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Ebook Answers #9 – What Makes YOU an Expert?

The bad thing about this next question we’re going to tackle is that it’s a crippling one — until it’s answered. In fact, this one question may keep more prospective authors — people like YOU — from writing their ebooks than almost any other question. It probably stops more people than "how to make a […]

The bad thing about this next question we’re going to tackle is that it’s a crippling one — until it’s answered.

In fact, this one question may keep more prospective authors — people like YOU — from writing their ebooks than almost any other question.

It probably stops more people than "how to make a pdf" or "how do I put up a website.’

And the bad part about this question is that it strikes at the heart of your business, your personality and your own identity.

So what’s this important question?

Here it is: "What gives YOU the right to write a book?"

Or,"What makes YOU an expert?"

Or, put another way: "Why should ANYone listen to YOU?"


Well, just as upsetting as the question is, the answers may be doubly upsetting, depending on your point of view.

The first answer is…

"Because YOU say so."

Now, I’m not about tell you that you can write an ebook on do-it-yourself heart bypass surgery — there are some things that are far too important to listen to anyone other than people with 5, 10 or 30 years of experience.

But I will tell you that doctors are often trained with the mantra of "Learn one, do one, teach one."

Doctors know that the act of teaching someone educates the teacher as much or more than the student. The only requirement is that the teacher start out by knowing just a little bit more than the student.

And that the teacher take the risk of talking about wha the knows.

If you’re thinking of writing an ebook about something — almost anything — all you need to know is a little bit more than the people you are teaching…and how to communicate what you know effectively.

You’ll be doing your reader a good deed by sharing what you know…and you’ll learn more by simply creating your product.

That’s really it.

No one has to appoint you an expert in your field — except you.

You don’t need initials after your name, and for most things, you don’t need years of experience.

But I’m guessing that you DO have years of experience in your field. Or a love for your topic. Or a passion for helping people eliminate pain, make money, save money, or just have fun.

(Those are ALL good topics for big money ebooks, by the way.)

But you just don’t think that what YOU have to say is special enough. Or maybe you just don’t think that you’re worthy.

In his book "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind", T. Harv Eker dealt with a similar question (you might not think it’s similar, but it is). The question Harv answered was "Am I worthy to be Rich?"

Harv’s response was that there was no stamping line at birth that labeled you worthy or unworthy. You ARE worthy, and you don’t have to wait for someone else to anoint you "worthy" to be rich.

(But for those who still don’t believe him, Harv asks you to get all dressed up in a Tuxedo or Evening Gown for a special "You are worthy to be Rich" anointing ceremony. It’s very funny — and it points out the absurdity of those who still can’t get it through their skulls that they ARE worthy of having whatever it is they want in life — whether it’s to become an author, or to run their own online business, or to be rich.)

Still not convinced?

Well here’s something that almost always works.

You don’t always have to have years of experience in the area of expertise you are writing about. In fact, some of the best selling books are written by contrarians and outsiders.

Which is a more compelling headline?

"Amazing Secret Discovered by Golf pro"
"Amazing Secret Discovered by One Legged Golfer"

We all expect golf pros to know what they are doing. The second one sets us on fire, because if a one legged golfer can hit a golf ball straighter and further, then certainly YOU can hit a golf ball further with two legs.

The first one is boring. The second one sold millions of dollars worth of products for one of John Carlton’s copywriting clients. (John wrote the original , much longer headline.)

In other words, it can be to your advantage to not be a credentialed expert.

I’ll end with just a couple other examples.

Question: When did Joel Comm become an expert on Google Adsense?

Answer: When he published his Adsense Secrets ebook. Not a moment before.

Question: When did Jack Canfield become a motivational expert?

Answer: When he published his first "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books with Mark Victor Hansen.

Question: When did Robert Kiyosaki become an expert on finance?

Answer: It wasn’t while he was in the marines, or even when he sold copiers for Xerox. It wasn’t when he sold velcro surfer wallets or t-shirts for heavy metal rock bands. Nope. It was when he published his Rich Dad, Poor Dad book. Not a moment before.

So my question to you is…

When will YOU become an expert in your field?

Answer: When you publish your own ebook!

You ARE worthy, and you ARE worth listening to. Don’t let a silly thing like your own fear stand in the way of the message you were born to share, or from helping the people who are waiting to hear from you.

They are there, and they are waiting.

It’s time.

To Your Success,

–Mark Widawer

P.S. There are a lot of people who will argue with me about this. And I’ll tell you that if you are messing with people’s livelihood, their money, or their health, that whether or not you have initials after your name, you’d better be RIGHT about what you are telling them.

I’m not at all telling you that you don’t need to be competent, or knowledgeable, or skilled. What I’m telling you is that you gain credibility by taking a risk and putting yourself OUT THERE in the public light.

And as soon as you do that, you can shine.



9 replies on “Ebook Answers #9 – What Makes YOU an Expert?”

Mark, Thanks for the great post. I think that so many people with esteem issues, as well as experts, always ask themselves this question at one point or another. I love that you addressed it and how you addressed it. I have been giving my friends relationship advice all my life (they never listen & then go through hell) and then I started giving advice on Yahoo Answers, at about the same time that I found out about Internet Marketing. Yahoo made me a “top contributor” within days and tons of people were writing me on how great my answers were! So, I decided to start writing a book, buy some web sites etc and that is exactly what I did. I am not done with any of it yet, but at times I have asked myself that question. You have given me and my friend, who I will be passing this onto a nice self-esteem boost! So, thanks very much and I wish you MUCH success!

Melanie Joy Vertalino

PS. Have any blog posts on web site creation for dummies? That is where I’m stuck! Feel free to email me, I’d love to hear from you!

You, and people like you, who have REAL VALUE to offer people, and REAL HELP to give people, and a REAL PASSION about what they do and know…YOU are who this post is about.
All of you.
You don’t need credentials, initials after your name, or someone else to tap you on the shoulder with a magic wand to say “You are an expert” or “You are worthy of being listened to.”
You KNOW you are, already.
It’s nice when other people say they like and respect you — like what all those people are doing for you over on Yahoo answers — but you don’t even NEED that.
If you can help, then help.
Kudos and blessings to you, Melanie, for the work you do to help others.
That’s what this is all about.

Hi Mark!
Thank you for your optmistic and very true and honest letter “What makes you an expert”?
No doubt many people need that support to consider themselves worthy.

All the best.

“You ARE worthy, and you ARE worth listening to”. Wow that is a statement that really resounded with me,I don’t think we are aware of how much negative self talk that goes on in our head subconsciously. If i seriously look at why I don’t get something done it is the negative version of that statement that is running on the tracks

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