Monetize Your Knowledge!


Monetize Your Knowledge



Greek philosophers coined the phrase “knowledge for knowledge’s sake.” Aristotle stated, “wisdom at no end but itself… is one of the excellent natures of human action,” while St. Augustine wrote that the specific role of wisdom is “loved for its own sake.”


In our businesses, knowledge is critical to our success. Knowledge is our product, whether directly or indirectly. Basically, if we don’t know what we’re doing, we won’t be in business very long.


In the business world, for better or worse, we treat knowledge as transactional. Essentially, we ask ourselves, what do I know that I can monetize, or what should I learn that I can sell in the future.


Experts tell us that there are different types of knowledge that work together to help us exchange information or gain new knowledge. This is based on Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences.


Currently, the 7 types of knowledge that are easily definable are explicit, implicit, tacit, declarative, procedural, priori, and posteriori knowledge.


Although I believe we can agree that all types of knowledge are valuable, not all types of knowledge are transactional. In business, we need to appreciate the differences without discarding ideas and concepts that aren’t immediately amenable to monetization. For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll focus on those types of knowledge that are amenable to monetization: explicit, implicit, tacit, and procedural.


Explicit knowledge is anything that can be documented, transmitted, shared, learned, or taught. Many of our businesses deal directly in explicit knowledge.


Less straightforward than explicit knowledge, implicit knowledge consists of information we have gained through practice and experience. We all use implicit knowledge in our businesses to produce our products and services.


Tacit knowledge is similar to implicit knowledge but isn’t easily monetized. If you’ve ever played a sport, such as tennis, you’ve acquired tacit knowledge, but it isn’t easy to pass this along. Tacit knowledge can be monetized, but often on a one-to-one basis, such as when you coach a client or customer.


Procedural knowledge answers “how-to” questions by providing procedural information. Once you have become a subject matter expert in your field, you can use procedural knowledge to create products such as webinars, seminars, and even Youtube videos.


We have all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know but who you know,” but that’s not always true. In today’s world of ideas and information, it truly is what you know that’s the key to success.


As businesspeople, we need to take stock of what we know, and perhaps even more importantly, what we don’t know but should. Once we’ve created an inventory of knowledge, we need to ask ourselves if we’re taking advantage of what we know; because, if you don’t, your competition will.


I like this quote from Daniel Boorsin, American historian who taught at the University of Chicago, “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.”


Three Questions For Your Business:

1.   What do you know that you can monetize?

2.   What is stopping you?

3.   Who do you know that can help?