In the last 60 days, have you:
- Started reading a blog
- Bought an e-course
- Invested in an e-book
- Bought a business development book at Target
- Signed up for a free challenge
- Started listening to a podcast
- Downloaded a new app
- Attended a workshop or conference
- Opened up a tab on your browser with a training that you are going to look at as soon as you can get to it
- Signed up for another webinar
And you’ve done NOTHING with that information? Are you guilty?
Information Hoarding: Why It’s Killing Your Business!
I have a huge value around learning. I’m constantly taking in new information and love the feeling of growing and developing. I know a lot of my clients do too and you probably do as well.
Unfortunately, the flip side of the coin is that there is a huge expectation around learning in the creative entrepreneur space. It’s “cool” to always be taking in information whether it be through the newest offering or the weekly newsletter that somebody sent or the new “it” program. Information is abundant in our community (thank goodness,) but it also makes us a bit crazy. Stay with me…
Knowing that there is information out there that can fix your current dilemma is great. It’s better than not having a manual to your life. Somebody has the solution to your problem. Oh, and even better, it’s FREE (or just a small investment)! It’s a good place to go when you have the time to apply that knowledge. You know you can go back and find that information later.
Unfortunately, the time of “later” doesn’t come around again. With the quick pace of client work, life, and building businesses, it’s hard to sit down and go back to the thing that seemed like a great thing to apply to your job. It fills you with information but without applying it, you haven’t really had the chance to learn it. So it sits there in your brain or in your computer hard drive. It gives you the lingering thought of “I SHOULD” be doing XYZ.
Consuming information or downloading information without the expressed plan to act and execute on the information will prove fruitless to your business. It’s a cause of mental clutter, overwhelm and anxiety that there’s more you should be doing. It causes a lot of nervousness about what you might be missing (total FOMO). If you’re trying to learn something about what your competition is doing, it’s an even better reason to not download it into your brain. Keep your eyes on your own paper, love!
TIP #1: Next time you’re inclined to buy/read/learn/absorb something, ask yourself if you have been able to really use the last thing you acquired to learn. If you haven’t used it, you essentially have to restrict yourself access to the information or the opportunity to interact with the material. If you know that the information is crucial to your development, send yourself an email (if you use Boomerang for Gmail – if you don’t have Boomerang, YOU NEED THIS.) with the link and the information for when you know you can handle the info. Or in Evernote, you can set an alarm to notify you at a specific time!
TIP #2: Every week, schedule some time for yourself to do business development or learning activities. These are the things that have anything to do with acquiring more information or implementing knowledge to create growth for your business in the future. Having a scheduled time for yourself to go learn will decrease the anxiety you might feel over not doing client work every moment of your day.
TIP #3: Make a commitment to your business by giving yourself permission to work on your business. List these various activities so that you can see what is an investment of your time and money and what is actually just a waste. Ask yourself if the activity will lead to you being able to deliver your services/products better? Ask yourself, does this align with my company values? If these check out, it might very well be a worthwhile investment!
Are you guilty of being an information hoarder? How does hoarding information make you feel? What will you do to be more mindful of the way that you can use the information that you acquire? Share your comments below!