Finding Your Message aka “Knowingly Knowing What You Already Know”

I’ve been stuck for a long time now, trying to figure out what I already know.  I don’t know what I already know, and I’ve been relying on that as an excuse for why I haven’t been teaching what I already know.

You may be in the same place.  You know so much.  You know you know it.  You know you can teach others what you know, but you’re not sure exactly what it is you know.  And you’re definitely not sure what you know that others would like to know, and whom would be willing to pay good money to know themselves.

Baffled yet??  Me too…

So, what do you know?

First, start by getting over the belief that you have to be an ‘expert’ to effectively know something and teach it.  You don’t.  I’ve always believed that the best teachers suck knowledge out of their students; not necessarily pound it into their brains.  (Derived from a Plato quote.)  Thus, use what you know to spark knowledge in your students.  Figure out your stories.  You don’t need a fancy sticker or certification to convey stories and messages that have helped you better understand a topic.  What can you use from your personal arsenal, that will ignite learning?

Second, just figure out what you’re good at and turn that into value for other people.  Small, big, tangible or intangible, what do you ‘rock’ at?

Easy right?!?

Not exactly.

Decades of learning and experience, both planned an unplanned and so many are still unsure of what they’ve actually learned.  Years of knowledge and training and we’re ashamedly unaware of our own expertise.  Trillions of unique ‘life paths’ taken, each spiced with unique experiences and reactions, all easily recalled by our brains, but not always identified as providing any value to anyone.  It’s just stored data that never comes out.  In fact, the only way we recognize our experiences as providing any value, is when someone directly asks about them.

Herein lies the problem, and the solution.

If you’re stuck trying to find your message, you’re not alone.  Personally, it’s been on my mind for 6 months and I still feel like I’m nowhere near totally locking it down.  I’ve worked with 4 different coaches throughout the 6 months, and still haven’t gotten remotely close.  I know if I just start doing something, eventually I’ll lock my message down 150%, but how do I even start something if I don’t know where to start?

This past weekend I had my breakthrough.

I was sitting in my friend’s car, and he was discussing something that was on his mind.  It wasn’t a ‘happy thing,’ and it definitely bothered him.  As he continued discussing this troubling thing, I could physically see it affecting him as well.  He was tense, on edge and irritable.  As I was taking all this in, the thought came to me, ‘Oh I know how to fix this, I can help him.’

That was my ‘bingo moment.’

I immediately became inspired.  Listening to my friend rant for a moment gave me the exact place where I need to start.  More importantly, it gave me the question that could create a million opportunities for future content.  All I have to do is ask  “What do I see in my friends that I could help with?  What do I notice?  And if I had to write/speak/create something for them to study from in order to fix this, what might that look like?”

That happened Sunday.  Monday on my flight home, I started writing instructional content that could be given to anyone having a similar issue such as my friend.  When I write, it tends to be very conversational so I have an immediate speech/keynote being prepared.  With that speech material, I could easily create a PDF / eBook outline that could be distributed if I’m unavailable to speak.  And even best of all, I pretty much have a guaranteed product tester and future testimonial in my friend!  All of a sudden, I’m off and running on content, all because I was listening to my friend complain about something. (I’ll have to make sure and buy him a beer next time we’re out.)

So, stuck finding your message?  Tried everything to figure out what you know?  Still confused?  Don’t know what you already know?  Try this –

  1. What do I see in my friends that I could help them with?
  2. If there was something created that I could just hand my friend, what would it look like?
  3. How would it work?
  4. Create it.

So, feel free to send along all the rants you like, and I’ll be sure to buy you a drink next time we’re out.

–D