How does one become known as an expert? In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell popularized what has become known as the 10,000 theory – the idea that if you spend about 10K hours practicing a skill that you would have built up such expertise to master your craft. But it’s one thing to be an expert. How do you get others to notice that? You probably have to do some amount of self promotion, chat up your abilities and then keep studying to show yourself approved when you get a chance to demonstrate your level of expertise.
A friend contacted me recently for book recommendations. Well, this person is not so much a friend as someone I have been acquainted with for several years, interacted with in several different capacities, and have remained social with. Not really someone who knows the details of my life but is generally aware about my writing and reading interests. I mean, even without my saying anything, most of the people I interact with have an idea that I like books. The UPS guy knows how many books gets delivered to my apartment every week. He has an idea. The cashier at the thrift store that I visit in search of secondhand books, she doesn’t know my name or my profession but she often comments on how many books I purchase. She has an idea. The guy who works out next to me at the gym sometimes. He sees the book I put on my treadmill for when I’m in the walk phase of my interval workout. He has an idea. Still, the message I received from my acquaintance-turned-friend was a surprise.
I’m looking for a good book and I know you’re the book queen. Any suggestions?
That simple request made my day. The acknowledgment isn’t why I read. I have a passion for the written word – both for producing and consuming it. I am always writing and I’m always reading. But it makes me smile when others recognize what I do and validate how I see myself.
And just in case you want a book suggestion yourself, my current reads are:
Homegoing /Yaa Gyasi (Fiction)- a novel told in a sequence of linked short stories that chronicle the descendants of an Ghanian family who either remain in Africa or make their way to the US.
The Power of Broke /Daymond John – the FUBU entrepreneur and Shark talks about how starting off at the bottom can be a great motivator.
On Monday, I announced that I am doing a daily run-walk challenge with my virtual running buddy. Day 4 goals are to remain consistent – match yesterday’s distance and pace. Come back later for our updates and let me know in the comments if you’d like to join the challenge so I can add you to the daily tracker.
Is there anyone you can validate with a well-placed comment today?