Be An Expert At Creating The Results That Matter To You

Most entrepreneurs are not experts on entrepreneurship. They’re experts on solving specific problems, serving specific people, and creating specific forms of value.

Most writers aren’t experts on writing. They’re experts on the process of saying what they need to say within the medium and style most suited for their particular form of self-expression or storytelling.

Most innovators aren’t experts on creativity and innovation. They’re experts at overcoming the particular set of obstacles that get in the way of the specific things they want to create.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, or anything else for that matter, stop focusing on becoming an expert at everything associated with your field and start optimizing your ability to create value in a way that’s unique to you.

Forgot about conventional notions of being balanced and knowing a little bit of everything about anything. Figure out what you want and find a way to create it. When you learn how to get things done, you’ll become an expert at the things you get done. If you don’t get things done, it won’t really matter what you think you’re an expert at.

My Failed Superhero Idea

If I were pitching a superhero idea to Marvel, I would create a superhero character called The Human Lie Detector.

His superpower would be the ability to see through anyone’s lies at any time.

Of course, I would need to be faithful to the comic book genre by giving my superhero at least one weaknesses. So I would make his B.S. detection skills only useful when he’s scrutinizing people of the opposite group or team to which he belongs.

His tagline would be “I can see through all the lies as long as they aren’t coming from the guys on my side.”

My only problem is that I would need to figure out a way to show the movie producers how my character differs from just watching the average American citizen during election season. This, of course, would be a formidable challenge.

Opinions: Have One

In our efforts to not sound pointed, we’ve forgotten that the purpose of speaking, writing, and creating is to make a point.

Without your point of view, we wouldn’t need to hear from you. Without your point of view, it doesn’t matter what you do.

Don’t be afraid to have an opinion. It’s virtually impossible to have an impact without one.

Stop Trying To Make Everyone Comfortable

Instead of waiting for the world to stop feeling nervous about your unconventional dreams and unorthodox desires, start having the guts to create the stuff you want to create regardless of how uncomfortable people get.

Do you really want to feel alive or are you willing to settle for just being the kind of person who never makes anyone uneasy? Do you just want to go down in history as the person who never spilled a glass of water, who never bombed a joke, who never asked a stupid question, who never mispronounced a word, who never said anything that went over somebody else’s head, who never got told “no,” who never did anything until everyone else said it was a cool thing to do?

We speak very romantically about things like “stepping out of your comfort zone” or “pushing yourself to get better” or “choosing to evolve” or “daring to make a difference,” but those things require choices that make it impossible for you to promise everyone that you’re going to be okay. And that’s the problem. Most of the people in your life want you to be okay. It helps them get to sleep at night when they know you’re going to be okay. It’s easier for them to explain your decisions to others when they know you’re going to be okay. It’s easier for them to plan their day, their weekend, their summer, their lives when they know you’re going to be okay. Your “okay-ness” is very important to people. But this is a luxury that has never belonged to great innovators and remarkable influencers.

If you want to be on the leading edge of creativity and progress, you have to get comfortable with making the world uncomfortable. You have to be okay with people not knowing how your life is going to turn out. And you have to be at ease with the fact that this might make them feel a little uneasy.

If your presence never challenges the people around you, then what does it even mean to be a distinct individual?

The process of creating your own map, as beautiful and praiseworthy as it is, means you don’t get to pull out a well-designed piece of paper and say “this is where we are, this is where I’m going, and I’ll arrive in approximately this much time.” Nope. You get to sound like a crazy person for a while. You get to sound delusional for a while. You get to sound arrogant and defiant for a while. You get to sound selfish and irresponsible for a while. You get to sound like a lot of things, but you don’t get to sound like a normal person when you choose to stop conforming to society’s idea of a normal person.

Jodie Foster once said “Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from.” Are you holding yourself back because of an artificial need to be normal? Here’s today’s two cents:

Stop trying to make everyone comfortable. Stop trying to make it sound as if you don’t have an opinion when you do. Stop trying to make it look as if you could go either way, when you know that’s not true. Stop trying to appear as if you don’t have a preferred style or system when you do. Stop trying to act like nothing makes you angry or unhappy, when that’s not actually the case. Stop trying to obtain everyone’s permission before you do what you already know you want to do.

Stop making a god out of fitting in and start rising to the level of a life that’s truly irreplaceable.

By the way, here’s a fun Garth Brooks tune to go along with today’s post:

Friday’s With Isaac Morehouse & T.K. Coleman: Kill The Past & See The Future

This week Isaac Morehouse and I discuss everything from why people blindly trust authority to why it’s easier to predict the future than we think.

We dove into how weird it is that I don’t care to check tasks off my list after I’ve done them and how obsessed Isaac is with list-checking. We discussed the danger of believing you are owed anything. We touched on positive rights (terrible) and negative rights (wonderful but still sometimes a trap), the weirdness of doing things you hate because they are “cheap” or “free”, how not to build social capital, why learning to use Google beats everything else, and, most exciting to me, how to gain an edge by seeing the future as already here.

“It’s dead alright. I didn’t kill it. It was dead when I got here.” – Larry the Liquidator

Mentioned in the episode: Wayne Dyer, Danny DeVito, Other People’s Money, Breaking Smart, Taylor Pearson, TK’s nephew schooling him in basketball, The Great Divorce, Michael Huemer, the ATR 2100, and lots more I’m forgetting.

Recommendations: “Going All In” by Taylor Pearson, and The Problem of Political Authority by Michael Huemer.

Know YOUR Audience

The hardest part about creating is always the “other people” part. What will “other people” think of me trying something like this? Will “other people” deem me worthy? Will “other people” think I’m weird or crazy?

It’s rarely the technical stuff that stops us. Sure, there are hard skills that must be acquired in any craft, but this is usually an invigorating process when we eradicate all the fear, pressure, and insecurity that stems from how “other people” might be evaluating our journey.

If you want to create, you have to get clear with yourself about where you stand with the “other people” factor. Do you need to be liked by everyone? Most people? Are you okay with being someone else’s hero? Their villain? Can you stand the rain of being misunderstood? Are you cool with making some people a little nervous? If you can be honest with yourself and come to grip with these questions, the technical side of creativity will go much more smoothly.

People often say “Know your audience.” That’s useful advice, but much too vague. The audience you fear or the audience you love? The audience you already know or the audience you’ll get to know as a result of creating the things you truly want to create?

If you’re feeling a little stuck in the creative process, I suggest stepping back from the audience that’s sitting in front of you today and carefully thinking about the audience you’re working towards. Sometimes the best cure for writer’s block, creativity block, or any other block is the sheer willingness to let go of the audience you have in order to make room for the audience you want.