Your "Common Knowledge" Isn’t Common.

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Today I’m going to show you how the knowledge, skills, and experience you consider “common knowledge” is actually worth a lot of money to other people.

We all have knowledge. We all have skills. And we all have experience. But most of us believe our knowledge, skills, and experience is as common as knowing how to tie your shoes.

But that’s not true.

In reality, just because something is second nature to you, doesn’t mean the next person in the room knows anything about it.

Take my wife, for example. Jennifer has planned hundreds of events during her career, from small happy hours to international vacations for 75 people.

With all that experience, Jennifer loves helping friends and family with event planning when the opportunity arrises - birthdays and anniversary parties, vacations, and so on.

Basic event planning considerations that are so obvious to Jennifer are mind blowing to people she helps. And she’s always surprised that her simple advice is received with such enthusiasm and appreciation.

Because she’s just sharing things she knows like the back of her hand.

Turns out plenty of people are stumped when it comes to planning a birthday party, and Jennifer’s experience is extremely valuable to lots of people (who also have their own knowledge and experiences that would be valuable to Jennifer.)

This is how the world works. And this phenomenon of thinking our personal knowledge is common or obvious to others is what I call “Knowledge Blindness”.

And you’re probably suffering from it.

Here are some steps you can follow to uncover your own knowledge blindness and start monetizing that valuable information you’re storing between your ears and on your hard drive.

Step 1: Brain Dump and Research

I've seen thousands of people desperately trying to learn things that other people take for granted. And I can promise you that you know stuff that other people will pay for.

So here’s an exercise:

Make a list of things you consider to be your basic skills.

  • What have you learned at work?
  • Or at home / in your personal life?
  • Or as a hobby?
  • What do family and friends come to your for?

Just brain dump everything you can think of.

Then, hop on Reddit, Twitter, or LinkedIn and search around.

Is anyone asking about anything on your list?

Try using advanced Twitter search and typing in “Does anyone know how to” and then adding your keyword(s).

For example, maybe you want to see people who are asking questions about newsletters:

That second question seems like a damn good business idea if you know how to solve it.

With a little research, you'll probably find people struggling with something you excel at or consider second nature (like Jennifer’s event planning).

And that's your cue.

Step 2: Test the Content Waters

Once you've identified a "basic" skill people want to learn and that you know about, draft up 10-15 pieces of content that showcase your expertise.

I encourage people to share their initial tips on LinkedIn, Twitter, or in a newsletter to test the waters. It’s the best platform for doing business through your content.

For example, in last week’s newsletter I shared how to align your business mission, goals, strategies, tactics, and daily efforts.

I’ve been doing this since I joined my first startup in 2009. In my mind, this is really basic information that I can talk about without even being prepared.

Everyone probably knows this stuff — right?

Turned out that they don’t. And that’s awesome!

My knowledge, while basic to me, is new to others. That shouldn’t be surprising. The person who sent this nice response could probably school me in how to write a book, because I have no idea.

Step 3: Take it Up a Level and Learn More

When your content that showcases your skills and experience starts getting some traction, consider stepping it up another notch.

Create a one-pager or a video explaining the basics of your skill. You could even turn that into a lead magnet. And with your lead magnet, you can start collecting email addresses from people who may be your ideal customers.

Once someone has accessed your lead magnet, send them an automated email and ask them what their 3 biggest challenges are, related to your skill or knowledge.

Their answers can become content for social media, a newsletter, or even product ideas.  There’s gold in this information!

Look what Nick Huber created: 200 low-risk business ideas.

Nick could probably list 50+ of these ideas off the top of his head, so for him…creating this lead magnet was probably easy.

But for the thousands of people that download it each month, it’s insanely valuable.


So remember, you don't have to be a “genius” or “expert” to offer something of value to other people.

  1. Research and brain dump.
  2. Test the content waters on LinkedIn & Twitter.
  3. Lead magnet plus post-lead magnet survey to learn more.

The skills and experience you take for granted could be exactly what someone else is searching for and more than happy to pay for.

So start by identifying those valuable skills, knowledge, and experience that you already have. And find related questions that people are asking. Share some free insights to gauge interest, and then consider packaging it in a more structured format.

And who knows?

Your overlooked skill may be your next big business venture.

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