How to Tell if Someone is NOT the Expert They Think They Are

With the bevy of online gurus, experts, coaches and inspirational bloggers who offer advice on how to achieve our dreams, be successful and quit our day jobs, I think it’s time we set a standard on whether or not these experts deserve our attention.

Here are my guidelines.

You are not a guru/expert/coach if…

1. You don’t listen to your own advice. 

No matter how wonderful your blog is, if you haven’t published a book you are not an expert on publishing. I’m amazed at the number of self-publishing geniuses these days.

On the other hand this guy is a publishing expert and a durn good editor. (Todd, is “durn’ ok to use? Also, should I capitalize ‘ok’ or spell it okay?)

2. You walk doesn’t match your talkity-talk-talk.

Shakespeare said it best: “Words! Words! Words!” The old adage in writing is show, don’t tell. The same applies for my benchmark for the guru/expert/coach: if they show me by their actions, I will listen–otherwise, it’s just words.

Bryan Allain is one

3. You live in a van…down by the river. chrisfarley-mattfoley-snl-debut-1993-585x418

This one is debatable because who doesn’t like a van by a river? But even Chris Farley would agree that just because you have a blog on “business success tips” doesn’t mean you’re a success. Anyone can be an entrepreneur from behind a WordPress blog, but it takes real guts to actually start a business and make it turn a profit.

This guy is an inspiration when it comes to really walking the walk–and he’s doing research on minivans, so there’s that too.

Now the real question…am I an expert on who is an expert?

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Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • You mean owning a van down by the river doesn’t make me an expert motivational speaker?! *Cancels order for a van*

    For me, it all comes down to action – if you haven’t actually done the thing you’re an expert at, and been successful, you aren’t an expert. Simple as that.

    • 😉

      Action indeed! Make it a verb that involves more than words!

  • Todd Foley

    To be featured at all on this site is an honor, but to be mentioned in the same post as Chris Farley / Matt Foley?! Oh, I am not worthy!!! 😀

    Thanks for the shout-out, Andrew. Greatly appreciate you, what you do and who you are, brother!