What we think we know handicaps us

Sep 17, 2019

What we think we know handicaps us. What we know we don’t know enables us to grow, and to eventually succeed. This is true both for new and experienced entrepreneurs.​


It’s been a busy couple of weeks, taking my business into unchartered territory (for me anyway), and helping several brand new businesses get off the ground.


Yesterday, one of these students said that he was grateful for getting guidance from us because he’s completely out of his depth.


My reaction was that he ought to feel out of his depth, and that’s the exact reason why we’re both here – him to learn, and me, to provide that guidance.


He then apologized for being a student that knew nothing about online marketing…


In my view, he had absolutely nothing to apologize for.


And that made me reflect on this a little.


I far prefer working with students who are starting from scratch and know nothing about online marketing.


In fact, those who profess to be knowledgeable and experienced, tend to have expectations within themselves that they need to live up to, or some unlearning to do.


Unlearning itself is not difficult, if you’re not trying to hold on to that which you need to unlearn.


There are a lot of courses and people who will profess to teach you how to make money online.  The thing is, a lot of them are not actual practitioners and who might not even have results themselves.


The consequence is that many people learn the wrong thing.


Also, someone like me, who came into online marketing after a long corporate career, would need to unlearn habits formed in my 20 years of being a corporate lawyer.


As I said, if you’re not trying to hold on to that identity or knowledge and are prepared to actively “unlearn”, unlearning is not difficult.


However, if someone is actively trying to show that he is knowledgable in a certain area, then it becomes difficult to unlearn that, because that person is actively holding on to it.


And that’s exactly the same with trying to live up to expectations with yourself.


If you believe that you have that know how, when you’re really just starting, then you’ll never let go of that and learn things the way that we know works.


That was the same for me when I first started.  I needed to learn to not put on a mask, and be the senior corporate lawyer that everyone looked to for advice.  I needed to learn to be myself, and acknowledge that 20 year olds knew more than me.


And as I grow my businesses into new and unchartered territories for me, I need to not be the person who succeeded at the last business.


If I don’t do that, I think I know more than I do.


Put quite simply, what we think we know handicaps us. 


However, the moment we acknowledge what we don’t know, we grow.



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