I Fell Down The Knowledge Economy Rabbit Hole

The Knowledge Economy

I fell back down the knowledge economy rabbit hole once again. In the U.S. and other developed countries the economy is increasingly driven by the sales of goods and services based upon knowledge and intellectual property. One area of the knowledge economy that has exploded during the last 14 months of the pandemic is online learning. These days a quick google search produces free tutorials, webinars, and podcasts on any curiosity. Many of these platforms just scratch the surface, giving you enough information to want more. They are marketing platforms designed to entice you into paid courses and programs. My issue is not with this technique. I love that I can sample the knowledge providers are serving up without having to fork over cash right away.

The Downside of the Knowledge Economy

My concern is with the marketing approach that conveys that a potential buyer is incomplete without the paid program or course. The approach taps into our insecurities about our value and worthiness. And it infers, if not outright states, scarcity, and urgency. These timeless tactics are based on common human drives and not exclusive to the knowledge economy. However, round-the-clock messaging in the online space amplifies the potency of these tactics. If you are online, you are susceptible.

View of Times Square with tons of massive advertising screens
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

But wait! Is that true? 

Decreasing Vulnerability

Vulnerability is not merely about exposure; it’s about receptivity. These messages penetrate when you surf the web on autopilot, set to indiscriminately receive. They suck you in when you are not clear who you are or what you want. The key is being present, staying focused on your priorities, and remaining vigilant to the messaging. If you don’t, buyer beware, you may end up giving your power away.

The Rabbit Hole

Recently, I was “invited” repeatedly by multiple thought leaders that I follow to join the Own Your Future Challenge put together by Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi. The title spoke directly to my heart and soul. If you know me at all, you know that I’m all about stepping up, taking responsibility, and owning my future. So, I signed up to listen in. I quickly learned that this challenge was about building an online business. The whole challenge was a set-up for the launch of Tony and Dean’s new online business development program, Project Next

Unfortunately, I approached listening to this program fully on “receive.” As I listened to the speakers, I allowed them to tap into my fears not only that I am not doing enough, but I am not enough as I am right now. To be fair, the speakers motivationally urged “you can do it!”  But there was also a strong element of “don’t you want more,” “you’re so much better than this,” and “won’t you let us help you?”  I gobbled it up! Yes, I feel inadequate in my role right now. And of course I want to build an amazing future! Not just for me and my family,  but for the positive impact I can share with others. I was ready to plunk down the huge chunk of change required so that I too could own my future.

Multiple large bills laid out haphazardly
Photo by Vladimir Solomyani on Unsplash

Climbing Back to Center

But a healthy conversation with my husband brought me back from the depths. He reminded me of where I am and what I am trying to do. Yes, I have big dreams to serve others. Right now though, I’ve got to stay centered on healing and recovery. This process is all-consuming. It is the key to reaching that place of wellness that will allow me to pursue my vision of service. I can’t afford to be distracted. My timeline doesn’t currently align with that of Project Next. Furthermore, I don’t need any course to seize the day and own my future. As William Ernest Henley so eloquently states in his poem Invictus, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

As I reflect on the Own Your Future Challenge’s messaging, I see how similar tactics play out across the web, throughout the knowledge economy. More importantly, I see that time and again I give my power away. I get sucked into believing that someone or something else knows better than me. I keep turning to resources outside myself for answers to the many questions in my heart and mind. 

True Knowing Lies Within

Here’s the truth that keeps bringing me back to center: while I may gain skills from others, true knowing lies within. Inner Knowing informs who I am at the core and what is the next best step forward for me. The knowledge economy and its intense marketing ploys create a lot of noise that can easily drown out the whispers of my Inner Voice. So, I turn again and again back to simple practices of being present, tuning into my personal priorities, and listening deeply to what’s being spoken from within. In doing so, the volume of the whispers rises with clarity and confidence, directing me forward towards fulfillment of my purpose on my timeline.

Orange Road Sign that says Stay Present
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash