The Expertise Incubator

The Expertise Incubator is a community of practice. We learn by doing. As a group, we face a series of 5 challenges, spending 3 months focusing on a challenge before moving on to the next.

The challenges produce both the substance and artifacts of economically valuable expertise. The substance is a fluid command of your area of expertise, a point of view you can comfortably articulate, proprietary research, and valuable intellectual property. The artifacts are a body of work, an audience that sees you as an authority, and talks or podcast guest appearances.

You do gain access to resources when you join this program: a Slack group which is the digital connective tissue of our community, and a small, rapidly-growing, extremely valuable corpus of knowledge and best practices organized in a private wiki.

But mostly, you gain access to a group of fellow practitioners--other amazing business owners--who have also embraced these 5 challenges. You also gain access to a powerful "skin in the game" effect from the relatively small financial commitment and the relatively large personal commitment you make to facing the 5 challenges at the core of this program.

The Expertise Incubator applies extremely productive pressure to each member. The expertise you cultivate in the 15 months of the program is diamond-like in its beauty and value.

Format

  • Up to 5 people per cohort
  • One 60m online meeting per week
  • Private Slack for Q&A, troubleshooting, etc.
  • Private wiki to help you get up and running faster
  • You pay for 3 months at a time. $700 x 3 = $2,100 per quarter, non-refundable.

This program supports your progress on five core challenges:

  1. Publish something on the internet daily (every week day) for the first 90 days of the program. After the first 90 days you are free to decide if you want to continue this daily publication practice or not. The goal is to deepen your expertise and your ability to communicate it in the way that only high-frequency publication can.
  2. Design and execute on some kind of research project while you're in the program. The goal is ultimately to develop thought leadership content or valuable IP.
  3. Do everything you can to line up 3 online or IRL speaking engagements over the next year. The engagements can be podcast guest spots, local meetups with 3 drunk randos in the audience, or national-level conferences stuffed full of prospects for your services. I don't care which, you just have to reach out, line up, prepare for, and ultimately execute the talks. The goal is to become perceived as a world-class expert.
  4. Gain power in the sale. Through a variety of options for gaining power in the sale, you will practice--as Blair Enns so eloquently puts it--"being the prize".
  5. Formalize IP. Intellectual property for a business like yours is your expertise made usable by non-experts. You'll spend 3 months formalizing your IP through a variety of means.

Those five challenges are the core of this program because they represent the 80/20 sweet spot of building authority and economically valuable expertise. There's other stuff you can do to build this kind of rare, valuable expertise, but there are not other things that you must do.

Think about it like regaining physical fitness after a period of being out of shape. There are lots of things you could do, but only two things most experts agree you must do: 1) build strength through progressive overload strength training and 2) maintain a caloric deficit. This program is like that, but for your business.

You, I, and the rest of your small group will meet via Zoom video call once per week for 60 minutes to discuss progress, troubleshoot roadblocks, and share learnings.

As we do so, we will be guided by 3 ideals:

  1. Anything you create in this program should be good enough to spread by word of mouth alone.
  2. Anything you create in this program--if you give it away for free--should be good enough that some would gladly pay real money for it.
  3. You should be willing to work daily for 2 to 3 years to make ideals 1 and 2 become true in your work. In other words, you should be OK with not living up to ideals #1 and #2 at first so that you can build up the skills you need to ultimately achieve those ideals.

This group will support your progress in the following ways:

  • Accountability: me, the group, and the money you've invested all bias you towards taking action. We meet weekly as a group to support each other.
  • There's a pretty great private wiki you'll have access to. You'll discover best practices, and useful tips for executing on the 5 challenges. You'll grow even more by contributing your hard-won learnings to this wiki.

Who is this for?

  • Self-employed software developers or small dev shops who have...
  • Defined a clear specialization and have...
  • Built a stable business and want to...
  • Move into an expert market position using inbound marketing and maybe also want to...
  • Develop unique intellectual property that definitively differentiates you from others and can afford to...
  • Spend 10 hours/week working on your business

This program has it's own PODCAST!

This podcast does two things:

  1. Describes the program
  2. Provides useful information for program participants.

If you want to participate in the program, check out the podcast. If you want to participate in the 5 challenges but not pay to join the program, also check out the podcast! It has super useful information.

Here's the podcast site: https://theexpertiseincubator.simplecast.fm/

Subscribe if you wanna:

iTunes
Pocket Casts
Overcast

Interested in joining the next Expertise Incubator cohort?

The two best next steps are to 1) check out the private podcast above and then 2) use the form below to let me know you're possibly interested in the next TEI cohort:

FAQ

When are the group meetings?

Different times. I spend about 2 months assembling each cohort from among those who express interest, then I poll the group to find a meeting time that works for everybody. We meet at whatever that time is, weekly unless I'm traveling or on vacation in which case you still meet without me and with a designated facilitator (one of your group) in my place.

Why quarterly, non-refundable payments?

Skin in the game. It's that simple. You need to want this, otherwise it won't work very well. The "pay for a whole quarter at once" rule is only in effect for the first quarter. After that, you can pay month-by-month ($700/mo), or you can pay for the entire rest of the program and get a 10% discount as a thank-you for doing so.

Is there really no training or curriculum or magic bullets with this program?

That's right. The magic bullet--if there is one--is the transformative power of the right kind of challenges combined with your persistent willingness to face those challenges and battle the internal demons they summon. Very very ordinary people have faced these challenges and come out on the other side transformed. You don't need much else beyond persistence and courage to create remarkable transformation in your business.

What proof do you have that this program works?

This is crazy, and might be a bad idea, but as of today (Mar 26, 2019) I'm setting a new rule for myself: Going forward I will only publish unsolicited testimonials or client feedback about my work. With permission, of course. And you're probably not surprised that today is also the day I got a really great bit of unsolicited feedback. A generous gift from a TEI participant that both lifted my spirits immensely on a day when I especially needed it, and serves--I hope--as proof to you that this shit works:

Learn from TEI Program Participants