Rebel Uprising Podcast

Are You Expert Enough?


“I don’t know if I’m expert enough to work with you.”

I hear this all the time from potential clients, and it’s usually followed by a list of certifications, years of experience, loads of transferable skills, frameworks they’ve developed to help clients, and years of getting them results.

So yeah, they are definitely expert enough.

But I understand why people feel this way, and why you, too, might be thinking that you’re not expert enough to even be listening to this podcast.

And while it may be good old-fashioned imposter syndrome showing up, it’s also possible that we have a fundamental misunderstanding of what expertise really is.

So let’s unpack what expertise means and how you know if you are expert enough.



In this episode:

  • Why not even getting a PhD is guaranteed to make you feel like an expert
  • Three stages of gaining expertise
  • Key ways to figure out if you really are expert enough

Learn more about Michelle Mazur:


Listen on your favorite podcast player or read the Transcript below:


Dr. Michelle Mazur (00:00): "I don't know if I'm expert enough to work with you." This is something I hear all the time from potential clients, and then it's usually followed up with a list of certifications, years of experience, on-the-job training that had loads of transferable skills, and typically they've developed their own framework and been working with clients for years and getting them results. So yeah, they are definitely expert enough, but I understand why people feel that way, why you might be thinking that you're not expert enough to even listen to this podcast. While it may be good old-fashioned imposter complex getting in the way, it might also be that there's a fundamental misunderstanding about what expertise is. So let's unpack it and talk about how to know if you're expert enough.

(01:04): Get ready for the Rebel Uprising podcast, the only podcast dedicated to business owners who feel overlooked for their expertise, skills, and experience. Let's claim your expertise and turn your complex ideas into unmistakable messaging that grows your business. I am your host, Dr. Michelle Mazur, the author of The 3 Word Rebellion and your Rebel Troop Telling Guide to Building a Business That Gets Noticed.

(01:34): I'll never forget the day I graduated with my PhD. I mean, this degree is the socially acceptable trapping of expertise, but as I walked across the stage in a black robe on a blistering hot Oklahoma Day, the skies did not part, angels didn't sing, nor did unicorns shower me with confetti. I still didn't feel expert enough, because expertise isn't a destination. It's an ongoing journey. Experts are notoriously curious. They are hungry for more knowledge and believe there's always something to learn. And because there's always something more to learn, anyone's expertise is a tiny, small dot in the ocean of knowledge and that ocean gets bigger every day. So it's no wonder why you don't feel like you're expert enough. The way I see it, there's three distinct phases on the journey, the never-ending journey to being an expert, the apprentice, the journeyman, and the expert enough stage. Let's talk about each.

(02:56): The apprentice. An apprentice is actively learning a new skill or new trade. They tend to be brand new to the field and soaking up knowledge and trying and sometimes failing to apply that knowledge. The apprentice, well, they don't know what they don't know, but they sure as heck are eager to find out. I always think back to the 10th grade when I had a nudge to master the art of public speaking. There was only one problem with this. I sucked. I was so bad at public speaking, it was terrifying for me. And I'll never forget that first speech where I stood in front of the room, my voice shaking, my knees were knocking behind the podium, and I kept profusely spitting for some reason. It was, ugh, there should have been like a splash zone in the first row for that class. And I got a gentleman's C. Like, okay, this is good enough, Michelle. You never have to take public speaking again. Here's your C.

(04:10): But to get better, I knew I had to learn and do. And the best way to learn and do in my warped masochistic brain was to do it competitively. So I joined the speech and debate team. I loved it. Now, I didn't love getting my ass handed to me every Saturday at competitions, but boy did I learn a lot. This was my time in the woodshed, learning, trying, getting feedback, and by the last tournament of the season, something clicked. I was on. I was nailing this competition. I felt like I could win the whole damn thing, except this isn't a John Hughes movie and there's no happy ending here. I didn't win. I didn't even place. But as I headed back to the bus, my coach was smiling at me like an idiot, and he said, "You did it. I'm so proud of you." And he handed me an honorable mention ribbon.

(05:18): That was the best feeling ever, and it signaled to me that I was on to the next phase of expertise and mastery, the journeyman phase. Before we move on, a side note in online business, there's a lot of apprentices out there who don't move on to becoming a journeyman. They've done it once for themselves. They use the formula their mentor told them to use and they think it's enough. Be wary of the apprentice masquerading as the expert. While they're marketing may be on point, their ability to apply what they know to your unique situation is limited. What they deliver is cookie cutter, one size fits all, and they can't yet customize it to their client's unique situation.

(06:14): The journeyman. A journeyman is good at her craft, but not yet outstanding. They are doing the work, getting results for their clients and maybe even taking an additional certification or two. They are confident and reliable, and they're definitely on their way to being an exceptional expert. What helped me get outstanding at public speaking and communication in general was not just learning and practicing and being coached by others. I started to excel when I started coaching other people. I could see clearly what worked and what didn't and started applying what I knew about communication to other people's speeches. Then, when I went back to work on my own stuff, I had this whole new perspective.

(07:11): At this stage, you start developing a way of thinking. And as you'll remember from the Rebel Expert Manifesto, experts think differently and can apply what they know to their client's unique situation. And by the way, if you want your own copy of that manifesto, you can get it at This is a telltale sign that you're moving into the expert enough stage. I will say, for business owners, this is also the time that you figure out you've got a problem communicating your expertise to other human beings so that they see how they can benefit from your expertise. So yes, journeymen should start figuring out their messaging if they want to make marketing easier.

(08:05): Expert enough. An expert has authoritative knowledge in a specific area. You're seen as the authority in what your business does. And yes, while some experts have the socially acceptable trappings of expertise, the PhD, the JD, the MD certifications and other initials that no one knows what they mean, others do not. And that's okay. All experts seem to have in common is this insatiable curiosity, love of learning, the flexibility in thinking, which is why they never arrive at the expert definition. And I bet some of you who are listening might feel like you're journeymen when really you are expert enough. So how do you know? Well, you have years of experience in your craft, years of experience in a field related to what you're doing, certifications up the wazoo, frameworks you've created to help people, and a body of work. If you see yourself in two or more of these, then yes, you're expert enough. But keep learning and stay curious.

(09:24): One of the telltale signs that I know someone is an expert when they book a consultation with me is that experts are great at sales. I know that might come as a surprise that that is a hallmark of expertise, but most of my clients excel at sales, like 75% close rates or higher. What their problem is, is translating that expertise into a message that makes people want to get on the call. So clearly they have something that's valuable that gets people results because they can close sales. They just haven't mastered talking about their expertise to a non-expert that keeps them from grabbing attention and keeps them from getting hired.

(10:13): And finally, remember, expertise is where we go from apprentice to journeyman to expert enough. But if you feel like you haven't arrived, don't worry because there is no destination. Hey, Rebel, wouldn't it be amazing if people just recognized your expertise on the spot and decided to hire you? Of course it would, but we know business doesn't work that way. Instead, you have to show up and market. And let's face it, marketing has not been your jam and it feels like it doesn't work for your business, and there's a reason for that. In order to market effectively so you grab attention and lead people to your offer, it takes having a one-of-a-kind message and an ability to build the case for why people should hire you.

(11:09): And that's exactly what we'll create in the 3 Word Rebellion Messaging Intensive. Yes, we will co-create your 3 Word Rebellion, but you'll also create all of the other messaging your business needs to efficiently and effectively show up and market your business while translating your expertise into a message your clients want to know more about. Interested in that? Then let's chat. Go to That's the number, and book a free consultation with me. I look forward to helping you get your message out in the world so that more people can hire you.

(12:00): If the Rebel Uprising podcast is helping you claim and communicate your expertise so that your clients can find and hire you, please share the show with a friend. The easiest way to do that is through PodLink. You can find the show at, and that page will allow anyone you share the show with to subscribe and start listening in their favorite podcast player. That's

(12:29): The Rebel Uprising podcast is a production of Yellow House Media. Our production coordinator is Lou Blaser. Our production assistant is Emily Kilduff. The podcast is edited by Steven Mills. Our executive producers are Sean and Tara McMullin. The Rebel Uprising podcast is recorded on the unceded traditional land of the Coast Salish Peoples, specifically the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish people, original stewards of the land, past and present.

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One response to “Are You Expert Enough?”

  1. Frankie Bridge says:

    I really like your writing style..Its so easily understandable. You can visit my blog at and then maybe you can share your thought about mine.

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