Earlier this year, Pace + Kyeli Smith of Connection Revolution invited me to participate in their World-Changing Writing Workshop. It was a grand success, with contributions from Chris Guillebeau, Jonathan Fields, Colleen Wainwright, Jennifer Louden, Johnny B. Truant and other literary and entrepreneurial hotshots.

The E-Goddesses were smiling down, because I was given the esteemed vote of “fave speaker of the series.” My reward? I get to share my segment with the masses — for free.

An Excerpt: The Nitty-Gritty of World-Changing Writing

Kyeli: Ellie asks, “How do you share the idea you have with people who don’t already agree?”

Danielle: Don’t bother.

Kyeli: Yeah, that’s a good answer. That ties into someone else’s question. Jane says, “How do you stop holding others’ expertise or credentials in such high esteem that it prevents you from believing that you have something new and different to offer?” I feel like those questions are related.

Danielle: Yep, they are. You don’t want to work with people who don’t have the same worldview as you. It’s always a disaster. You are going to burn up a lot of energy trying to convince people to see things the way that you see them. It’s a waste of time; it’s a waste of energy that you could be pouring into your authenticity and expressing yourself, and being of service to your tribe. Letting other people’s expertise eclipse you, or scare you, put you into a place of insecurity – that’s just the deep, ongoing human exercise of believing in yourself.

Kyeli: Right.

Danielle: I’ll use myself as an example for twenty seconds here. I was executive director of a DC-based think tank, and consulted to the Pentagon on the dynamics of social change, and I never went to college. I graduated from grade 12. The reason I tell you that is that yay, it can be done, but also, I learned to leverage my “lack of qualifications”. When you work in Washington, DC, you’re going to be asked on a daily basis where you went to university, and someone’s going to ask you some tricky question to figure out if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, and so whenever I got that question, I just said, “Nowhere.” It was impressive, at the time. They think, “Wow, you must be really smart.” I worked with a client earlier this year who was an interior designer who was making over $100,000 a year, and still thought that she needed to go back to school to get certified in interior decorating. And I said, “You know what your bio needs to say? That you’re self-taught.” You can wave the self-taught flag. And this all goes back to waving the flag of your passion. Your passion is your qualification. It’s your leading qualification.

Pace: Yeah!

Kyeli: That’s awesome.

Danielle: Next question!

Many thanks to Pace + Kyeli for their revolutionary grace + rock-solid content.