Is there a subject in which you have an interest, but you do not consider yourself an “expert”? Chances are that you know more about it than you give yourself credit for. We often underestimate our expertise.
You do not have to know everything about a subject, or more than anyone else in the world, to be an expert. You do need to know more than the average person about that subject. No matter how much you know, though, it is always a good idea to go deeper and learn more about your topic.
Here are some ideas on how you can increase your knowledge and become an expert on virtually any subject in as little as thirty minutes a day.
Consider becoming an expert in a narrow niche. For example, instead of trying to learn all about photography, you could focus (oooh-sorry about the pun) on digital photography, choosing a camera, commercial photography, or photographing weddings, portraits, children, animals, nature or some other specialized area. It would take much less time to become an expert on taking great photographs of babies than it would to become an expert on all things related to photography.
Read a book. There are books on every subject. Pick one up and start reading. You can fit in reading time while you are waiting for appointments, while riding to work on the bus, during breaks, just before bed, or in place of watching a television show.
Listen to audio. Anytime you are in your car you can be listening to an audio book or a CD or MP3 of an interview, a podcast or other useful information. Load audio files on your MP3 player and listen while you are waiting in line or have time that would otherwise be wasted.
Watch videos. Get DVDs or download videos on your topic. Do a search for relevant online videos. Subscribe to video podcasts on your topic. Watch the videos on your computer or take them with you on your video iPod or similar player.
Scan the blogs. Identify the top bloggers in your topic area, then subscribe to their blogs. You might start by subscribing to the RSS feeds of dozens of blogs. Scan the posts in your RSS reader (such as http://www.google.com/reader/) and see which bloggers are your favorites. Drop the ones that are not of interest, and pay attention to the blogs that are most informative.
Take a class. There are classes, teleseminars, webinars and other learning opportunities everywhere. Sign up for a course at your local college or through a continuing education program. Watch for notices of lectures in your town. Look for online classes and webinars. Watch or listen to some of the video and audio programs available free at iTunes U.
Talk to people. Talk to other experts and share information. Talk to people who are not experts to discover what they want to learn and get different perspectives. Interview an expert. Record the interview and it could become a product (with the expert’s permission, of course).
Do at least one of these things for at least thirty minutes every day, and you will feel confident as an expert in your field. When can you stop? Never. Learning goes on forever. There is always more to learn and as an expert you will continue learning for the rest of your life.
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