Pretty Pretty Podcast

How To Flex Your Expertise & Be THE Expert

Episode Summary

Want to be a sought-after expert? Join The Notorious CLG, the Visibility Expert for Experts like Gloria Steinem, Oscar-winning directors & Pulitzer Prize winners, as she delves into what an expert REALLY is [Spoiler Alert⚠️]: It's NOT slapping the word expert into your bio]. She also shares THE CURE if you are thinking “But I’m not an expert” and how you can start being SEEN as an expert today!

Episode Notes

Want to be a sought-after expert? Join The Notorious CLG, the Visibility Expert for Experts like Gloria Steinem, Oscar-winning directors & Pulitzer Prize winners, as she delves into what an expert REALLY is [Spoiler Alert⚠️]: It's NOT slapping the word expert into your bio].

Today on Pretty Pretty Podcast, Courtney Love discusses what it means to be an expert.

There’s a ton of misunderstanding behind the idea of expertise. What do you have to prove to earn the title of “expert”? Is it a title that you give yourself, or is it one that others bestow on you? How much, and what kind, of self-promotion does it take? Does it mean being a human encyclopedia for your specialization?

Listen in as Courtney Love tackles these questions and more by sharing practical and tactical strategies to help you replace imposter syndrome with the unshakable confidence of a true expert.


● Bringing certainty into any situation you’re faced with

● Why all the degrees in the world won’t translate to practical, real-world experience

● Failing your way to expertise

● Unlocking expertise through integrity

● How would you show up everywhere if you believed you were an expert?

● Two key steps to promoting yourself the right away

● How vulnerability unlocks the expert in you

● Upping your expert energy without burnout


● Learned something new in today’s episode? Hang tight, because Courtney Love’s just getting started! If you’re ready to take your expert game to the next level,  reach out for an opportunity to work directly with CLG!

● Email to say hi and get more information. 


Episode Transcription

Courtney Love Gavin  0:04  

You are listening to pretty pretty podcast with Courtney Love Gavin. This is Episode One.

Courtney Love Gavin  0:24  

Hello pretty people. Today we are talking about being an expert. I want that BEE. Big Expert Energy. There is so much confusion around what an expert really is. And I am going to tell you that and we're also going to get into how you can start being seen as an expert today.  

Courtney Love Gavin  0:51  

"But I'm not an expert" That is something that I thought and said for up until probably six months ago, if we're really going into the truth booth I'm a lifelong learner. And I thought that calling myself an expert meant that I was stunting my growth.  I'm like learning or dying black or white. And I thought How could I possibly know everything there is to know about PR, or visibility or influencers or some subject that someone was calling me an expert.

Courtney Love Gavin  1:32  

Guess what? That's because I thought that being an expert meant being an encyclopedia. And every smart person that I meet, I feel like they have this definition too, because they're not calling themselves an expert.

Courtney Love Gavin  1:52  

Hashtag truth booth. The first podcast that I appeared on which was with Shep Rose, Shep's podcast, that is now RIP, I'll put a link to it in the show notes. In the title they referred to me as a PR, as a public relations expert.

Courtney Love Gavin  2:09  

And my gut instinct was to ask them to correct it because I was like, Oh my god, I had all this shame and all this like mind drama around what is everyone that I work, like worked with in corporate? What are my mentors going to think like, Here I am going around, you know, calling myself the PR expert!?

Courtney Love Gavin  2:33  

But then I challenged myself, and really every belief that I had about myself around I'm not an expert. And what did that is this question

Courtney Love Gavin  2:46  

Who decides?? Because seriously, who decides?

Courtney Love Gavin  2:50  

And what I got to is that it turns out that an expert means having expertise and everyone has expertise.  The secret? Are you ready for the secret? The secret is reframing in your mind what it means to be an expert. And I'm not talking about doing some sound baths and waving some Palo Santo, like, that's all great. I like to do that too, but not when it comes down to this.

Courtney Love Gavin  3:24  

And so I'm going over what works.This is practical. This is tactical.This is what I do with my clients. And most importantly, this is what I did with myself to take me on the journey of who the fuck does she think she is? And this is again me talking to me too. Yeah, I'm a goddamn expert, of course.And I mean that in the most least braggadocious way, and I want you to get there too.

Courtney Love Gavin  3:52  

So an expert is expertise. And here are some reasons and ways that you can start getting that expertise and to start thinking and positioning yourself as an expert today.

Courtney Love Gavin  4:06  

Experts believe whatever it is that they do, they believe in it. And it doesn't mean that you have to know it by looking on paper, like you don't need a certificate you don't need. Like, basically you get to decide that you are an expert. And part of that decision means that you are going to bring certainty into any situation and have that confidence. Like Yeah, I got it. And I'm talking about granted confidence here.


Courtney Love Gavin  4:39  

I don't think anyone that listens to this podcast would do this, butthis doesn't mean like, just okay, I'm just going to change my title to an expert. I'm going to put, I'm an expert on everything. Like I'm an expert, I'm an expert, I'm an expert, because you you actually have to be doing things in order to make that happen.

Courtney Love Gavin  5:03  

Also an expert has nothing to prove, like people that are wearing their sherrif expert badges, usually they're not. They're not. It's, it's that's but I know that. I know that that isn't you if you're listening to this, because I'm telling you 99% of the experts that I meet, do not call themselves experts.

Courtney Love Gavin  5:27  

But this is what they do.They show up and they get results because they show up, and then they talk about the results that they get, thus reinforcing the belief around being an expert.

Courtney Love Gavin  5:41  

So, experts, you're going to get results and you're going to show up like a Pro. Now, if you really want to show up as the expert. What do you need to think about yourself and the value that you bring in order to position yourself as an expert, that's the question that I asked myself and I recommend to all of my clients they do in order to start, you know, believing that and really think about like your, your field of genius and what that can look like.

Courtney Love Gavin  6:21  

If you're like, Okay, I don't care about the thoughts. I'll do that later. What is it? The way you become an expert is by doing. In order to become the noun, you need to be doing the verb!

Courtney Love Gavin  6:36  

Choosing what to do, has a lot more power than studying what to do. And I can say this as someone who has a formal education and loves education and loves learning, but all the education in the world doesn't mean jack if you're not out there actually doing it.  I've interviewed candidates who have no joke, three master's degrees, a PhD, and all of this stuff around public relations, communications, marketing, but they've never actually done much.

Courtney Love Gavin  7:14  

Yes, they have case studies and all of these things, but, and I'm not knocking education at all. But there's education and there's practical real world experience. And the theory is that you get that education so you can go out and be better in the real world. But if you don't have that formalized education, but you do have an expertise and experience, you are still an expert, because no one can take that experience away from you!

Courtney Love Gavin  7:45  

I see so many people that hold so tightly onto this certification and that certification, "I won the third grade Spelling Bee" and it's like, that's all good and fine, but that isn't necessarily what is going to breed confidence in hiring an expert in some way.

Courtney Love Gavin  8:06  

You want to know that they can do the job. That they can bring results and their confidence, that grounded confidence that they have in themselves that you feel at ease.

Courtney Love Gavin  8:18  

Let me paint a picture for you, imagine if you went to the doctor, and your doctor said "Welllll I could prescribe you this and there's this new medical journal. Hold on, let me check on my phone. Like, let me write..." You'd be like, what the fuck doc? Sidenote- I love all my doctors, by the way, they're not like that.

Courtney Love Gavin  8:36  

But you would be like, Hey, I thought you were a doctor, right? I thought you were a professional. I thought you were an expert. And I see so many professionals that will. And it's not even like they're doubting themselves. It's just that they are, they're not instilling that certainty that they have it under control.


Courtney Love Gavin  8:57  

I've been there. I get it. Again, you just decide you're like, I'm an expert, and this is what I'm deciding on this day and tomorrow that might change but it's okay.

Courtney Love Gavin  9:09  

Also, this is such an important point for everyone. Being an expert doesn't mean that you succeed in everything. Hey, all of my perfectionist and my recovering perfectionist and my people who don't like to call themselves a perfectionist, because calling yourself a perfectionist means that you're not perfect, okay?

Courtney Love Gavin  9:29  

Experts fail a lot. When I was at awesomeness, we had this flag that was hung over on the second story that was really a mantra that said, Disrupt Or Die. And that meant that you would fail at things because when you're failing, quote, unquote, aka learning, it means that you're doing something for the first time and that no one's done before. And experts. They're doing things a lot of the time for the first time in that way, and so they fail. But the way to think about the failures as an expert, is that when you work with clients or if you're in corporate, is that nothing surprises you. For me and all of my clients, I literally tell them, I've been around the block a million times, there is nothing, nothing that you can tell me that would shock me because I've already experienced it before.

Courtney Love Gavin  10:25  

And that is because all of those quote unquote failures that are in my past, right, like, look at any great inventor, any great leader, really, it wasn't just like, Oh, I did this thing this one time and it turned out perfectly No, no, for example I'm a huge Dyson vacuum fan.

Courtney Love Gavin  10:44  

Look at how many vacuum prototypes there were. I mean, look at Starbucks and how many pitch meetings they went into before they were finally given funding. to really go for it. All of this comes down to my favorite value, which is Integrity. And when you're positioning yourself as an expert, have integrity with that, meaning, look at your expertise, look at what you're doing.

Courtney Love Gavin  11:11  

And think, yeah, I am this and to start owning the thinking that you choose about yourself is really what is going to create that expert energy. I know that it sounds Woo. But I'm telling you, this shit works.

Courtney Love Gavin  11:31  

And then the actions that you are taking from thinking like, Yeah, I got this, I'm confident I know this and stuff like that. That is going to give you the experience that is going to continue continue to shape you as an expert.

Courtney Love Gavin  11:48  

So we're going to start with your mindset. Then you're going to have a feeling that is going to drive that into action. And then that action that you're taking, whether it is posting a blog, like it really could be anything it could be speaking up to your boss about something, it could be suggesting an idea in a meeting, it could be going to someone that you admire or look up to and being like, Hey, have you ever thought about this or just even getting into a conversation with them? Right? Like game recognize game?

Courtney Love Gavin  12:24  

Okay, you are taking an action that is giving you the experience of being an expert in your field. Some questions that I like to ask myself, and then I recommend to my clients to do is to ask, how would I show up everywhere if I believed that I was an expert? If I believed and I knew with absolute certainty 1,000% that my ideal clients could get results for that I knew 1,000% everything that is in that job description or whatever opportunity is laid out in front, I can do,how would I work with them?

Courtney Love Gavin  13:13  

What would I do? How would I create spaces for them to want to work with me?

Courtney Love Gavin  13:25  

A great example of that is organizations that you can join. I know that when this is going live, we're still in the middle of a global pandemic, but there are still so many ways that you can start showing up. And when I say create space, I'm saying no one can come to your party if they don't know your address, and what time to show up and where you live (metamorphically).

Courtney Love Gavin  13:52  

And I am big on metaphors and I just see so many people that are working on the menu or like, Oh my god, I gotta get you these vegan hummus, chips and dip perfect on my cheese board and all of that stuff. But it's like none of that really matters if you're not creating opportunities for people to see you as the expert that you are.

Courtney Love Gavin  14:15  

And you can do that on your own. You don't, you don't need to wait. If anyone is waiting for someone to give them a certificate of authenticity of being an expert or the medal, I hereby declare it to all of you who are listening. You are an expert. There, you just decided you are. Now you get to decide in what area and in what expertise and how you're going to do that. But if you've been waiting for permission, here you go.

Courtney Love Gavin  14:42  

Now two things that you need to think about yourself in order to dare I say self promote. [I don't know why people are so weird around that.]

Courtney Love Gavin  14:54  

One, you need to be confident and being totally vulnerable. And I'm not Saying that you need to go walk around naked everywhere outside. I feel like that's what people think about being vulnerable. There's still, even though I love my girlfriend Brene, there's still a lot of shame around that. And there;s this mindset of I don't want to be vulnerable.

Courtney Love Gavin  15:14  

And as someone who has personally spent 15 years just working on my mindset and vulnerability and being okay with that vulnerability is where confidence comes from and courage and bravery. And so being vulnerable just means that you're able to own everything in your life and be okay with it. And when I say own everything and being okay with it, what I mean is that you can still be wanting to actively change and improve your life but you are comfortable being yourself, and you are already seeing yourself as an expert.

Courtney Love Gavin  15:54  

Now where I see people slide out of confidence and excellence into self pity and overwhelming insecurities and worrying and all of those un-expert energies is when they are freaking out but I'm not. I'm not self promoting all the time. I'm not doing this stuff, you know all the time. Like, how are people going to know that I'm an expert? Okay. Stop that right now. Like, stop that noise.

Courtney Love Gavin  16:26  

Two, The most important thing to do as an expert is every single day to show up with energy and vitality, and motivation and excitement and determination. Because true experts are out there doing the damn thing. And what I want to see is I want to see more of the people that are out there like y'all who are listening to this podcast that are out there doing the damn thing. You are experts, but you're not calling yourself experts and I just don't understand why because you have so much expertise, like in one finger, compared to these other people that are beating their chests out there saying I'm an expert. I'm an expert in this, right?

Courtney Love Gavin  17:14  

Like the only reason why is because they're out there doing that. I want to see more of the true experts rise to the top. Perception is reality. And I believe and I know from all of my expertise that when you change your perception of yourself, the world around you changes because how you perceive yourself is how other people perceive you.

Courtney Love Gavin  17:48  

It goes back to that quote, like you teach people how to treat you and I've found in you know, making people's profiles prolific and even In my own positioning as an expert, that it matters, how you look at yourself, and not just looking in the mirror and like saying affirmations. That's great, that's great, but I know so many intellectuals, you can think something and you could know it practically. But if you don't feel that energy, if you don't believe it, if you're not like big expert energy right here, then there's going to be some issues. Okay?

Courtney Love Gavin  18:30  

A great way to clear those up is to look at your positioning and look at your messaging. And I'm not talking about your cutesy tagline or, you know, your bio of your industry leading experience and all those awards and stuff like that, but really just like, take 10 minutes, take seven minutes because everybody's got seven minutes as far as I'm concerned. Okay, we all got seven minutes. And just look at and think aboutwhat you've done.

Courtney Love Gavin  19:00  

Or what are areas that you are a little bit more advanced in then than other people and start to sort of see about how you have really unique experience. I will give you an example of that.

Courtney Love Gavin  19:14  

This is something that might not seem or didn't seem at the time that it was a winning skill. But now is makes me prolific at what it is that I do.

Courtney Love Gavin  19:28  

So at one point in my career, I was so unhappy, and I was determined to find another job. I was I was already salaried. You know, in a job on paper, it looked really great. But there...I was miserable for a lot, a lot of reasons. And I had recruiters reaching out to me from Google and Twitter and Pixar and all of these really, really sexy companies. And I would interview with them and I would get down to the final final thing and it would be between me and one other person and I was second runner up, but I wouldn't get it.

Courtney Love Gavin  20:11  

And after a while of that happening, it was one of those things where I'm like, "Look, I don't want to be the Susan Lucci of jobs like it's a pleasure to be nominated." I just, I felt like I just kept striking out and stuff. And I remember at the time, Father Gavin had told me Oh, Courtney Love, you could write a book that says, I've been on 100 job interviews. And in my mind, I thought and "I didn't get one!" Like, Thanks, Dad. Not very helpful right now.

Courtney Love Gavin  20:47  

But now, as I am working with clients and helping them elevate their expertise in their company and their brand, half of my clients still being in corporate, the other half running their own companies and things like that. I realized how all of those interviews taught me it's so much about the process in terms of how you influence audiences and what the difference is.

Courtney Love Gavin  21:17  

And looking back at all of them. It wasn't like, that wasn't my place to be in the universe, or anything like that. What happened was is that deep down, I didn't necessarily believe that I was really worthy of that job. And I did the fake it till I make it confidence. And you know, I was really good. Like, I'm an excellent writer, great on paper, all of those things, you know, nailed the phone interviews, kids, this was back before zoom.

Courtney Love Gavin  21:43  

And all of that jazz, but then when it came to be like in person with these presentations, and I had some that were like panel interviews of like, 10 on 1 and just like very, very intimidating, you know, high stakes situations where it's like, sure anyone can be nervous, but it wasn't the nervous energy that was coming out. It was that I wasn't owning my expert energy.

Courtney Love Gavin  22:05  

Because it's one of those situations where you can look at people on paper and think this happens to me. Or should I say it happened to me when I was in-house with clients all the time, anyone who works in PR, or marketing is listening to this, please DM me a screenshot telling me that this has happened to you.

Courtney Love Gavin  22:24  

You have a client or an executive in-house that comes to you, sees an interview, a piece of coverage or award something that someone else has gotten. And they're like, "how come that's not us? We have XYZ, and like on paper, right?" The reality is, yeah, this person might be more qualified, you made more money, you did whatever, but the perception to the outside world isn't the case. Or you would be getting that award. Or, you know, the, the editor of the New York Times would be asking you on the cover, whatever that is. The perception isn't there.

Courtney Love Gavin  23:04  

So this week, I encourage you to start making your perceptions of being an expert into your reality. Like start doing that start showing up like a pro start doing the actions.

Courtney Love Gavin  23:18  

If you are telling yourself right now Oh, I just need to finish this course. And then I'll be an expert. No, STOP IT! You are an expert, now! Remember, I declareed you it. I did. And like who says? okay. We are all experts. We all have expertise. And we all have so many wonderful gifts to give the world.

Courtney Love Gavin  23:38  

Speaking of that I have, oh my goodness, so many great experts that are coming up as far as pretty pretty podcast. So come back next week, the first gem drops as far as an expert goes, and thanks so much for letting me drop some expertise in your eardrums. Talk to you later. Bye.

Courtney Love Gavin  24:01  

Hey, are you picking up what I'm dropping down? If you love this pretty pretty podcast, share it with a friend. Put it in your IG stories and tag me @Courtney Love Gavin. And if you want to go big, make your mark by leaving a review your voice helps more people find out about this gem so they can shine bright, too.