The Curse of Knowledge – How being an expert can kill your busines

Focus on what you do and love

Every Wednesday for the past 6 years I’ve been going to my local gym. I have a personal training session with the gym owner. What he doesn’t know about fitness, muscle groups, exercise regimes, diet etc is not worth knowing. His father was also a very famous “strong man” and there are pictures of him all over the gym with elephants standing on him, him lifting people above his head – you know the type of thing. So personal fitness is truly in his DNA and everything he believes and stands for – I would definitely call him a “subject matter expert”


Ignoring the elephant in the room.

Over the years we have talked a little about marketing and his website (I only found his gym through a 3rd party advertising website) as he is tucked away well off the main street. He wanted a little bit of advice about creating a new website which I gave and I also suggested he do some basic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Periodically he re-visits this idea and can remember that I suggested “wordpress” as the best option for him. Yet despite the fact that he regularly mentions that the business is not growing, during these 6 years he has never done anything more about it.


Fear by paralysis

He is certainly not a lazy business owner as he often updates the gym by both moving the equipment around and purchasing new dumb-bells, machines etc.  BUT, like many experts when he is unsure of what to do the simplest solution is to revert back to what you know and are comfortable and do that. It’s called busyness not business.

The things he is familiar with get done and they get done very well - because he is excellent at what he knows. However this does not help him move the business forward because he is unwilling to step outside his comfort zone and either learn (or outsource) the things which are critical for his business to not just thrive but ultimately survive.


It’s great to focus on our strengths and I firmly believe that we shouldn’t expend too much energy trying to be better at things we are just not passionate about or are incompetent at, but we must identifying any gaps and then make sure that we learn/research enough to employ someone else – who is a subject matter in THAT skill we are lacking. This is the key to successful business.


The irony is that when he talks about exercise he believes that everybody should just do it more often – it’s simple. He doesn’t recognize that people have their own fears, mental blocks or limiting beliefs about exercise – just the same as he has when it comes to marketing and promoting his business.


So what 1 thing are you not confident at or have been putting off, but realize that it must be done for the good of your business?


This article was contributed by Eccountability – We specialize in connecting like-minded entrepreneurial business owners to help & support them to achieve their goals via virtual masterminds (peer to peer learning)