Ten Signs You Are Not An Expert

I heard a great phrase the other day that perfectly captures the challenge when an expert attempts to assess their value to clients.

“Sometimes it’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the jar.”

To help you read the label on your jar I have provided a list of ten signs that your “expertise” might be questionable. If any single one of these ten rings true with your firm I suggest you take some time to do a more thorough assessment of your firm’s expertise – the most important element of creating value for your clients.


  1. When asked what you do your response begins with “Well that’s a difficult question to answer…”
  2. No matter what type of project opportunity you are presented with, your response is always “Yes we do that…”
  3. You have never said “No we do not do that.”
  4. Your home page has some version of “we provide a broad range of services for multiple industries.”
  5. Your spouse cannot explain to his or her friends what type of work you do other than the generic architecture/consulting/engineering/law etc.
  6. Even worse your spouse can’t even explain that you are an architect/consultant/engineer/lawyer etc. they are just happy that you leave home five mornings a week.
  7. You bill by the hour.
  8. You have trouble re-using old proposals.
  9. You talk about differentiation (but not expertise).
  10. You think your process is unique.

Good luck.

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The Consultant with Pink Hair

"This should be required reading for consultants AND their clients - especially the part about RFPs." - Blair Enns, Win Without Pitching

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