jumbled from a crippling fear of not being good enough, placing my identity in the way people respond to my work, the way I respond to my creative efforts, my seeming inability to connect with people who matter to me (family, friends and clients). I've been a bit shattered while simultaneously experiencing growth and positive movement in several arenas.
How to get back on my feet... How to stay focused on my North Star and move again. How to find the back bone necessary to keep connecting?
So, what is my north star?
- helping people with real problems they face using my skill with the personality and perspective I've earned through trial and persistence.
- creating environments for learning, growing and thriving personally, collectively
- embracing life as an adventure, a discovery party and ultimately an opportunity to do and create amazing.
What is the action I am going to take today in the face of my fear of inadequacy?
a) reaffirm my commitment to personal growth - fight for the space and time I need daily to establish a habit to process, reflect and record what I'm learning.
b) reach out to clients and friends for feedback on the things I am trying to create today.
c) encourage students who are struggling with the CTEC HTML/CSS content.
d) find new ways to tell Ginger how much she means to me (and my kiddos too)