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The Russian Doctor

“I promise you, you’re going to be okay.” That’s what the Russian surgeon said to me that day, the day before I was scheduled to have my kidney removed and donated, after I had been examined by him and two other doctors for half an hour. I was readying for a procedure that was unnecessary for me and before he said those words, I had questions, concerns, and I had no insight into what I was about to go through. But when the Russian doctor reassured me that I would be okay, my family and I all came to a place of peace about what I was about to go through. There was suddenly a sense of calm in the room, and none of us, including myself, were nervous anymore – we all knew that what I was doing was for an amazing reason, and we knew that I would come out the other side intact, healthy, and safe.

Why was it that this doctor was able to bring me and my family back down to earth with nothing more than a sentence? How was he able to deem himself completely trustworthy when I knew absolutely nothing about him before all this? Sure, there are people in your life who, no matter what they do, project confidence without having to try too hard at anything; but built-in bravado only gets you so far. In real life, true success isn’t rooted in luck or in waiting for opportunities to present themselves. It is rooted in a commitment to become an expert in your line of work. It is your dedication and hard work that establishes a foundation for that magnetic confidence you admire in others, and crave for yourself. Decide that you are going to become the most knowledgable and reliable source in your field, and be diligent until you achieve it. After all, these doctors were not born with the skills to be world-class surgeons – they worked hard and achieved the level of expertise needed to be able to confidently step into a hospital room and put my family and myself in a more peaceful state of mind. Becoming an expert doesn’t happen overnight and will require you to apply yourself in ways that perhaps you hadn’t expected… but when you do these things, you have already reached a level of success that your less knowledgable peers have not and may not ever reach.

Your education, whether it happens in school or through your own research, is an integral part of becoming in expert in your market. You need to decide right now to commit yourself to reaching beyond what is “required learning” and make the effort to know your trade like the back of your hand. I can’t imagine how I would have felt sitting in that hospital room, face to face with three doctors who didn’t seem to grasp my anxiety, or who didn’t seem confident in themselves or their ability. I would have been petrified, and I doubt I would have stuck around to find out if I really was going to be okay. These doctors were fearless, educated men, whose confidence came from a place of a very deep understanding of their studies, and none of them had to announce it – my family and I could feelit. When you hold the knowledge it takes to be an expert, you will start to experience that magnetism you admire. Know your craft or your product so well that people cannot refuse giving you a “yes”. Be able to build value in yourself and your product so confidently that your audience will remember you, and want to get to know you better.

Something that you want to keep in mind when building your brand is becoming a reliable member of your community. Reliability can be applied to you and your brand in more than one way – are you always on time? Do you always get the job done the correct way? Are you consistent in your effectiveness and time management? Take some time to consider in what ways you are reliable, and perhaps, the ways in which you could improve upon. For instance, you may do stellar work for your superiors as you work your way up the ladder, but if you can never show up on time, this can turn you into a liability, stunting your rise to bigger and better things. The same goes for your clients – if you don’t show up on time, or your work is inconsistent or lazy, you will never build a reputation worth having. Reputation is an important part of your ventures, so much so that regardless how many glowing reviews you have, one negative review can derail hours, months, even years of hard work. Be mindful of your clients and your peers… these people can make or break your success, regardless of your level of confidence or expertise. Perform tasks with only the highest of standards, and your brand or craft will improve greatly.

It’s time to dominate your market by being the most knowledgeable and reliable person, right? Well, this is where your experiences become a part of the process – get your hands dirty in whatever it is you want to be successful with! Experience is knowledge in action, and it teaches us what works and what doesn’t. Experts don’t wait until they feel one hundred percent prepared, but instead, they try things, integrating their studies with first-hand experience. Take the Russian doctor as an example… do you think he went through medical school without ever experiencing surgery or procedures before he started operating on actual patients? If that were the case, I doubt any of us would be in good hands. So, whatever market you’re in, get out there and experience what it is like to do the work that you do. You will experience failures, and you will make mistakes, but those missteps make us better, stronger, and more capable. Remember, also, that just because you feel like you’re where you need to be, your education never ends. Being an expert doesn’t mean you have nothing else to learn… be open to constructive criticism, and be diligent in seeking out new knowledge. Even as an expert, you can only become more accomplished than you are today. Allow those in your field to keep teaching you new things, and be kind enough to share some of your knowledge, as well – it is hard to trust someone’s knowledge if they refuse to share any of it.

The potential to be an expert is in each of us, lying in wait, ready to be accessed. We just have to apply it. And when you do that…? You won’t have to convince anyone that you are the best. They will just feel it. In the hospital that day, where I was once nervous and unsure of the outcome, I became at peace with my decisions as the Russian doctor reassured me that I would be safe. I became unafraid of the moment I would drift off, medicated, unable to control the situation anymore, because he knew I would be able to hug my family again after all was said and done. I felt it. I put my confidence in him, and now I’m here, telling you a story about a man who didn’t have to brag or convince me that the world would be the same when I woke up. I want the same thing for you and your brand – I want you to be the best in your market, and I want you to give your clients the best experience they can have. Go forward with your most committed, hard-working self, so that you too can put a room at ease with as little effort as possible. Access your inner-expert and be the best in your own community.