Everybody knows something. I know some things. My wife knows other things. Expand that list to our families and friends, and together we know far more. One piece of knowledge we share is who to call about things we don’t know about.

Is it a good thing that in these days we turn to a keyboard with crumbs in it and a light emitting screen instead of a friend? (Quick, search for “how do I clean my keyboard.” And stop eating at your desk.) Do we talk to Alexa and Siri more than we talk to a person who actually cares about us?

But I digress. My question for all of us today is: now that we know stuff, what do we do with it?

Test, tease, tempt

Testing your knowledge can be a lot of fun. It can also be lucrative.

The fun part for me includes doing crossword puzzles and watching Jeopardy!. In fact the appeal of both of those things is finding out we actually know things, and that there is still much to learn.

To test your knowledge and also make a little money, try to become a contestant on Jeopardy!. It is possible to become rich and famous that way. You can also test your crossword knowledge and ability in contests — with prize money!

If you know something no one else knows, like the formula that became Original Coke, you can tease the world with it. Colonel Sanders did that with his Original Recipe (11 herbs and spices) chicken. Bush’s Best Beans did it, too, although their dog, Duke, tried hard to sell that formula.

And of course you can tempt others with some special knowledge. That can be as innocent as a sideshow at a county fair or as insidious as insider trading.

Sell it

Many people who have learned some things well sell that knowledge. Consultants, lawyers, and computer programmers all do that. So do professional teachers of all kinds, from college profs to pickleball pros.

People also sell their knowledge by making videos and putting them on YouTube. Viewers don’t pay them directly, of course. They are paid by those advertisers you mostly ignore when you watch videos.

Out of curiosity I researched most watched videos, etc., on social media. Entertainment makes the most money. Education? Pretty much not there. Unless you combine it with some entertainment.

Vocal coach Cheryl Porter does that and has more than 10,000,000 subscribers on YouTube. That puts her slightly behind the entertainment leader MrBeast and his 245,000,000 subscribers. He’s fun, but she is making the world sound better.

Speaking of selling information, automobile manufacturers have been collecting data about the driving habits of individual people and selling that.

They’ve been using a connected service like OnStar to “watch” how the owners drive. Then they sell that data to LexisNexis. That company analyzes the data, gives each driver a score, and sells that to insurance companies which then adjust people’s individual insurance rates.

As far as I know they haven’t lowered anyone’s rates. Raised them? Yes. One driver, a customer of his insurance company for 40 years with no accidents or incidents, had his rate doubled based on that data.

Who knew your driving habits were worth so much?

More info about you

To say that Google has a lot of data about you is an understatement. They have pages and pages and pages — books, perhaps — of data about you.

That is not a secret. Google is in the data business, not the search business, not the video business, and not the email business.

And if you want to know what they know about you they’ll show you. Actually you can go to your account and download a file of everything they have on you. So I did that. The compressed file was almost 1 GB.

It’s kind of fun looking at the things I had searched for on YouTube. They mostly fell into two categories: how to repair things around the house and how to swing a golf club.

But the best find for me was listening to a few voice mails (I used to have a Google phone number) from my mother-in-law. She passed away almost a decade ago, but we were great pals and it made me smile to hear her voice again.

In general, though, I spent too much time going through all of that information. Kind of like spending too much time on YouTube watching golf swings.

Give it away

One thing you can do with what you know is give it away, and I’m a pretty big fan of doing that.

If you want information on how to play golf, all you have to do is wander over to a public driving range and start swinging. The worse you are, the more likely it is that people will stop to help you. I love that about golfers. Please note that what they tell you may be totally wrong, but they are sharing.

The same can be true in almost any endeavor. People really do want to help. I’ll bet that includes you.

So how are you giving away — or sharing, if you like that better — your knowledge? Just as you are occasionally looking for someone to help you with something, start looking for people you can help using the things you know.

For the last two years I have volunteered to teach a class on leadership to student athletes at Grand Canyon University. They don’t get credit and I don’t get paid, but it’s a joy for us all. What and who and where could you teach?

One special way to share your knowledge is by mentoring. I have a retired friend who is intentional about finding mentees and working with them. They are learning a lot from what he gives them. Maybe you could do that.

Of all the things we possess, what we know is extraordinarily precious. We can give it away over and over and still keep it.

And in both using it and sharing it, we can do an amazing amount of good.

Do good. It’s in you!

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