A Rock Star is an expert!
There are two ways to be perceived as an (instant) expert.
Now ideally you are an expert AND perceived as an expert, but quite honestly, most of us are totally confused as to what an expert is.
Before we dive in we had better agree on what an “Expert” really is!
Expert: a person with extensive knowledge or ability
We will use Wikipedia for our working definition, “a person with extensive knowledge or ability.”
A key distinction is that “expert” is a relative term.
1) People consider me an expert at cryptography. I even have a couple of math degrees so I can understand the underlying (and often very hairy) math. I could start talking about crypto with zero preparation or notes and go for hours. I have plenty of practical experience as well as knowledge.
Now compare me with the crypto gurus at the NSA.
Sure, I could probably teach the entry level mathematicians they recruit from college a lot, but compared to their world class experts I know little.
Yet people legitimately call me an expert in crypto – but I’m not the #1 (or even remotely #500) expert worldwide, but still an expert.
2) I am considered an expert cook by my friends. OK, some of them can barely boil water (especially some of the women!).
I love to cook lavish 5-10 course endless meals for parties. For Christmas, I am supplementing the meal with Steak Tartare (with homemade crackers), baked stuffed cuttlefish, and probably crème brulee.
In reality, I’m just this guy that has learned to cook perhaps 15 things well.
I do not remotely have the scope and breadth of professional chef, for example my Cordon Bleu trained chef friend Steve.
Yet legitimately people consider me an expert.
Expert means you know a lot, more than most, not more than EVERYONE.
Experts are also expected to be professional, and you should act like a professional!
You naturally build expertise, but you do not naturally build “Expert Status”
There are plenty of experts who are not perceived as experts, who do not receive the benefit of their expert status, who no one listens to – unfortunately!
So what are the two ways to be considered an instant expert?
Now of course we know occasionally the guy speaking at the front of the room is an idiot and even a famous author may be a total dolt. There are always counter examples. But even the few idiot speakers and total dolt authors are perceived as experts by most!