A couple of years ago, when I was fleeing ‘working for the man’ and planning on setting up my own freelance practice, I came across this article – Understanding how to frame your creative expertise by Tara Sophia Mohr on the 99u.com website.
I found the article to be very resonant the first time I read it and have mentally referred to it over the last couple of years as I have been (enjoyably) grappling with developing my services and brand.
Mohr defines 4 types of experts, including “The Specialist” (think of your typical consultant who boasts of a deep immersive experience in one specialised field) and “The Called” (those visionary souls who feel drawn to some transformative mission). I define myself as a mixture of “The Survivor” and “The Cross Trainer”:
“The Survivor”: “You’ve been through something, learned a heck of a lot along the way, and now you are on fire to share what you’ve learned… You have an ability to move and connect with your audiences that most formal experts on your topic don’t have. You can provide inspiration and role-modeling – not just information. You have insider insights that will help you create a more compelling offer for your audience.”
“The Cross Trainer”: “Cross trainers make interdisciplinary connections and drive innovations. They see the blind spots of the conventional thinking in the field they’ve turned their attention to…For cross trainers, the charge is to be bold in asking provocative questions and making interdisciplinary leaps, … Focus on starting new conversations…”
This is a succinct, well written and thought provoking article. It helped me to start to get a handle on just what is that I have to offer; this is something of a challenge for those of us with unconventional resumes that boast a portfolio of varied experience rather than a linear career path.