Do you know your profession inside and out? Do you live it, eat it, drink it, breathe it daily? Can you hold your own with a room full of peers because you know your “stuff” so well? Yes. The answer is yes. You, my friend are an expert. Experts know the ins and outs, experts have walked the walk and bitten the dust a few times. Experts know how to get it done without blinking an eye. Then there’s Mike.
Mike knows a little bit about everything. He dabbles here, he dabbles there. He tells you how it should be because he read that article once about the thing with the widget and the flux capacitor. He gets news alerts in his inbox about widgets and trusts everything. Heck, he’s even listened to a podcast or two about a thing or two and NOW he knows. Yes my fellow experts, Mike is real, and Mike is here to tell you how you should skin the cat, how you should roll, how you should focus on this or not focus on this. Mike has never actually done what you do, but gosh darnit, he read that article on LinkedIn and has a friend on Twitter who agrees most of the time.
The Mike’s of the world distract the experts of the world. The Mike’s of the world become the CEO’s “consultant” and throw everything off course so that they can simply keep their gig. The Mike’s of the world can ultimately end up single-handily throwing an entire company off course just because of a shiny object.
Knowing enough to be dangerous is a huge danger. Learning by doing, learning by experience, learning by the ole’ school of hard knocks is what makes an expert an expert. A never ending quest for learning coupled with a never-ending zest for finding a better, newer and more relevant way of doing this is what makes YOU an expert. Learning to trust your gut is challenging, but will ultimately insulate you from the many Mike’s of the world.
In my world, there are millions of Mike’s. They know how to do SEO better because their cousin Joey once got a site ranked in Bing by altering some code. They think Social Media isn’t right for your business because it simply just doesn’t ROI, they think that content can be churned out quicker, faster and cheaper in India and simply don’t get why we’re creating it in the first place. The Mike’s of the world are fixated on one particular portion of marketing and never look at the big picture because they kind of sorta know something about that particular portion. The Mike’s of the Digital Marketing world are everywhere and news-flash, the Mike’s aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
How do you keep the Mike’s out? You don’t budge. You stay the course. You stay grounded. You challenge. If you’re not allowed to challenge, you get the hell away from Mike. The Internet has made it stupid simple to get to see what Mike is really about. Use it. Challenge him. Avoid him, take his advice ALWAYS with a grain of salt.