I once used the phrase “(Social media ‘guru’ name here) is Not Smarter Than You” in a blog post as a way of encouraging folks to create their own content and get their own thoughts out there, rather than be intimidated by those whose credentials are largely made up of starting to blog before you did.
I still believe that you, or I, are no less smart or able than the marketing consultants and – ugh- “gurus” who show up frequently on industry podcasts, blogs and webinars. Why are they there and you are not? It likely has more to do with the need to hustle and stay visible to get consulting clients and the like than much else (ok, ego too- why not?). You probably daily see a podcast or event panel, see names of “industry leaders” attached to the, and think “those people are smarter and know more about the business than me.” If that were really true, why would you bother?
Here is why you should still bother:
This is not about cutting down people because they are good at self-promotion – it is, however, about the rest of us believing in our own abilities to strategize, consult, execute and think on issues.
This is about figuring out how to listen critically and still learn from anybody rather than considering it a waste of time to pursue industry reading and listening from people who, in reality, are your peers.
This is about valuing the questions, and not (necessarily) the answers. I reminded myself of this recently as I listened to an episode of the marketing/advertising podcast Beancast, a weekly panel hosted by Bob Knorpp I don’t always listen through depending on what is going on early in my week, but the most recent episode had a segment on “Tackling Anemic Organic Engagement” that I thought would be relevant to my own current thinking and work. So I listened- were the answers enlightening? Some yes, some no – none were bad that I can recall, but I was struck by the questions: first some that I was thinking of and hoped would get asked, then by others I hadn’t thought of.
It wasn’t the answers I needed. It was the new questions.
So it’s ok to think you’re
smarter than as smart as everyone else; it doesn’t even matter if you’re wrong about that; it also doesn’t mean you can’t learn.