3 Ways to Join the Knowledge-Based Economy
Entrepreneurs today operate in a business world that's different from their parents'. Years ago everyone had a job that defined them. These days what a person does and what he or she says publicly can seem like two full-time jobs. With the popularity of social media, entrepreneurs have to not only be better than their competitors but also interesting and engaging online, it appears. Well, that’s partially true.
But it's a myth that only interesting people say interesting things. Consider the statement “I don't know what to say on Twitter; I have nothing interesting to share.” I heartily disagree. I think that everyone has something worth sharing.
People generate an unprecedented amount of digital content each day. Certainly some of it has value just for immediate and immediate family (such as pictures of kids) and other elements are completely useless, such as a check-in at a restaurant bathroom (please don’t do the latter).
But some people are sharing original and incredibly worthwhile content about a wide variety of topics, from dog-walking tips to cancer treatments. Individuals share what they know. They also look for answers from their trusted circles and hopefully pass along their expertise and their passion. Each person has a following in friends, colleagues and lurkers -- and perhaps even dedicated evangelists.
Still not not active on social media? Consider these points:
1. Everyone has something interesting to say. As the chief questioning officer for Q!, a social search and productivy app created by my company Color Eight, I have committed myself to meeting at least two individuals per day and asking them two random questions.
Everyone has a story or something interesting to share and when the top layer of an onion is removed, there's still a lot more there. So think about what to tell the world today. While at it, pay attention to what others are saying or asking. Having a conversation is so much better than a monologue.
2. Pick a passion, start a movement. Most people have at least one thing that they truly enjoy doing -- whether it’s assembling toy airplanes, studying the architecture of buildings in Amsterdam or developing over-the-counter cancer tests. Just look at 17-year-old Jack Andraka.
In the course of pursuing a passion, tell the world about it: This could be in a form of a tweet, a Facebook page or a short consumable blog post. It's then possible to find out that there are many like-minded people in the world who are willing to learn, contribute and share their knowledge. Hey, it's possible to start a movement this way.
3. The magic of 10,000 hours. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell stated that it takes roughly 10,000 hours to become an expert in a field. Whether the 10,000 rule is myth or reality, few would argue that intense studying and focus on a particular subject yields no results.
The right time to focus on a true innate passion is now, whether one is a student or a retiree. And then when confident about this pursuit, start learning and sharing wisdom. But with just 32 followers, say, don't pretend to be an expert on social media channels.