How Can I Start A Business If I'm Not An Expert In Anything?
I get asked this all the time.
Many people believe this to be true so don’t get started and their entrepreneurial dream ends right there.
My name is Helen Roberts I am an entrepreneur and started my first business 20 years ago and have gone on to build multiple successful businesses since. In the past 11 years I have worked with over 15000 people, people from all walks of life in every imaginable industry and I have helped them to start up and grow successful businesses.
It takes a leap of faith to leave a job to start a business so don’t let your monkey chatter fill your mind with reasons why you shouldn’t get started. Don’t tell yourself that: no one will pay for what you offer (your product / service) or think why would anyone pay you when there are tonnes of experts out there or who am you to start and grow a successful business.
Be careful of these negative thought patterns they will rob you of your confidence and self- esteem and prevent you from taking action that you need to start and grow a business doing what you are passionate about and what you love.
I started my first business a long time ago now. At the time I was advised not to start a business and told I needed to have at least 20 years experience and should be in my mid to late forties with some grey hair showing before anyone would take me seriously.
Needless to say I couldn’t wait to get going so got started anyway at the age of 25 and may I add that at the time I looked like I was 15!
I always dreamt about starting a business and could not wait to get going. I had 5 years experience and at the time I felt I knew enough to get started and that I would learn the rest along the way. And that’s what I did. I set out to become the best I could be by investing in my ongoing learning and development in my chosen area and set out to elevate the industry I was in and did just that.
The more I invested in myself the better I became and the more expertise I amassed along the way and the more valuable I became to my clients and my business.
If your dream is to start and grow a business around something that your passionate about and that you love; you can do it!
What is an expert anyway?
The dictionary states that an expert is someone who is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area.
It’s that simple. An expert has gained a broad and deep competence in terms of knowledge skill and experience through practice and or education in a particular field.
The term is widely used in businesses across all industries. There are a wide range of experts across many areas in life from; fitness & health, to childcare, social care, dog handlers, a shepherd who has tended sheep for many years to those with professional or academic qualifications e.g. in finance, health, law etc.
The key to building a successful business around something you love even when you’re not a “so called expert” or authority on the topic is to be expert enough.
The concept becomes extremely clear when you start to think of expertise as a spectrum instead of a destination. Let’s say we use a scale of 1 to 10. When you start in your business you’ll be perhaps at a 1 or 2 and as you develop your skills and experience over time you will go up that scale in your chosen field. Each time you go up the scale work with clients that need that expertise and keep evolving your offer and the clients you serve.
Let’s look at an example.
I have a friend Natalie who worked in a major bank in lending. Natalie has a finance degree and took up a graduate trainee post straight from university. She knew that a bank job was a good one to have so took it. As the years past she became more and more unhappy at work and dreaded Monday mornings. She had enough and desperately wanted to leave. She would regularly moan about it and eventually got to a point when she knew she had to make a change.
During this time Natalie was very much into her body building and competed internationally. Fitness was her absolute passion and she loved training and living a healthy and nutrition filled life. It was where she spent all her spare time. I suggested that she start up her own business in health and fitness specifically supporting female body builders. At first she was skeptical and said she didn’t have enough experience or expertise to do that. We spent some time together and broke it down and looked at the skills and experience she had and it was significant around body building and fitness training and nutrition. Natalie had also won a number of competitions so had a reputation already in the field.
Although Natalie didn’t have any qualifications in fitness or health she had a tonne of experience and know how having been in the space herself as a hobby for a number of years. Natalie was expert enough; so she got started and created some service offerings to support those interested in pursuing a natural body building journey. Her business grew from strength to strength and she didn’t have enough time to support the demand. In Natalie’s ongoing development she learned more about her craft and did fitness and nutrition qualifications across a number of areas to boost her knowledge. She is now one of the leading experts in her field and has gone on to coach and train people around the world. She also opened a gym and now trains people in cross fitness for the cross fit games which is also a new passion.
In business you need to have a commitment for ongoing development. The better you become the better your offering will be to your customer and the more in demand you will be.
When Natalie got started she could help people from where she was at that time. The more experience she gained and developed along the way the more she could offer and the higher up the expert scale she became.
If you can help someone from where you are at great; if you can’t and you know that you are not the best person to solve their particular problem or challenge refer them to someone that can.
My philosophy is always around working with people that I can genuinely serve and if I can’t I’ll pass them on to someone that can.
3 simple steps to move your business forward
1) Figure out what you are interested in. What subject do you know a lot about right now? What skills or expertise could you build upon? What are you passionate about and what do you love? It’s easier to build from something that you know already and have an interest in than starting with something brand new that you know nothing about.
2) Focus on one subject at a time. Don’t clutter your mind with too much. Take small steps and action every day to onboard knowledge and new skills. For example if you want to learn how to build websites for a living start with one version first eg. WordPress or Wix or Squarespace and then move on. Set yourself up for success with daily wins. Build a powerful mindset and become unstoppable.
3) No train no gain. Practice makes perfect. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Work on your craft daily. Read books, listen to podcasts, watch videos, do trainings, join a mastermind group and be around other entrepreneurs. Implement everything you learn and continue to evolve.
Do what you do well and as you develop you can support many more people along that journey. As you grow the number of people you support will grow. It takes time to become that true expert and it won’t happen overnight. The fastest way to improve is to get started, do the work and invest in your learning every day.
Some of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs on the planet such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg all got started in their business in there 20’s with little to no experience so they were definitely not experts.
You don’t have to be an expert to start a successful business. What these guys all had in common was they wanted to provide great value and service to people. They had passion and drive and powerful mindsets to make it happen. They believed in themselves and just went for it. They invested in themselves continuously on their entrepreneurial journey.
The time is now, there’s never been so much support available to start a business. There’s no need to wait and watch in the background, listening, learning, and never taking action. You are expert enough to start your own business and move your dream forward to create the life that you want for you and your family.
Until next time.
A millionaire by 26 having started her own successful recruitment business Helen has gone on to build several multi-million pound ventures. Now the MD of a successful consulting business Helen shows people how to start and build a successful business quickly. With over 20 years experience, Helen is a multinational award winning business who has worked with other 15 thousand people to date.