The Curse of the Expert


You know what’s wrong with experts? They don’t know what they don’t know…. and they’re scared to find out. Experts abhor failure. They can’t help themselves. If you or I fail at something, it’s a setback. But if an expert fails, it’s a massive chink in their expert armor. And with each and every failure, they fall one step closer to being regular… just another smart person trying to figure it out.

Hire Explorers

You know the one thing experts never find? Innovation. They can’t see it much less find it because they’re looking the wrong direction. Think about it. Experts become experts by doing something more than anyone else. That’s how they develop a proficiency and depth of knowledge that leads to their expertise.

Explorers on the other hand never do anything twice. Again, by definition, if one is exploring, they are charting a course through unfamiliar territory.

Explorers don’t fear failure — they wear it as a sign of accomplishment. And that is the power of hiring explorers. They don’t care if they fail. They’re not worried about being fired. Safety is not their motivation and it is this almost reckless disregard for conformity of thought that makes them the single most powerful asset in your marketing arsenal.

Hire Explorers To Grow Your Company

So which one, expert or explorer, do you think is more likely to help you find your next big opportunity? Which one is more likely to connect the dots to discover a new solution to an old problem? Which one is going to help you leapfrog the competition or be leapfrogged?

I could go on…but I already have… additional thoughts on why you need to hire explorers versus experts. Feel free to disagree in the comments.

Ready to hire a fearless explorer to stimulate innovation at your company?

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About Tom Martin

Tom is 25+ year veteran of the sales & marketing industry with a penchant for stiff drinks, good debates and showing companies how to Sell Greatly, and turn conversations into customers. He is the founder of Converse Digital , author of The Invisible Sale and a contributing writer for Advertising Age. Tom guides clients through the digital sales & marketing maze and helps companies teach their sales force how to Painlessly Prospect their way to more sales. Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.


  1. To me, the true experts have always been explorers. They are the ones pushing to find a better way. Then when they find it, they immediately start looking for a way to improve even more.

    And they could care less if they are identified as being ‘experts’.

    On the other hand you have the ‘experts’ that are after the label because it can be a reputation-booster for them. They are more interested in being labeled an expert than they are in the hard work (and exploration) that it takes to actually become one.

    Just my 2 cents!

    • Mack

      As always, a very intriguing twist that you point out. I hadn’t considered it from that angle but now that I do, you’ve got a heck of a point there. Need to ponder on that a bit.

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