The four stages to becoming an expert if you don’t choose a franchise

national-cancer-institute-odggKTyA5o0-unsplash-300x196 The four stages to becoming an expert if you don't choose a franchiseIf you don’t choose a franchise there’s a simple path to follow to become an expert at anything.


Getting knowledge is easy. Easier now than it’s ever been. But to become an expert you have to do a lot more than acquire knowledge. Your first step to becomming an expert is to get yourself into that particular environment, practically or digitally so that you can start learning. That might be degree, a job, an online course or just do some volunteering! Just get into that environment. However you acheive it you’re nothing wthout learning the ropes so crack on with that and starrt soaking everything up you can on your chosen topic. Live it and breathe it and you’ll get the knowledge quicker. Choose a franchise and you’ll get there quicker still!


The other week I was chatting to the anaesthetist who volunteered his time at our local vaccination centre. I was amazed that he’s been injecting and making people unconscious in surgery for over 30 years. I felt in safe hands as he squirted a shot of Bill Gates’ nano bots into my arm. Some would say it was covid vaccine, it depends on who you believe. Anyway, he tells me it’s pretty easy to learn to be an anaesthetist and I believed him because with his Yorkshire accent he didn’t seem to be part of microsoft’s secret team. “90% of the time it all goes to plan and an idiot could do it” he said. “It’s when it doesn’t go to plan that all those years make all the difference. It’s in those 10% moments that you rely on all the years you’ve been doing it”. How true is that I thought. His needle skills are one thing, but it’s the many things he has experienced that set him apart from the rest.

In my case after 29 years as a franchise consultant I’ve often experienced a similar thing. A client shares with me their plans for world franchise domination, or at least a UK plan to start with, but …. there’s something stopping me raising from my chair and punching the air. When you’ve done the time with relevant experience you see things differently and that’s when can start to trust your instincts.


The third stsge of becomming an expert is gained when your instincts kick in. Sometimes I can’t put my finger on things. It just doesn’t “feel” the right strategy. So I suggest something else to my overly confident client. “I share your enthusiasm Mr Valued Customer but I’m going to recommend that we do something else instead.” Client looks perplexed. But he doesnt have my crystal ball. Everyone who has gained knowledge and practical experience inherits a sixth sense. I call it my crystal ball because you get an idea of what outcomes are likely in any set of circumstances. It’s more accurate than the fairground fortune teller version though! But you can see into the future a lot clearer with many years behind you. When you choose a franchise your franchisor has that crystal ball already.

Knowing when to pause, even if you’re not sure why you need to pause is an amazing moment. Something is telling you something, so you wait, or you just sleep on it. This is instinct in action. Gained from years, maybe even decades of experience, which leads to good judgement and that “gut feel” that you just can’t buy.


When your instincts keep proving you right you can trust your judgements. And that’s it – you’re clearly now an expert. The only question is how long does it take you to reach that point? For some it’s decades, for others it’s less, but it’s never a short period of time.

You would rather the vet you’ve known for years operated on little fluffy rather than the 20 year old newly qualified vet who you’ve just met. The senior vet has the experience, her or his instinct guide every situation and as a result there is better judgement. Little fluffy’s unexpected emergency probably has a better chance of making it with the veteran vet. If I go into surgery I’d be happier knowing that my anaesthetist has done this for 30 years.

A colleague and I were recently negotiating a purchase for Lime Licensing Group costing around £7k. The representative dealing with our purchase looked 17. I got the classic sales pitch followed by the classic alternative clause “perhaps this one, or would you prefer that one?” I looked at my colleague, he looked at me…. we both rolled our eyes. Puleeeeese! His judgement that he’d be able to close the sale with us this way was way wide of the mark. We’ve been round the block too long. He should have taken a more consultative approach. We chose neither and told him what we would like, what we suggest he charges us for it and therefore how it would be. He simply agreed, and so we bought. His judgement and instincts were non existent, but in 10 years time he’ll likely be awesome. He just needs more time to “read” people better.

So in your own career these are the steps to climb to the top of your expert staircase. Knowledge – experience – instinct – judgement. Just be sure that you keep your eye on the next step and focus on what you need to get there. It’s not easy, but then if it were we’d all be experts wouldn’t we?

Of course a shortcut to all of this is to choose a franchise system!


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