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  Humor stories > Funny stories : Ten steps to establishing yourself as an expert: steps 3 and 4

Ten steps to establishing yourself as an expert: steps 3 and 4

Funny stories Rating : 4.00, 1 votes. Reviews : 0 [add review]

Experts are experts because they’re not the ones who are confused.

The only way you can continue to be an expert is to make sure that you’re always one step ahead of your targets. If you lose that edge, then they are the experts and they’ll lose a reason to come back to you.

Since the shelf-life of your expertise is dependent on repeat visits, it’s important to have just the right amount of confusion in your presentation to keep people wondering and asking for more.


There are lots of ways to do this. One is to tell the targets that there are Ten Steps and, instead of naming the steps in sequence for all to see (running the risk that someone will just read the steps and say, “That’s all I need…thanks!” and then go to the next web page or book), they make up an intro for each step and then don’t give out the step until somewhere in the body of the text.

The important thing is that the people keep relating to whatever it is you’re offering in the belief that you’ve got what they don’t. With just the right distribution of confusion, you can keep the target feeling like he or she is actually learning something – or even better still, come to the conclusion that he or she will never be the expert.

If you say it directly, they’ll say, “Of course I already knew that!” But if you obscure the obvious just a little, the target feels like they actually discovered something valuable – through you, of course and that’s the most important part.

Remember, you’re not in the business of offering something tangible, you’re in the business of being an expert.

Because you are an expert, you are privy to information that is beyond the scope of most of the people who turn to you for your expertise. As such, it’s important to refer to information that you know is just a little beyond their ability to grasp. Maybe even your own. That’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to really know, it just has to look like it.

One of the most effective ways to do this is to quote from a source that has absolutely nothing to do with your subject. If you present it as a metaphor for your subject, your targets will assume that you, since you’re the expert, can grasp the obvious connotation, whereas they cannot. What that does is make them turn to you for an even more exhaustive explanation. Oddly enough, this usually costs them money.

Take the whole idea of being an expert. It’s about ideas. Let me quote an expert on an amazing amount of things. On page 163 of “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” Chuck Barris explains, in dialogue quoting his future wife, “If they’re big enough to fill a champagne glass, they’re adequate. And mine fill a champagne glass easily. If I had a champagne glass, I’d show you.”

Fear not. That doesn’t mean you actually have to be able to explain yourself. It just means you have to provide them with enough information to keep them in the loop until you present them with another piece of confusion that will then shift their attention off the previously unanswered question – and prompt them to take out their credit card.

And remember…citing the book and page and author is important. That ensures no one will check you for accuracy.

But the most important part of this “art” is to be able to arm yourself with just enough information to keep them in the game.

Is this all clear?


Now that you’ve figured out your 10 Steps, chosen the proper name, and weaved in just the right amount of confusion into what you offer, it’s time to let everybody know you’re human, just like them.

Why would you choose to do that? Some Native American somewhere once told me that the reason Medicine Men were so crazy was that, “How else could they counsel you except that they know the pain of what you’re going through.” Wait a minute…what I meant to say was Chief Whipping Horse, pHd of the Chayonne in lower Kansas, in his book, Indiginity on page 469 said that...

Actually, were it not for that venerable old Chief, I never would have become the expert I am. The times I spent with him, in an incredibly un-Western way, put me through all the trials one could ever expect of someone seeking expertise. Can you imagine 14 days without food and water on the top of a water tower praying for a vision of what to be an expert about? Do you think for a second I don’t understand the suffering you’re going through?

I mean, look, I came to this dopey web site hoping someone could teach me how to be taken seriously as an expert. Until this article I had enough rejection letters in my house to turn them into papercrete and lay a foundation for a new one. Just like you. What I found is no one knows squat so I had to figure it out myself.

Have I hooked you yet?

And, by the way, here’s another free tip: Don’t be afraid to throw in a word in passing that no one knows anything about. Just like you and the word “papercrete,” you won’t spend a second looking up what it refers to – or even if it’s real. You’ll just assume, “Hell, he’s the expert, it must slop over into lots of things.” And not only that, but he’s the expert who was humble enough to seek an expert like the Chief.

And so, since I know you’ve been waiting a long time for me to spring Step Four on you, here it is.


No one wants to think their guides always had it figured out. Hell, even Moses had a mentor. It’s so important that you make sure people know that at one time you were just as ignorant as them. The more ignorant the better. But it’s even more important that people believe that you, too, turned to someone else for help.

There are so many potential mentors out there it’s ridiculous. And they are all mentors because they want to be. Why? Because the more mentees they have, the more credibility they have as experts. Catch the cycle?

And that’s kind of a sub-section of this Step: Gather a lot of Mentees.

And let me tell you another thing. This country is so hooked on perception, somebody with cachet is bound to start using “mentees” as a word to describe people who seek mentors. Why? Because that expert Drew Kissinger used it so it must be valid. (See how the name choice works for you?) The word sounds right, doesn’t it? Three years from now, you just watch, it’ll be in Funken-Wagnells.

But I digress…

How do you get those mentors? Start writing letters. No e-mails. Real letters, sent by snail mail and with no return e-mail or web site information. Why? You need something back with a signature.

Now I wouldn’t be an expert if I advised you to do anything illegal. In fact, please, don’t do anything illegal, unconscionable or even inconsolable, like make up your own quote and forge an important persons name on to it who was stupid or senile enough to respond. (Now THAT’s a directory I ought to sell, “Famous and Powerfully Important Senile People Who’ll Write You Back.”). Even if you know damn well no one who could do you any damage will read your cheap Print-on-Demand book with the person’s endorsement on it.

Nobody writes you back? No problem. This takes a little bit more work but it’s worth it. Go back to Step Two, where you chose your name. Then, find the most exceptional mentors you can find who’ve written books. Invariably they will mention names in their texts of brilliant minds who have helped them along the way and then quote them by first name.

Pick your own first name as one that reoccurs through a number of your targeted mentor’s books, or a first name that appears in a number of articles by different authors and then quote from them as if they were talking about you. Don’t forget the Third Step, either.

On the book jacket, it’d say something like, “Look at what people have to say about Drew… ’Drew was forever meddling in affairs of state, needling congressmen to do his bidding, even writing speeches for them to deliver on the floor.’ Jack Anderson, as quoted in Getting the Scoop by Mark Feldstein.

Man...that Drew guy is quite the expert!

An important addendum to Step Number Two is to make sure you choose a first name that is a bit more common than Drew. It took me a good half hour to scare up this quote. That’s much too long for an expert to spend on such nonsense.

That leads to another free tip (You`re Welcome!): BEFORE you write your Ten Steps, try them out first so you don`t get stuck like I did, in the middle of my text.


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