We live in a post-industrial age where information is the coin of the realm. Knowledge is the most valuable asset that a business owns. For most businesses, that knowledge exists primarily in the heads of the people who work there. For entrepreneurs and sole practitioners, what’s in their head usually is the business. That’s both limiting and dangerous.
Let’s take the example of a successful management consultant. Drawing on her knowledge and experience, she’s able to hire herself out at a substantial hourly rate. The trouble is, every time she wants to make some money she has to trade away some of her time.
What happens when she goes on vacation and is no longer putting in time? Her income goes on vacation too. What happens when she’s sleeping, or when she gets sick, or when she wants to retire? As soon as she stops putting in time, she stops getting money.
Even if she could work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, there is still a limit to how much money she can make simply because she can’t create more time. When you trade time for money, you put an automatic cap on your income potential.
Something else also starts happening to our consultant. The more successful she is, the more her services are in demand, the harder she works. Did you go into business to work long, hard hours for limited reward? I didn’t think so.
Knowledge products create passive streams of revenue, that is, money that flows to you whether you’re working or not. How? You create the products once and then sell them over and over again. You make an initial investment of time and money and then reap the benefits in multiples. You can’t do that with time; you can’t sell the same hour twice.
What Exactly is a Knowledge Product?
Quite simply, an knowledge product is any chunk of information that has been recorded in some fashion — whether that be print, audio, video or multimedia — so that it can now be passed on to others. There are dozens of ways to package and sell information. These are just a few:
- Print books and e-books
- Booklets and special reports
- Manuals and workbooks
- MP3s and podcasts
- Subscription-based web sites
The key is taking something intangible — the knowledge in your head — and turning it into something that others can enjoy and use even when you’re not around.
Every process you employ to serve your clients, every opinion you have on the news in your industry, every past experience you carry with you can be recorded and shared. What’s stopping you?