“Not Taught” | Jim Keenan | Part 4

“Experience Doesn’t Matter – Expertise does”1

To paraphrase Keenan’s definitions of both experience and expertise, I’m going to make it very simple. Experience is based on hours spent doing something. Expertise is based on knowledge, understanding and being able to execute. If you’re still not 100% sure what I’m referring to, check out this YouTube video where Keenan breaks it down.

It’s absolutely insane when you see job posting for entry level jobs that are requiring more than a few years of experience. Experience doesn’t mean crap in most cases! Experience means that you are showing up for work, doing the same thing everyday and expecting that 3% raise at the end of the year because you didn’t burn the building down.

Expertise is showing up to work and asking questions; why, how, when and what happens. The more you know, the more you can offer in return. If you don’t know, ask. You know when you’re new to a company and someone says, “feel free to ask me anything or reach out if you need help”? ASK! Get help. Learn as much as possible from that person and then move onto the next. They’ve already been in you’re shoes. Don’t recreate the wheel… Improve on it and gain expertise faster!

“There is no growth without reading, period.”2

Seems like everybody should know that one… Where do you think I’d be if I didn’t read this book?! I wouldn’t be writing this blog. I wouldn’t be networking with people all over the world. This book, for me, is like spinach to Popeye. My goal each day is to learn something new and have an “Ah-Ha” moment. The mental accomplishment feels so good… you should try it!

Starting on page 97, Keenan goes into something that EVERY boss needs to read. If you’re a boss and you’re reading this, internalize it, think about it and consider changing how you measure your people.

“We glorify busy. We still measure and applaud our success by the time we put into something (the effort) rather than by what we delivered (the output). That’s not OK in the information age.” 3

Mind freaking blown. Sounds simple right?! After reading this, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to remove ‘busy’ from my vocabulary when talking about work. Really, it just sounds like you’re saying, “I’m doing stuff”, so people leave you alone. I’ve worked for companies where you have to work four hours, then you get a 30 minute lunch break and then you have to work another 4 hours. If you show up late because of LA traffic…  you get in trouble, and well, you better leave the house earlier. It only took me six hours to do my job everyday, but I had to stay for eight to get paid. Guess what happened to that company. Poof, they’re gone.

Stop measuring your success by how many hours you’ve done something. Start measuring success by WHAT got done.

“In today’s world, we only want to know one thing – can you get it done?”4

Chapter 12 ends with a section that a lot of people take for granted.

“Being happy and having fun is awesome… Go be awesome”5

I LOVE it! Happiness is contagious. People want to hangout with people that are happy. Ask yourself how many people do you hang around that aren’t happy? I bet it’s a pretty low number. One of my favorite saying from my high school football coach is, “Everyday’s a good day, some are just better than others”. It’s so true. I had a coworker ask me one day, “Are you always this happy?” I had the biggest freaking smile on my face and said, “YES!” Who doesn’t want to be happy?!

Go out there and be a happy, change creator that has an expertise in something you love.

Connect with me on Twitter @Barta57

Connect with Keenan on Twitter @Keenan


Get “Not Taught” on Amazon!

Not Taught | Jim Keenan



  1. Page 90
  2. Page 93
  3. Page 99
  4. Page 102
  5. Page 122

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