Knowledge or Know-How?

We all know way too much. And yet we want to know more.

And it seems that information is being generated in even larger volumes than ever before. Keeping up is impossible. Just try to link to a fraction of the blogs, resources, news items, articles and videos linked in the average Twitter feed over an hour or two.

That information alone could swamp you for days.

So we have this sense that we’re getting behind. If we don’t know the latest trend, marketing technique, inside scoop or insight from the latest guru, we feel inadequate.

So here’s some news for you:

You don’t need more information or knowledge. What you need is a way to apply what you already know. After all, once you’ve read those 19,583 links from Twitter are you really smarter, more capable, or more successful?

I doubt it.

We need to think about and filter information differently. And this starts with what we really need to both know and master in order to become more capable and successful.

We need to distinguish between collecting information and applying that information. Let me give you an example.

You can spend several hours consuming online information very randomly as it comes to you through email, Facebook, Twitter and Linked in. But this isn’t much better than watching television.

The impact is minimal.

Or you can spend that same number of hours studying information on that subject, making a plan, and actually putting something into action. Now you’ve developed a useful skill that you can use for years to come.

For instance, you can decide you want to learn how to get more speaking engagements and leverage those speaking engagements to attract more clients.

Or you might take cooking lessons (instead of the food channel) or go on a vacation to a place you’ve always wanted to visit (instead of watching the travel channel).

Everyone complains that they don’t have enough time for their marketing or quality activities. But they rarely see how much time they’re frittering away collecting useless information.

Not only that, processing too much information not only triggers overwhelm but stress and exhaustion. And the more we think we can’t live without it, the more we’re addicted to it.

My suggestion:

Go on a very restricted media diet for a month. Spend no more than half an hour every day on social media sites and the Internet. Don’t watch more than an hour of TV. Don’t read most magazines and even most books for a whole month.

You’ll discover that you have a whole lot of time on your hands to invest in more productive activities. Spend that time only reading or studying information that you can take action on.

Or spend that time on activities that engage, enliven and uplift you: Exercise, quality time with friends, gardening.

By the end of the month you’ll have built skills that you can profitably apply for the rest of your career. And you’ll have spent some of your spare time building memories that last a lifetime.

Good luck. I promise it will pay off!

The More Clients Bottom Line: Start to realize that gathering more information is getting you nowhere. At best, it’s entertaining you. Instead, you want to put your focus on applying information to build skills you can use for a lifetime. Substitute one for the other and you’ll find you have all the time you need to become a more successful and fulfilled person.

By Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit Robert’s web site at for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses.


  1. says

    So true! It’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking we’re being productive when, really, we’re simply being busy. Reading information just for the sake of reading it (and being able to say “Yes, I’ve read that – so I must be knowledgeable”) doesn’t really get us where we need to go. I cut down on my online activities on the weekend and it’s amazing how much more I get accomplished – including strategic planning, which often seems to get ignored during the week as I jump from one thing to the next.
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