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Overcoming "Knowledge Blindness"

Mar 05, 2021

One of my favorite topics to write about is how to build your personal brand online. So much, that my 2020 slogan became, "The Future Belongs to Those Who Build Online."

I've realized one specific challenge that most people face when thinking about building online or just putting themselves out there in general.

They don't believe they have any valuable knowledge that’s worth sharing.

In fact, the most common question I get from people on social media comments is, "What recommendation do you have for people that don't have anything to share?"

I call this affliction "knowledge blindness".

It means you believe you lack valuable knowledge to share with others. You are too caught up in what it means to be an "expert", and that blinds you to the very real and valuable knowledge you do have, that would be beneficial to others.

Here are two questions worth considering:

  1. Who “deserves” to teach something?
  2. At what point does someone become an "expert"?

Most school teachers are not “world-renowned experts”. They merely know more about math, writing, and geography than their students.

Most "thought leaders" that you follow online are simply more experienced in a particular subject than you are.

In the movie Catch Me If You Can, Frank Abagnale (shown below with the man who portrayed him, Leonardo Dicaprio) is apprehended by the FBI after posing as a Sociology teacher at BYU.

When they asked him, “How in the world did you teach that class? You know nothing about advanced sociology?", his answer was telling:

“All I had to do was read one chapter ahead of the students.” - Frank Abagnale

This is a blueprint for teaching in life.

99% of the people that you admire online or offline are still figuring it out. They are simply further along on their journey than you are, and sharing what they’ve learned so far.

The good news? You are further along on some journey than someone else. It could be in your career, in a certain skill, or even a hobby.

The best way to think about sharing, teaching, and expertise is not, "Am I an expert?" or "Am I a teacher?" but rather:

  • How am I useful to others?
  • What do people want from me or my journey?
  • What do friends and family come to me for advice about?
  • Who is a few steps behind me that could benefit from my experience? don't need permission from anyone to teach and share. Someone out there is behind you on a similar journey, and they’re just waiting for you to show up and guide them.

Go out and start sharing your journey today.

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