Waiting to become the expert

🌲 19,000 hours in

Read Time: 5 mins (or listen to this issue)


The #1 challenge I hear about passive income: “How do I get started?”

I created a tool that will help you discover products you can package once and monetize forever.

Waiting to become the expert

Hey pal,

I’m sharing a strong opinion, strongly held today. I wonder how you feel about it. Reply and let me know. I’d love to chat about it.

I read an essay this week by a notable entrepreneur. Someone I consider to be an expert in productizing content, digital products, and online business. Someone with hundreds of thousands of followers.

His essay talked about figuring out what product to create. He regretted the smaller products he’d created and charged for during his first years in business. He wished he’d waited to create one signature product. The product that would be his legacy.

I couldn’t disagree more. Here’s why.

This person is preparing for a big launch of, what he hopes will become, his signature product. But here’s the thing, his smaller products enabled his signature product and everything else along the way.

The smaller products were his prototypes. They taught him how to build. They sparked insights and iterations. They grew his audience. They formed his expertise.

Equally important, they brought in his first dollars. A huge win to validate that others were willing to pay him for the things he made.

And now, after several years and loads of experiments, he’s accrued the audience, cash, and expertise to bring forward his big, expensive signature product. Which, I bet, is going to make him millions. But not because it was some big bang that he waited to unleash. Instead, it was a series of small bets, over time.

And yet, the advice to his audience, many of whom are just getting started, was to wait until you’re an expert.

I was thoroughly disappointed. It felt like he was gaslighting me and everyone following along.

But what makes me really itchy is that I suspect many people reading this newsletter right now would agree with his advice. He’s the expert after all, right?

And so many abided. They stepped back from the ledge. They decided to wait until they were an expert, like him.

19,000 hours later

During a passive income coaching session I held a few months ago, the person I was coaching shared:

“This is so important to me. I really want to get started but there are others way ahead of me in my field — real experts. So I’m not going to try and sell anything until I’m at the top of my game.”

She said that in November (2023). It’s April 2024 when I’m writing this.

Guess how much she’s worked on her idea since then? Nada.

Keep in mind, this is someone who’s been working in her field for 11 years.

Let’s say she worked 40 hours per week during that time (she worked way more on average).

Let’s also say she vacationed 8 weeks per year (she didn’t). That’s still over 19,000 hours she’s put into her craft. WAY more than the 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell tells us we need to amass a ‘Story of Success.’

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers

And yet, she’s waiting to become an expert.

You too? I want you to snap out of it. Because you’re already an expert.

Here’s the kernel of truth the experts ahead of you won’t tell you, that I hope you’ll internalize:

People don’t teach because they’re experts.
They’re perceived as experts because they teach.

Nathan Barry, Founder @ ConvertKit

Here’s the point

You don’t need 11 years or 10,000 hours to begin making money from the things you know, do, and teach.

99% of the “experts” out there started off a couple steps down the road from their audience when they began selling. It’s those pivotal first couple steps that so many of their customers were unwilling to take without watching the expert do it first.

The customer needed:

  • to be inspired to act

  • to know it was possible

  • to validate what they already knew.

  • to see what good (not perfect) looked like

Over time, the perceived expert built their mastery. Their stuff got better. And the tale of their expertise, that had been building all along, became true.

They willed it, by acting. And I hope you’ll do the same.

To stop feeding your own lies, that one day you’ll be proficient enough. That you’ll be as far along as the others you compare yourself against.

That’s letting your fear keep you stuck. That’s hiding out. I know, because I’ve done it too.

You can You must begin today… Building in the dark. Before you’re sure it will all work out. Learning as you go.

It’s how every other expert got started.

📌 P.S. If you want to eliminate the uncertainty about what to build and how to do it…. check out the Productizer Co-Pilot.

📈 $624k annual recurring revenue with his monetized newsletter

🎧 Listen to Nathan Barry deliver his message about expertise

🪴 Passive Profits Community

Welcome Lukas, Andrew, Laura, Kendall, and 14 more who joined this week.
Our little community has grown to 418 Founder-Creators. 🎉

✌🏼 Enjoy your Sunday,

Jay Melone
Passive Profits

Join the conversation

or to participate.