The early people who show up somewhere tend to be smarter in that field. Mostly because they must be the ones most interested in the topic to tread where no one else has. Of course, for a little while other smart people may start taking notice, but eventually as the size grows, things will trend towards the average.
At times it’s worth reassessing where you are “working” in the world and if it’s time to move from an associator in one type of problem, to a contributor in the other. Both will feel entirely different and will change the way you think and behave.
Can you figure out whether you’re an associator or a contributor right now? If not, it’s a good exercise.