Editor’s note: Editor’s note: Chris Heivly co-founded MapQuest (which sold to AOL for $1.2 billion), was sole managing director of 77 Capital (a $25 million venture fund), and has been an executive at five software companies. Currently, he is one of two managing directors of The Startup Factory in Durham. A national writer and speaker about startups and startup communities, Heivly is also the founder of the Big Top Job Fair.

DURHAM – There are 150 million adults (over the age of 18) in the United States today. Each one of us has individual interests, hobbies, training, and experiences. Sewing. Social investing. European soccer. Machine learning. Bartending. Farming. Photography. The list goes on and on and on. Think about it — there are definite and specific things you know that I don’t know.

Compared to me, you are an expert.

And therein lies an opportunity for you. So, let me ask you — what are you an expert in? Don’t believe you are an expert yet? Fear not and read on.

Let’s build a baseline from which you can evaluate yourself. If you are just coming out of high school or college, you may not yet have a professional expertise. At the very least you have an interest and some knowledge that can turn into an expertise. So my question for you – and your challenge – are you ready to put the time and effort into becoming an expert in your area of interest?

If you have spent 3, 5 or more than 10 years in the workforce, I guarantee you have an expertise. It can be as simple as, what is that thing that you have been doing that the rest of us have not? Again, tending bar? Basic accounting? Fixing cars? Spending every weekend shooting skateboarding videos?

These activities make you an expert, as compared to me.

Now, since this is an entrepreneurial website and I write about entrepreneurship, let’s place this expertise in context. If you are looking to start your own company, you can look no further than at the areas that you are an expert in.

To achieve anything in this world, you must identify your power and then use that power to separate yourself from the rest of the world.

How? Read the full post at:


​(C) Chris Heivly