What are you expert at?

Tough question, or easy one?

I’m confident that most of us who have spent more than a few years on this planet have become pretty good at something. Life experiences shape us, and, to the extent that those experience repeat themselves, we develop unique abilities, and unique expertise.

For many of us, the development of those abilities is deliberate. We go to school to learn some skill. Or we apprentice in a trade to become a journeyman. Or we are simply drawn to certain art or craft or hobby, practice it, and seek out guidance from the more practiced in the field.

For others, it just seems to happen as we pick our way along life’s path.

We start as mentees and end up as experts.

What coaching, guidance, teaching did you receive to become good at whatever craft you’re involved in?

Reflecting on how I got into what I’m currently involved in, it happened almost by chance. In the growing world of webinars, I ended up on some marketing expert’s list.

(Now, it’s fair to say that many an entrepreneur and small business person seeks out guidance, as there is not much formal training anywhere on how to be successful in such ventures, but there are a plethora of experienced mentors selling their training programs and personal mentoring services. Getting onto such lists was not just happenstance, but was, as often as not, deliberate.)

A few marketing emails about an upcoming free webinar on Rent-to-Own had me interested. Hey, an hour or ninety minutes of free introduction to an alternative real estate strategy? What’s to lose?

Like most such webinars, it was a “give-away-a-bunch-of-information-for-free-and-entice-attendees-to-buy-your-expert-training-program-of-which-you’ve-just-given-them-enough-to-shoot-themselves-in-the-foot-if-they-don’t-learn-more” scheme. But the teacher had the credentials.

And the content was an almost perfect fit for me. Being at a life junction myself, the timing was also perfect. “If he can be successful at it, then so can I if I do everything exactly as he has done,” I reasoned. I bought the program.

That teacher not only taught the group of buyers a formal program over eight weekly sessions, but then became my mentor in the profession for the next several years. A few years in, he invited me to be a presenter at his semi-annual rent 2 own “summits.”

That was a while ago. He’s moved on and I’ve done more rent 2 own than he ever did. Experience has caused me to tweak my program along the way, though it is still very much as he first taught me.

Since then, I’ve had other mentors in business and real estate ventures, as well, some of whom I paid good money to inspire and stimulate me.

That’s the path many of us tend to follow, regardless of how we happen into it.

A high school friend of mine had no idea what he wanted to do after graduating. But his mom said, “Pick something, and I’ll pay for a year of training.” He looked through the programs offered at the nearest tech institute, chose drafting, ended up spending his entire career in the field, and eventually became an architectural consultant.

Perhaps you’ve identified a similar path to mine or my friend’s.

Recently, one of the mentors I had a few years ago who has a large “real estate investors” following, invited me to offer my service to mentor his followers. “You’re my rent-to-own expert,” he said. “I’m confident many of my students would like your coaching.”

I resisted at first. But then we came to a mutual agreement as to what I would provide, consistent with my interests. So now I, a veteran, offer mentoring/coaching to others who want to learn this profession so that they, too, can provide such programs in their markets. And I make some good coin doing it.

It’s the natural cycle, I suppose. No different than the family cycle. We start as infants, grow up, have our own children, guide and assist them, and finally leave a legacy for the next generation.

What are you good at? Could you be a mentor in that field, even informally? (Informality was part of the compromise I insisted on in offering to mentor Bruce’s real estate followers.)

There are opportunities everywhere. Just check out YouTube to see how easy it is to teach someone something you’re good at. And how easy it is to make some money doing it, if that is also your goal.

Or just do it to pass on your expertise to the next generation of learners.

As the saying goes, “The world needs more you!”

At least, that’s how I see it . . .