“Oh,” I say to my friend, “my daughter loves penguins too,” before realizing that my friend’s son has a whole different definition of must love penguins.
My daughter likes reading books about penguins.
She loved “Penguins of Madagascar.”
She enjoys visiting penguins at the Aquarium.
Turns out, though, that penguins are not always on her mind.
She’s not really thinking about them if they’re not right in front of her.
Unlike my friend’s son.
He has a collection of over 30 stuffed penguins in his room.
And it gets me thinking about your Elevator Pitch.
Because is my friend’s son more of an expert on penguins than my daughter?
I’m not sure,
But let’s put it this way:
If you wanted advice about penguins,
Would you feel more comfortable approaching the person surrounded by princesses, My Little Ponies, lions, and the occasional penguin,
Or the person surrounded by 30 penguins.
People assume that specialists are experts.
It’s not a bad rule of thumb,
And for better or for worse,
That’s how people form their first impression of you.
It’s the difference between doing marketing,
And helping people double the click-through rates on their email newsletters.
It’s the difference between being a lawyer,
And working with men who are getting married for the second time.
It’s the difference between being a career coach,
And working with engineers who are burnt out.
My daughter loves penguins, sure.
So does most every other kid.
Yet my friend’s son is the only one I know who’s collected thirty of them.
That’s what makes him different from all the other kids.
It’s a concrete way to measure his level of commitment.
How do you demonstrate your expertise?