What Makes Me an Expert in My Field?

SBB Historic Crocodile Locomotive

What are your qualifications? What makes you an expert in your field? How many times have you been asked these questions?

If the answer is based on your university education it will be easy to answer, but if the answer is based on a somewhat unorthodox path it will be a little more difficult to answer.

What if your niche is not the most common one? Where did I learn these specific skills? Why am I a productivity and time management coach? What is it that I do? After hearing my answer most people just get it.

Where did I learn these skills?

My qualifications come from growing up in Switzerland and my life experience. Productivity, time management and punctuality are ingrained in me. It’s in my blood. They are part of the culture I grew up in during the Sixties. I think things have changed quite a bit since my childhood.

As I was contemplating writing this post, I came across a BBC article titled “The nation that hates to be late” . It was like the universe was telling me that it was time to finally put my explanation on paper.

“The Swiss derive genuine joy from the fact that life unfolds on time and in a highly efficient manner.”

During all my school days it never occurred to me to arrive late for class unless there were dire circumstances. Being on time was just expected. I don’t think I was ever late for class during all my 12 years of school.

Switzerland does not have school buses. Kids go to school on foot, by bicycle, public bus or train. You can just rely on the fact that the public transportation system is on time. If you are late for the train, that means waiting another hour and missing a class.

my first school day - April 1960

my first school day
April 1960

Imagine my culture shock coming to Canada where being punctual could also mean being 15 minutes late. After I got married we had one friend who was punctually 30 minutes late. So we just always told him to be there half an hour earlier so that he arrived when we arrived. Problem solved.

Where does Swiss punctuality and orderliness come from? It is actually quite simple. The Swiss are very proud and fiercely protective of their country and of being Swiss.

Switzerland is a small country (North-South: 220km – 140 miles, West-East: 350km – 220 miles) with quite a large population for the size (over 8 million). I live in the Canadian Maritimes in the province of Nova Scotia whose population is just under 1 million people. Switzerland is only about ¾ the size of Nova Scotia. In addition to that in Switzerland the Alps cover about 60% of the country’s area. So the population is crammed into the remaining 40%. Those facts are a big factor in the Swiss’ punctuality and orderliness, it is in their blood.

My strategy and productivity qualifications date back to my grades 4-6. We had just moved to a neighbouring town with a population of about 5’000. For me that meant going from a class of 30 kids in the same grade to a classroom of 30 kids in 3 grades. My teacher either taught all three grades the same subject or only two grades or one grade. As a student that meant you had to pay attention to what was being taught or do the assigned work.

Why am I a productivity and time management coach?

In a nutshell my upbringing gave me my qualification and the reason I am a productivity and time management coach. What for me is logical and the natural way to do things is often is a mystery to others. Be strategic, methodical, punctual and organized is just my way of life.

What is it that I do?

I provide coaching services to entrepreneurs and business owners who wish they could add more hours to their day on how to manage their time more effectively and improve their productivity, so that they can reduce stress and overwhelm and become more successful. Making minor changes will have a hug impact.

“Time management is actually self-management:

Did your background contribute to make you an expert in your field?
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