My two oldest children are off to camp this week; both are teenagers. The night before they left I took them out to dinner to give them the “dad talk.” I don’t do this often enough but I still find the time to do it. We talk about relationships and life skills. The final part of the conversation was about being an expert, at SOMETHING. Just become an expert. For years I was a pastor but not an expert ( I was good at it, but not an expert). When I realized I needed to move on I was stuck because I wasn’t an expert at anything – I was good at things but not an expert. I want my girls to know that being an expert opens doors that they otherwise couldn’t open. What’s more, if you become an expert at an early age you can then ADD other skills to your list of expertise.
Today, Seth Godin had a similar thought in his blog:
“We’re all so busy doing our work that sometimes we fail to build a skill worth owning.If you invest 100 hours in a rare skill, you’re likely to acquire it. If you could learn to sharpen a tool better than your peers, organize a high-performance database, see the nuances in some sector of cryptography, know how to build a pretty-good WordPress site or really understand the arc of a particular writer’s career, you’d have something of value. Something that anyone who was focused enough to invest 100 hours could have, but few will choose to commit to.String together a few of those, or dig deep and develop a 1,000 hour asset and now you truly have something.There’s huge pressure to fit in, and plenty of benefits if you invest the time and stand out instead.Twenty hours a week for a year and you can know something that puts you in a new category. Access to knowledge isn’t nearly as difficult as the desire to learn.”