I was given the opportunity to speak to two different website design classes at Pima Community College. A colleague of mine, who is the professor, asked me to come in and present a little bit about what my company does, and how we do it. I didn’t come prepared with a long presentation, or predefined program of what I wanted to talk about, and I used it as an opportunity to allow the students to ask me, the owner/founder/CEO of a web design and internet marketing company, about what we do.
I got a lot of questions, ranging from how they better prepare themselves from an employment standpoint to how they might go off and start their own freelance businesses. They asked questions about the ways in which I’ve grown my business, such as where we get our business from and how we charge for our projects. It was inspiring to hear people interested in this field, and it was a great opportunity for me to reflect on, really, the depth of my own experience in this field.
I am a professional in my field, and I have grown numb to how much I knowledge & experience I really have. When you become unaware of your own expertise, you are devaluing of that knowledge and experience. I know a lot more than I give myself credit for, and I have a much better skill set in communicating that expertise, than I have given myself credit for. Putting myself in a classroom of students who are wanting to learn was kind of like looking in a mirror. I was able to look back at myself, from the outside, and appreciate the experience of having 13 years in this business. What a cool feeling.
I found that my initial answers to the students began at a much higher level. It was me assuming they understood a lot more about the subject than they actually did. It put me in a position to give them even more context to better understand my answer.
My main takeaway from the experience is this: My own professionalism, expertise, and success has an opportunity to grow in proportion to my ability to effectively teach and communicate my own experience and knowledge to those that seek it.