June 20, 2024

Was Marco Polo an Explorer?

Marco Polo

An Explorer, A Merchant or A Writer?

Marco Polo - Writing and Sharing

Marco Polo Image Source

We all know Marco Polo and we remember him as a famous explorer. However, he was not really an explorer. He was a merchant from Venice. Why do we remember him as an explorer? We remember him today – 700 years later – because he did one thing that none of the other merchants of the day did – he wrote about his travels.


The fact that we even remember Marco Polo today is because he was a writer.


Writing can be transformative. It is a way for us to share our knowledge and expertise. It is a way for us to add value to an audience. Our ability to share our knowledge and expertise make the few among us who do write and share knowledge more valuable.


As an expert (more on this later) you have two choices:

1. Don’t share – keep everything to yourself – be forgotten.

2. Write and share – become well known and add value. Note also that the more value you add the more potential you will have to earn. If earning is important to you then adding value is key and writing is a way to add value.


Marco Polo’s journey took place on land; he traveled through challenging and sometimes harsh territory. Through it all, Marco reveled in the adventure. Good knowledge often comes from reveling in our adventures. Therefore, we have to write about our passion and then share it. To add value we need to share.


Marco Polo’s writings on the places and cultures he witnessed were remarkable and exceptionally accurate – his sharing was valuable! His account of the Orient provided the western world with its first clear picture of the East’s geography and ethnic customs. His travels enabled him to gain expertise in a topic. He observed, he did, thought about and wrote about it.


Most people are expert at something. It could be law; it could be quilting; it could be search engine optimization. Experts have experiences that have enhanced their understanding of a topic and that have refined their expertise. The experts that add value to a marketplace are willing to share their knowledge and expertise. These experts become better known, they are respected and if gaining clients count then they tend to have an easier job with this as well.


Consider your expertise. As you go on your journeys think about what you have learned and how you can teach it to others. Don’t get caught up in the thinking that you are not really an expert. Think of it this way . . .

Marco Polo - He had knowledge and shared it.



There are people with very little knowledge or expertise on a topic. You may know a great deal more than they do. You are, therefore, in a position to help them. If the people that have very little knowledge desire the knowledge that you have then you are in a position to add value to them.


I will also make a point to state that I believe that you could even contribute to those with more knowledge than you by providing your unique and thoughtful insights and perspectives on your topic. Experts more advanced on the knowledge continuum can benefit from your fresh views on the topic of your expertise.


In summary, though I started this post, using Marco Polo as an example and writing as the means, today, we have many methods available to share our knowledge.


We can:


  • Write – articles, blog posts, books . . .
  • Use our voice – presentations, webinars, podcasts . . .
  • Create visuals – slide decks, Prezis, videos . . .
  • Collaborate – interviews, curation, team projects


Today, we have vast reach. We can share our knowledge and expertise to the world via the Internet. My advice is to think of the topics where you can add value and then think of the medium best suited to you and your audience to convey that knowledge.


If you do use the Internet then be sure to search engine optimize your delightful content. A search engine can be significantly instrumental in providing a seeker of knowledge with the best resource related to their quest.