Before you go hating on yourself for not knowing enough and start pulling back because you’re not enough of an ‘expert’, read this.
While showing up, doing your best work, and building up experience is important if you’re putting a price tag next to your work, let me make an argument for the power of adopting a beginner's mindset at the expense of being an expert.
While an “expert” might be excellent at what they do, there’s a trap that can come with more experience if you’re not mindful -> people stop thinking, stretching, and shut down their innovative, problem-solving skills.
I love the way Scott Sonneshein shares the research on this phenomenon in Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less - And Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined through studies that have observed kids of various ages in a room with a box of toys and how they use those toys.
What they find is younger kids when given a box of toys, who don't have any experience, are more creative and come up with more ways for how to use the items than older kids (the ‘experts’).
Why? The world hasn’t told younger kids how toys are *supposed* to be used, yet, so they’re free to make up anything they want and play.
A box can turn into a sled or a magical castle. A plastic snake might be a fishing line or necklace.
The younger, less experienced kids are able to come up with new ways to use these items more easily than a kid who has more knowledge of the toys.
But, after a certain age, kids have a really hard time seeing what those items and toys can be used for other than their original function. They just see the box holding toys as a box with a function of holding toys, and a plastic snake as a snake.
Sometimes more knowledge, more expertise, can box you in and limit thinking.
While I’m NOT knocking experience (after all, I have a lot and it’s a benefit to my clients), as business owners, there’s a fine line between the benefits of being an expert, and the pitfalls expertise can bring that shut down creative thinking and trap you into the expected ‘shoulds’.
Because the easiest way to get stuck in business is to have a bunch of rules and ‘shoulds’ (from society or yourself) or believe you have to do things a certain way.
So, if you’re not feeling good enough or like enough of an “expert”, yet, please use this as evidence of the benefits of being a beginner. And, if you’re an expert with years of experience, please use this as a gentle reminder to keep a beginner’s mindset instead of becoming trapped by the limitations of your own expertise.
Being a beginner or allowing yourself to ‘unlearn’ and lean into a beginner’s mindset might be the key to your next million dollar idea or to solving that problem that unlocks your next level in business.
What do you think? How can a beginner's mindset serve you in your business and help you make more money doing what you love?
Wishing you your version of success!