Being the smartest person in the room means your potential for growing has been capped. Sure, it's nice to feed the ego and feel superior, but is it really helping you? Having people to learn from keeps your progression going.
If you're seeking knowledge to break into another world and become successful, what are the ways you'll try to do so?
Surrounding yourself with successful people is the best way to start.
Here's why it's important to surround yourself with successful people:
Constant attention to the expert's advice begins to reconfigure your brain to the concepts they teach. This does two things:
1. It makes the concepts more normal to you the more you are exposed to them, which in turn makes it easier to apply them as you build your confidence.
2. It makes it easier to build upon these concepts when you add other expert's advice into your pool of knowledge.
Why are those two points important?
These new concepts you're learning need to become normal to you. It's like practicing a dance move or pitching until you've build up muscle memory, and your body does it without thinking.
The more you acquaint yourself with expert's advice, the more you study and apply your knowledge, the easier it becomes to do so. When you understand the principles and they become easier to do, it builds your confidence.
Building your knowledge base as also important, because following-up knowledge and content by checking advice with that of the other experts shows proof of concept. The more common a concept is, the more social proof you have that it works. So, don't be afraid to test knowledge against other experts, and if they conflict, choose what works best for you.
With the confidence you gain by building your knowledge base, it's easier to begin putting yourself out there and building confidence in your abilities.
In Jeff Goins's book Real Artists Don't Starve, he suggests that we find a patron until we can stand on our own. Find someone who can teach you the basics, production, marketing, etc.
Easier said than done. Patrons are hard to get because they're so famous/busy/intimidating. Usually (but not always), emails you send in are reviewed and answered by staff. It feels near impossible to do.
But finding a mentor is actually important to your success. You need to learn everything you can about the business and you need to learn it from the experts who are already successful and have proven strategies and techniques that lead to success.
Most of the experts nowadays offer courses. These are fantastic sources of knowledge, often accompanied by coaching options. Great investments for your future.
However, on the other hand, they're costly. Some of us don't have the money to throw down on a course. So are we out of luck?
The experts still offer cheaper options for us to glean their knowledge: Books, Blog Posts, Video Series, Checklists, Podcasts, Webinars... anything they think will help and combinations of these.
It's difficult piecing together all the advice from the various webinars we attend, podcasts we listen to, email lists we follow, so be careful not to overwhelm yourself by signing up for too many emails. Just pick the ones who are best suited for you and your situation.
And...Be prepared to work harder, and be prepared to play the long game, because it will take a long time for the scattered tricks and strategies you're learning to begin filtering success.
Start with Subscribing to the Experts email lists to stay current on their blog posts and other projects. Often, email lists lead to better opportunities for learning like webinars or discovering podcasts.
Take advantage of the Webinars to engage and ask questions. Your expert may be pitching their course that we can't afford (and that makes us sad), but they're also giving away great free advice in the process.
Branch out. Experts sometimes team up with other experts, which makes the discovery of new experts easier for you. Your favorite expert does a webinar or podcast with another expert and Bam! You have someone new to follow whose been endorsed by your previous expert.
Read as much material from the experts as you can, follow their blogs, buy their books, study the methods they use to become successful. Reading and studying works the knowledge into your brain.
You’ve probably heard that we as humans are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Whether completely accurate or not, the psychology holds water when it comes to what we constantly submit our brains to.
Be actively pursuing knowledge from the Successful Ones. Be active in putting to use their advice. And after you find your patron(s) whom you follow and trust, make sure you Do The Work.
No one starts out an expert, but with time and focus, we begin to realize that we can do it too.
What you do is who you become.