Op Ed: Use Your Knowledge

By: Lindy Earl

I see so many people in life, both professional and personal, who are frustrated by their work or lives. I see students who just want the degree. I see young professionals who want the wonder job and think they should have it immediately (as did I, 30 years ago).  I see mid-level managers wanting to be C-level and C-level managers frustrated with their situations. I see singles wanting to be married and young couples wanting to start a family.

I once had a soon-to-be-grad tell me she wanted my job as a consultant. I asked her whom she would consult. She said small businesses and entrepreneurs. I asked her who started those kind of businesses. She said college grads who wanted to work for themselves. I accepted that answer even though I found it naive. So I asked her what she offered. She said her college education. I then gently pointed out that the people she wants to consult also have that degree, plus experience.

I gently pointed out that people like me bring the degree she has plus an MBA. We bring years of professional experience in the corporate world. We might have the experience of starting and successfully running our own companies.

Then I asked why somebody, who had her education plus the nerve and work ethic to start their own business, would want to hire her. No answer. That made me sad. I wanted her to point out what she was offering, to fight for her ability to do what I do, and what she claims she want to do.

So to my point, she wanted the job, but she had yet to accumulate enough knowledge and experience to earn the position.

On a personal level, I have met very few people who waited to marry say they were sorry they waited, yet many who wish they had waited.  I am, and have met others, who didn’t begin parenting until after 30, and all agree that we were better parents for having waited, even if it wasn’t completely our decision.

In our lives, we collect a vast amount of knowledge. Some of it we enjoy using. Other parts we would rather skip. I know so many business owners who barely tolerate the paperwork–or hire it out. That’s what I do with my accounting. On the personal side, the more knowledge we have in life, I think the better parents and friends we might be.

So what knowledge do you have that you want to use? And what knowledge do you have that is sellable? Please acknowledge the difference between selling a make-able product and making a sellable product. With my experience and education, coupled with some common sense and good ability to work with people, I have found people want to hire me. I have a sellable service.

You have knowledge that others may or may not share. Maybe your knowledge is common, but how you impart it is unique.  I have been told that I can make complex concepts very understandable; That I have a way of explaining things that not only answers the question at hand, but starts a way of thinking so that in future people realize their options and can make better decisions.

I think everyone needs to find their sellable service and use it to be truly happy in life. Not necessarily financial success but just happy. That’s true success. To enjoy what you’re doing and sharing, even when you’re performing as a volunteer. That’s worthwhile success.

If, like my student, you don’t yet have the knowledge you need to do what you want to do, then set your path to achieve small goals so you can achieve your long term goals.

For those who have the education, experience, and knowledge, use that knowledge to do what you truly enjoy.

            Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant.

* Contact her at Ask@LindySpeaks.com to submit a question for her Advice Column or hire her as a Consultant or to speak at your next event.

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* Purchase her latest book, Surviving Holidays and Events After Divorce at

http://www.lindyspeaks.com/Products.html for $8.00 (half off Amazon’s price).