As you know, I love British cozy mystery shows . I was watching an old episode of Father Brown the other night when he said this gem.
Professionals built the Titanic; amateurs built the Ark.Father Brown
When the constable told him to mind his own business and not investigate the crime, Father Brown answered with this wisdom. It got me thinking. A lot of us are still stuck in the 20th century mindset that we need a school degree to prove our expertise to ourselves and the world. When in fact, today’s professionals are people that make a living at whatever they are doing.
I had a friend a while back who was a good writer. She wrote nonfiction essays that were inspiring, and she had wonderful ideas for screenplays. I always encouraged her to write, but she said “I didn’t study screenwriting. I don’t know how,” and so sadly she never wrote a script. That thinking that we need a degree to make something, create something, or start a business can stop a lot of us. But it is an old mindset.
We are in the 21st century. There are no gatekeepers. We don’t have to wait for permission to do what we love. Unlike past generations, we have access to unlimited information on the Internet. We can watch how to videos, read blogs and books, listen to podcasts, and take online courses to learn all kinds of new skills, hobbies, and fun facts that support our creative endeavors and can turn into businesses.
Everything is figure-out-able
Do not let anyone tell you don’t know what you’re talking about because your lack of a degree. (This tactic is a favorite of internet trolls.) Don’t let others’ limiting beliefs stop you from learning, creating, and doing. This judgmental attitude is outdated and irrelevant. The line between professionals and amateurs isn’t just blurry, it might have disappeared. We have citizen journalists that are breaking stories. Indie publishing income is now the same size as a big 5 traditional publisher. People shoot movies on their phones. You can teach yourself to code and learn how to write a business plan on YouTube. Anyone can start a Roku channel.
You can be an expert and a professional without a degree. How do you do that? By simply learning and doing. Take action. Figure it out. Try and try again, and soon you will be where you just dreamed of being even a few months ago.
A Bit of Inspiration
As I’m always saying, it is never too late. Just start. This week’s reminder of it’s never too late is the story of the bestselling book Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. I got the book as a Christmas gift from my stepmom and read it in three days. It is my new favorite novel! The story is wonderfully unique, emotional, and gripping. Her writing style inspired me to start thinking about writing fiction again. And I felt even more inspired when I found out it’s the author’s first book and she’s 65.
What are you going to start creating today?
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