Executive Education

Use Your Professional Knowledge to Create a New Business

In my experience, many people have started a knowledge business to get away from their day job. Sometimes they’re miserable, other times unfulfilled, but more often, they realize the skills they have can be used to make money outside their current job.

This article will look at three stories of knowledge entrepreneurs who used their professional expertise to products and build successful businesses.

After seeing how their journeys unfolded, we’ll study four key insights.

As you read through these stories, try to keep in mind that people want to know what you know. Think about the tools you use, the unique skills you’ve developed, and how you can use information you already possess to educate others.

Leah McHenry: Newfound Music Marketing Guru

Leah is a stay-at-home mom from Canada with five children. Her husband worked construction while she stayed home, and money was tight. They did everything they could to make ends meet, and at one point, they came close to financial ruin.

Leah started an online music career in a very specific niche: Celtic metal music. She didn’t have a label, but she had released a few albums online herself. She also sold niche merchandise related to her genre, like T-shirts, artwork, and swords.

She found other ways to monetize her niche and made good money without having to go on the road or deal with a record label, and she was doing it all from home.

People started asking her how she marketed her business so well. At first, she thought she would write an ebook, but once she met fitness entrepreneur Chalene Johnson, Leah pursued the idea of a music marketing course.

The first week after Leah’s course launched, she made $30,000. Within months, her business had grown exponentially. In fact, Leah’s husband ended up quitting his job to stay home and helps with her business. They’re no longer in financial straits, and she told me that her marriage has improved because they get spend more time together.

Dr. V: Changing Lives with Postsurgery Advice

Dr. Duc Vuong, or Dr. V, as he’s known, specializes in stomach stapling, lap-band surgery, and gastric-sleeve surgery, all procedures that help people lose weight. However, he knows surgery itself is often just a Band-Aid for deeper problems.

If his patients don’t change their attitude toward food and wellness, they have a high probability of returning to the same weight or more – a devastating relapse.

He has noticed drastically different postsurgery outcomes with patients that focus on overhauling their entire lifestyle. He wanted to help people make these changes, so he started offering courses to help coach people postsurgery.

His course has been very successful, and his patients’ success rates have gone up. He now calls himself “The Support Surgeon.” He envisions a movement in which all doctors offer this kind of postsurgery/posttreatment support. He is still testing his findings and is working on the medical research to pin down the results.

He’s also created an online subscription plan that enables him to keep the education and interaction ongoing since it’s a lifelong struggle.

Dr. V recognized a problem in his profession and saw a way to respond. That’s powerful, because he could have just kept doing surgeries and made a very good living that way. Instead, he decided to do something to solve the problem and help people.

Remi Boudreau: Color Scheme Expert

Remi was a successful house painter and contractor in Canada. He realized he had a knack for picking good paint schemes. He could see which colors went well together before he even started painting. Now he teaches professional house painters how to match colors and other aspects of business management.

Again, this is a great example of a niche within a niche. Instead of teaching people to paint their house, like many other YouTubers do, he focused specifically on how to pick a color scheme. If you search for him, you will see that he doesn’t have videos to help homeowners. He specifically helps business owners.

I asked Remi if sharing all his secrets online negatively impacted his own painting business. Remi told me no, that sharing his knowledge has improved his own business. Now, instead of reaching one small part of Canada, he can impact people worldwide.

Insight #1: People Want to Know What You Know

If you’ve become an expert at something professionally, then you have the seeds of a potential business. There are so many skills you likely have obtained within your profession that you could share in some way. Think about how you can use information you already have to build a business that lets you share that knowledge.

Insight #2: Look for a Narrower Niche

Also keep in mind that you may transform from one niche to another. I gave examples of people who had a specific niche. But when I began each story, you may have thought they would be selling one thing to a certain audience, and they ended up selling something different to a different audience than expected.

They twisted the expectation to meet a specific need. For example, with Remi’s story, it was not just about paint color. His niche is about how other painters can find the right colors. Think about the unique angle you can take when you think about your niche.

Insight #3: Share Your Best Stuff for Free

Remember that sharing free content can help develop a customer audience. You will need to get over the fear of giving away things for free, and in fact, you should give away your best stuff for free. People will feel a sense of reciprocity and want to give back to you, either by buying your stuff or by sharing with other potential customers.

Once people know you, like you, and trust you, they will be more likely to buy from you.

Sharing knowledge does not have to negatively impact your profession. You do not have to hoard your knowledge to compete. In fact, sharing your knowledge is what makes you stand out as an expert and allows potential customers to trust you.

Insight #4: You Can Improve the Lives of Others

Finally, remember that your knowledge has the power to significantly improve other people’s quality of life. I know a lot of you might be reading this, thinking, “I need to start a business to pay my bills or get out of this dead-end job,” but that doesn’t mean you can’t change the world along the way. Those goals aren’t mutually exclusive.

For more advice on starting a knowledge business, you can find You, Inc. on Amazon.

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Travis Rosser
Travis Rosser is an entrepreneur, speaker, and the author of You, Inc: The Step by Step Guide for Finding A Business Within You, Lioncrest Publishing (18 July 2018).