What Makes an “Expert” an Expert?

I received a very nice note from someone who is considered by his peers to be an “expert”. He wanted to know my opinion on what actually makes someone an expert. I guess I am the right person to ask that question. After all, the word “expert” appears in my company name, Global Toy Experts.

It’s a question I have thought a lot about. In fact, I have often said that if I could change the name of my company, it would be from Global Toy Experts to Global Toy Students. I say that because an expert is, in my opinion, someone who does not see themselves as an “expert”. Instead, they take joy in being an eternal student, taking in information on a given subject, in my case toys, from a multitude of sources and then synthesizing what they have learned into knowledge.

Being an “expert” is, therefore, a process. Expertise is never acquired. It is always just out of reach, changing with the latest news.

Does it sound like I consider myself an “expert” on being an expert? Nope, just a student.


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