As part of the research for my next book with Penguin, tentatively titled ‘Poverty Proof for Entrepreneurs,’ I’m reading ‘Quit like a Millionaire.’ Author Kirsty Shen grew up as a young girl in Communist China, before her family emigrated to Canada. Kirsty sped her way from the very lowest ranks of global poverty to retirement at an early age. Now she teaches others.

Like many good experts and guides, her advice is startlingly counterintuitive. She’s bossy, pushy, and displays little tolerance for widely accepted popular theories. Instead, she bluntly describes what she believes actually works in a tone that asserts: ‘Ignore all that rubbish and do this.’

In my time studying genuine experts, I’ve learned to expect that tone, rather than to see it as the exception.

Pick an industry, any industry. Look around and you will quickly encounter all the formulaic approaches and all the accepted wisdom, espoused by all the guides who all look the same. But then you will meet the few stand-out authorities. These are generally people who brazenly contradict anything with which they disagree, with little regard for social backlash. They do not do so glibly, or from arrogance, but rather from impatience based on deep experience. They simply have no time for nice theories that don’t work.

I find that refreshing. And if we judge it by the success of these individuals, so does the public at large.

So a practical question: Which longstanding ideal within your industry have you always suspected of malfeasance or mythology? Do you have a better way?

Perhaps it’s time to stop kowtowing to publicly accepted wisdom, and start boldly teaching what you know to be superior. That one switch may be sufficient to transform you into an authority.