How To Ignore Great Information (And Still Have a Business)

I used to get paralyzed by all the advice, articles, and blogs by multiple different authors.

That quote comes from Jodi, a graphic designer who is chief cook and bottle washer.

The problem Jodi faced is one that hits most people running their own business: how do you keep up with all the information?

Sure, it’s easy to dismiss the bad advice, but what about when someone you trust gives you some great advice? What if they recommend a book you should read, for example?

Skip the speed reading tools

No, this post isn’t aiming to teach you how to read one book a day by using some software or technique, such as playing the audio books in background while you’re sleeping.

But remember the premise here: we’ve got advice (such as a book recommendation) from someone we trust. How can we ignore it without doing harm to our business?

The “Just enough” approach

As I have been coaching Jodi, I’m deeply aware of her challenges. She has limited time, for starters. She has other family and business responsibilities which mean that even if she gets some outstanding advice, she simply won’t have time to implement it.

So here’s what I do. I filter it. I give her just enough of a snippet for her to apply in her business almost immediately.

I’ve listened to a podcast, for example. That podcast episode might go for 30 or 45 minutes. But I know there is one 2-minute snippet that is going to be super relevant to Jodi.

So, I’ll send her a link to the whole podcast, and tell her: “just listen to the section starting at 27:00 through to 29:00.”

Same goes for books. I read a lot of business books. Once again, I’ll share a single idea from a book, or maybe an interview or a blog post from the author, and tell people like Jodi: “you don’t have to read the book yourself.” (I’ve even sometimes recommended they buy a book and just read a particular chapter. It’s a better investment of their time and money than reading the whole book.

How does skimming great advice work out?

Here’s what Jodi said in a comment on a YouTube video:

But since you’ve been guiding me, I have made a point to set my attention only on the things you put before me. It’s amazing the difference…. I am confident in your advice and feel so much more knowledgeable and equipped than ever. Plus, I don’t have to waste my time trying to weed out the unnecessary things.

So, there you have it: when someone shares some advice with you, see if they can filter it first. Ask them if they can share with you just the tiny snippet which is going to be most relevant to you.

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