Take action and tell others what you learned.
This isn’t just a philosophy to follow, but a system used by NASA, the United Nations, project managers, and engineers of major companies.
The idea is pretty simple. Here’s NASA’s definition taken from the Wikipedia entry on this topic:
“A lesson learned is knowledge or understanding gained by experience.
The experience may be positive, as in a successful test or mission, or negative, as in a mishap or failure…A lesson must be significant in that it has a real or assumed impact on operations; valid in that is factually and technically correct; and applicable in that it identifies a specific design, process, or decision that reduces or eliminates the potential for failures and mishaps, or reinforces a positive result.”
How do you continually improve the system and process to explore space? How do you develop better technology? Share the lessons learned from past projects to inform future work.
This same approach has been used by authors and entrepreneurs to grow themselves and their audiences.
Eric Reis started a blog he called Startup Lessons Learned. He actually included the phrase “lessons learned” in the title of the blog. That blog led to a book by that same title, which led to an improved version of the book uniquely titled, The Lean Startup. That book started a movement that completely changed the way startups and other business are run today.
In a similar way, Jason Fried and DHH shared the lessons they were learning as they grew their startup on a public blog, which turned into books, which made them some of the leading voices in entrepreneurship today. They were sharing those lessons anyway. The blog and books were just by-products of what they were already doing.
Alex Turnbull, CEO of GrooveHQ, shared the lessons they learned along their journey too $100K recurring revenue (then $1M, then $5M, then $10). Watching their growth was incredible and Turnbull credits the blog as the major factor of success as a content marketing strategy.
For entrepreneurs and authors, I can’t think of a better approach to content marketing than this. What do you share on your blog? What should you post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the most popular social networks of the time?
Document your lessons learned, don’t try to create viral content.
First, take action. This is so often missed! You have to actually do something so that you have something to write about!
Publicly share the lessons learned. Don’t try to be the professor–be the practitioner instead.
Connect with others who are on the same journey as you.
Seek to get better with every action you take and share the lessons learned with others.