It’s not very difficult to quickly acquire expertise in a given area, if that’s what you want to do. But it’s amazing to me the number of people who just never bother. If not knowing about something stands between you and what you want to accomplish, get busy and go get that know-how. It really is that simple.
1. Find and read at least a year’s back issues of the related trade or specialty magazines:
Every business, industry, occupation, vocation, hobby or special interest – from cooking to computer programming, from ostrich farming to searching for lost gold mines, from long-haul truck driving to golfing, from writing to woodworking, from Astrology to Zoology – has one, in most cases several magazines all its own. In these magazines, the experts write articles, all interviewed and profiled, how-to secrets are revealed, advertisers promote their wares.
2. Answer a lot of ads you find in these magazines:
Let all those advertisers try to sell you their products and services. Soon, you’ll be deluged with information. All coming to you, free.
3. Find the top experts, most successful people and most celebrated people in the field:
Such people have probably written books, recorded audiocassettes, they may sell such products, seminars or consulting, and/or they may even be approachable just to talk with or visit with free. Seek out the best and the brightest and find out how you can best turn their experience into your knowledge. Surprisingly, even in competitive fields, these outspoken experts and super-achievers exist.
There was a chiropractor who started his own practice immediately after school. Almost immediately. First, armed with a list he had painstakingly compiled of 50 of the most successful, most respected chiropractors in the country, he got in his car and drove across country, north, south, east and west, going to each of their offices, asking if he could observe, take the doctor to lunch or dinner and pick his brain, visit with the staff, and so on. Forty-nine of the fifty were gracious, generous, encouraging and helpful. He arrived home with what he called “A Master Practice-Building Plan From The Masters Of The Profession.” He had great confidence in this plan. He implemented it with natural enthusiasm and positive expectation. And he built a record-breaking practice in short order.
If I were to start in a brand new business today, I would follow his example.
4. Find the books written by “the OLD masters”:
Just about every field has “old masters,” whose works are hard to find or even out of print, who many ignore as passed with time and no longer important. They’re wrong.
In the selling field, every salesperson should read books by Frank Bettger, Red Motley, Robert Trailins, to name a few, from the 1950’s, the 1940’s, and earlier if you can find them. Robert Trailins’ “old book,” DYNAMIC SELLING, published by Prentice-Hall a long time ago, to be found only in libraries or used bookstores, offers better advice on crafting powerful appointment-getting presentations than any book, seminar or course I’m aware of.
In direct-response advertising and copywriting, today’s top pros, like my friends Gary Halbert and Ted Nicholas, and I, constantly refer notices to the works of the “old masters,” Robert Collier, Claude Hopkins, Victor Schwab and others, dating back to the 1930’s.
5. Join trade associations or clubs:
The “learning curve shortcuts” available through trade association membership and attending association conventions and workshops is remarkable. The opportunity to make dozens and dozens of important and beneficial contacts is even greater.
Most associations have archives of tapes from past years’ conventions and workshops, so you can “attend” two, five, even ten years of past events as if a time machine was at your disposal.
Many national associations have state, regional or city “chapters,” with easily accessible meetings and seminars, usually all at very modest costs. If you are interested in writing, for example, The National Writers Club has Chapters in most states. If you are interested in speaking, the National Speakers Association has Chapters in many cities.
6. Take a class, workshop or seminar.
Community colleges are getting more and more progressive and competitive in their class offerings and their use of bona fide, real world experts as instructors. The seminar organization, The Learning Annex, with operations in many major cities, offers the most diverse assortment of classes I’ve ever seen – everything from how to start an import/export business to how to become a belly dancer or how to strip like a pro to how to buy and sell antiques. Somewhere, there’s somebody giving a class, workshop or seminar on just about any subject you can imagine.
7. Do your homework:
The public library is the place to start. Most major city libraries have self-serve, easy-to-use computer systems, so you can plug in any topic and find all the books, articles and other resources related to it. There is a master directory published for every imaginable subject, and if you can’t find one in your area of interest, there is a “Directory Of Directories” to help you.
Source: The Ultimate Success Secret by