mwotw curse of knowledge

The Curse of Knowledge

Here’s one reason it’s so hard to write about your own business: You know too much.

Remember the coach client I wrote about last week? (Click here if you wanna catch up.)

When I asked him what his customers are struggling with, he told me: “They need to stabilize and systematize their business.”

That’s true.

And totally not helpful when it comes to marketing.

Because it’s what HE can see about his customers.

It’s not what THEY know, see, or would say about their situation.

They don’t know they need to stabilize and systemize.

They just know they feel overwhelmed and things aren’t working.

Good marketing is all about joining the conversation already happening in your potential customers’ heads.

With the curse of knowledge, the conversation in YOUR head doesn’t match the one in theirs. 

And then you get stuck there.

And then your marketing falls flat.

So how do you fix this?

Get help.

Go talk to your customers and listen to what they say.

Get an outsider to help you see what you can’t see. 

(Marketing cliché I love: “You can’t see the label from inside the jar.”)

This could be a pro marketer, like yours truly.

Or you can just talk to a friend or loved one who isn’t so in the weeds with you and ask them if what you’ve written or said makes sense. 

(Questions I like for this: Where do you get bored? Where do you get confused?)

We all suffer from the curse of knowledge sometimes.

Beware of it.

And you will be more helpful.

Knowingly yours,


PS – There’s a reason so many spiritual lineages emphasize some form of “beginner’s mind” as a virtue, am I right?

PPS – Could you use some pro help escaping your own curse of knowledge? Let’s chat. 

This post was originally sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.

Want sage advice on life and business in your inbox every week? Join the Magic Words of the Week email list.

Similar Posts