The notion that we can build careers out of teaching others what we know is wild. It’s freeing, it’s empowering, and it’s sustainable because you’ll always have more to teach so long as you continue growing and learning yourself. But to create a business out of your knowledge, you likely need to walk through some mindset shifts in order to step into your true power and prowess.
If you’d have told me 15 years ago that I would have a career teaching people marketing and social media strategy, I would’ve choked on my La Croix.
(Although TBH, I was probably drinking Diet Coke 15 years ago.)
Most of us simply have a hard time believing we know enough to teach others. We don’t feel like true “experts” in any specific realm. I’ve been there, too, and had to walk through the very mindset shifts I want to take you through today.
Because here’s the thing: We often discount our own knowledge.
Full stop. We think everyone knows what we know. The “thing” we’re really good at feels obvious. But it’s NOT obvious to everyone else!
Your personal experiences, story, background, and walk in life have created a knowledge that is as personal to you as the hairs on your head. It’s one of a kind.
I experienced this same internal resistance when I was a wedding photographer and something inside me kept tugging me to pivot. I knew the way I marketed my business was different than other photographers. I was fully booked (and fully overworked) at all times. But I wasn’t sure exactly how to teach others what I innately knew—or if I could.
Yet, when I created my first course, people bought it and found value in it. I was scared as heck, but I simply bundled up what I knew to work and shared it with others. And guess what? It worked for them, too.
3 mindset shifts to teach what you know
Along the way, I’ve found there are 3 major mindset shifts I’ve had to overcome (sometimes again and again) in order to embrace this whole “teach what you know” thing. And today, I want to share them with you, because I think YOU have something special and valuable that the world would benefit from knowing.
The Lie #1: “Someone else is already doing it.”
The mindset shift: There’s always room for more. Period.
It’s easy to tell yourself that someone’s already doing something and that’s reason enough to not dive in, but you’re forgetting that no one can do it like you can. Someone doing something similar doesn’t have the same story as yours. They don’t have your challenges, lessons, breakthroughs, or “why.”
Your STORY is what sets you apart. Because of it, you have a unique way of teaching, and your experience has shaped the education you’ll share. Instead of feeling like a niche is “oversaturated” (side note: can we cancel that word?), look at it as a proof of concept, not a reason to not pursue what you love. And remind yourself that if others are successfully doing this, there’s a great chance that you can be successful as well!
The Lie #2: “It’s too complicated.”
The mindset shift: NO ONE knows how to do it all. And that’s okay.
In fact, it’s normal!
Start small with things like going LIVE on Facebook, or do one-on-one coaching with someone you know who already needs it. You don’t need to build and launch a course in a day. (Or a week. Or a month.) Create the framework, have beta testers, and start small to gain momentum before working bigger and bigger.
Then, there are tools like Kajabi that literally walk you through how to create and get your course up and ready to be sold. Or Flodesk that has video tutorials to completely simplify starting and growing your email list. (Psst, you can still get 50% off Flodesk here!)
The tech is learnable (or outsourceable). The unknowns? Also learnable (or outsourceable). Don’t let fear of figuring things out keep you frozen in inaction. You’re too smart for that, and what you know is too important to not share it with others!
The Lie #3: “I can’t add value.”
The mindset shift: What you know—what you’re an expert in—is valuable to someone, somewhere. I promise.
Start by just sharing what you know, your experience, and what you’ve learned. Share it on social media. Emails. YouTube… Allll the free platforms so people can experience the value you have to share at no cost.
Leave breadcrumbs on the path so your audience knows you have experienced something similar to them or had to overcome something challenging to get where you are. (BTW, this is also the quickest way to build trust with your target audience!)
Add value, share tangible tips, and get people quick wins before you ever try to sell anything. Let people ask you questions, answer them genuinely and eagerly, and serve, serve, serve. By the time you’re ready to sell, people will believe you, trust you, and know what you’re dishing is legit.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but what you know matters. Your knowledge is important. Your experience is what makes you an expert. And if you’ve got anyone results in the past (including yourself), you can get results for others.
Write these mindset shifts down and stick them somewhere you see them every single day. Your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator door. And then start taking small steps of action, even before you feel fully ready. That’s where the magic happens.