For many years, I’ve been a knowledge kind of guy in the marketing space.
That is, I write books, produce videos, hold webinars, and teach courses showing you how to do stuff.
It’s fun. It’s rewarding. And, if I look closely enough, it’s kind of frustrating and sometimes dispiriting.
“Give it away”
Many of us who make our living creating and sharing intellectual property are scared of “giving it away.” We think, “Why will they buy the cow when I’m giving them milk for free.” (Actually, I avoid dairy products, so my metaphor revolved around dating in a fairly disturbing manner ;)
But I discovered, as almost everyone does, that giving it away has the opposite effect.
My first book on marketing, Google AdWords For Dummies, consisted of everything I knew about AdWords in 408 pages.
And it retailed for $15, which computes to less than four cents a page. (And as the author, I got about a tenth of that.)
Pretty much “giving it away,” wouldn’t you say?
And of course, that book completely changed my career trajectory. All of a sudden, prospects who couldn’t get enough references about my work were climbing over each other to hire me.
And many of them were hiring me to teach them what I had written in the book.
The Inadequacy of Knowledge
What I didn’t realize at the time was, the same thing was happening further up the value chain. When I turned the book into videos showing exactly how to do keyword research, set up Ad Groups, etc. – a more engaging form of knowledge sharing – there were still lots of clients who needed more.
And the same is true of home-study courses, live courses, and workshops.
No matter how conveniently and clearly and engagingly I present the material, there’s still a huge gap between knowing and doing. Or between, if you prefer, knowledge and know-how.
One way I solve this problem is by having a PPC management company. My staff will literally do it for you. And that’s a perfectly fine solution if you want your online advertising taken care of and you don’t want to go to the trouble of learning.
But there are some aspects of running and growing a business that you just can’t outsource. So you’re gonna have to learn how to do them.
Which is a long-winded way of saying…
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re an “information junkie” who still has trouble executing the things you think you know how to do.
There’s a huge gap between knowledge and know-how.
And more often than not, that gap is filled with various kinds of “mental garbage.”
- Thoughts of inadequacy
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success
- Realization that you’re not really doing the work you were put on this planet to do
- Outdated strategies that have morphed into rigid defense mechanisms
- A million and five ways of “wasting” time to avoid the big, hard stuff
- (Add your own several dozen here…)
The Knowledge Racket
Knowledge is necessary, don’t get me wrong.
It’s just not sufficient.
But the internet, as a medium of 1s and 0s, is biased toward knowledge.
When you read newsletters (like this one) and sales letters and watch sales videos and read special reports (ie sales letters with nicer graphics in PDF format), you’ll be told again and again:
Learn some more.
There’s a secret that’s the single thing keeping you from great things.
I guarantee you, it ain’t.
Think about it – there are many people a lot less informed and educated than you who are doing just fine.
If more knowledge were the answer, you would have figured it all out long ago.
The Structure of Success
So what else is necessary to achieve success in business?
I’ll be back next week with some thoughts. For right now, though, what do you think?
What are the things that hold you back that are unrelated to knowing what to do?
Post your thoughts in comments, below.