An expert is someone who has become proficient to the point of being able to teach others. That’s what my idea of an expert is. Many people think of experts as someone who has spent the most unimaginable amount of time on something. When you sacrifice years and decades of your life to understand something on the deepest level you’re really an expert. I think experts are much simpler than that. Experts are undiscovered teachers. When you can teach someone something from scratch to the point of great understanding than you have clearly mastered that thing to a certain degree. And that might not mean you’re able to do that thing perfectly but you very well understand it near perfectly.
The coach for a professional NBA basketball team may not be able to dunk a basketball at his age. But that same coach may be an expert in basketball because he can teach new concepts and plays to the players. Being an expert in something really comes down to your understanding of that thing. You don’t always have to be a practitioner of the subject. Although, many of the best experts practice their craft on a consistent basis. Most people don’t believe they are experts at anything because they can’t perform a specific thing perfectly. But the truth is we’ve all spent thousands and thousands of hours observing and learning things about the world and how it works. We are all experts at something deep down. You just have to take the time to think about what it really is. So what are you an expert at?
Here’s a short story on what I’m an expert at.
Let me start by saying there’s a few things that I’m really good at. I’m not great at hundreds of things like some celebrities or icons might want people to believe about them. I’m just good at a handful of things. But I value the things that I am good at. Some of them are trivial while others are really important. I’m good at playing video games. I told you some of them are trivial. I have great hand eye coordination and reflexes which you need for most action games. I’m also pretty good at magic. I used to spend hours a day practicing and learning all kinds of magic tricks. I’m good at playing poker. I’ve only ever played a few times professionally but let’s say I’ve sat at my fair share of underground tables. And I’m good at writing these days. Maybe not the actual content, but I’m more confident in my ability to get words on paper (or screen).
But none of those are what I’m truly an expert at. If I had to be honest about what I think I’m an expert in, it is one simple thing right now. I’m an expert at learning new things. It sounds like some sort of lame superpower but I assure you that it’s quite the opposite. I’m someone that can learn deep and involved subjects in a fraction of the time that is usually needed. I have a way about engulfing myself in a subject that I need to learn. I start picking apart all the components and breaking down exactly how that thing works. It’s a really novel way to see and approach new subjects. I might not always learn something in record time though. Sometimes I just learn things in really great detail and depth. I can go one hundred layers deep into a subject that most people just skim right over. It’s a really useful superpower if you ask me.
As a kid I taught myself how to do magic tricks. That one wasn’t too difficult to learn. I started out just finding simple card tricks on Youtube that interested me. I would just follow them step by step. Sometimes I could do the trick while I didn’t even know how the tricks were being done. It was hilarious. But eventually, I started finding more impressive and visual tricks. I would practice those tricks for hours. That would turn into me reading classic books on magic and learning all the foundational elements. I met one of my bestfriends around that time and he was also fascinated with magic. We then started teaching each other what we knew and sharing tricks. And eventually we got to the point where we were creating our own original tricks to perform. By the time we were in college, we were performing for America’s Got Talent and the likes.
Another thing that I taught myself pretty proficiently is business. It’s been a long time coming with the business journey. It started with a bunch of kids having cool, novel ideas. Even before then I would sell pieces of candy to my friends in elementary school. It was a pretty powerful feeling having what everyone else wanted. I didn’t know what to do with the few extra bucks but I knew I liked the process of selling. That evolved into trying to start t-shirt lines with my bestfriends. And that brought us into learning how to code and trying to build out a trending app. We had to teach ourselves how to create a brand and company story. We launched failing businesses almost every other month. I learned a lot about marketing and creating demand for a product. And all of that eventually led to Dwayne and I building our current business from scratch.
Learning things about starting and running a business actually changed my life. I would probably be sitting at a stuffy cubicle somewhere up the street working a job I hated right now if I didn’t learn about entrepreneurship. And I’m still learning about entrepreneurship. But I know I learned many things a lot faster than any classroom or professor could of taught me. Another thing that I learned really well with my superpower is how to meet women. This is something I was always scared to do. Growing up as an introverted teen, I never had the confidence to introduce myself to girls. I had to read every book on pickup and self-improvement from Barnes and Nobles. After months of getting engulfed in the world of game I started meeting some pretty and interesting girls. It even led to me getting my first real life girlfriend.
The things I’ve learned over the years have affected my life in many different ways. Most of them have been great things that added a lot of value to my life. I love the ability to learn things quickly but even more importantly learning them accurately. It’s a great feeling. These days I feel like I could learn anything in depth if I wanted to. I rarely feel scared or locked into a specific career or industry. If I wanted to jump up and become a fashion designer tomorrow, I have confidence that I could. And if I wanted to become a famous mumble rapper, I have confidence I could give Lil Pump a run for his money. I’m always learning new things like Shopify or digital marketing. And I spend a lot of time teaching others how to grow and learn new things in their life. So I would say with confidence, I’m an expert at learning new things.
Hopefully, I can transfer that knowledge and skill of learning into as many people as possible. Because the world looks like a brand new place when you’ve unlocked the beauty of endless knowledge.