Information & Action – Why Both Matter

This is episode 483 of this show. That is a spectacularly large amount of content. And in doing 482, because I haven’t done this one, 482 episodes of the show, I have to say my biggest lesson is that this show is a complete and total, without hesitation, I’m going to say, waste of your time, if you skip the most important step and that’s action. And that’s why today I want to talk about information and the consumption of information, and implementation, and taking action on what you’re consuming. Because all of the consumption in the world will not change your situation, your business, your life, your mindset, your bank account, your waistline, your makeup skills, your ability to run a mile, I don’t know, anything, at all ever, if you don’t then do some stuff with it.

I want to talk a little bit briefly at the top about why this is important. And then, I’m going to share a couple of ways that I stay accountable to taking action when I’m consuming free content, when I’m consuming paid content, when I’m consuming anything. All right?

So, first and foremost, let’s talk about why this is important.

It’s really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really easy to learn, it just is. It’s really easy to pretend we’re doing something super productive for our business by consuming, by doing five-day challenges, attending webinars, buying programs, signing up for workshops, and subscribing to email lists, and doing all of those consuming things. I like to call this, and I’m 100% sure I did not make up this term, by the way, I’m sure I lifted it somewhere along the way, but I like to call it procrasta-learning.

It’s a really good friend of procrasta-planning, which are both really, really, really fun things to do to make us feel like something’s happening. To make us okay with that time that it takes for results to come from our actions, especially when we’re talking about marketing, especially when we’re talking about anything related to social and the online space because it takes time. Here’s the truth guys. It just takes freaking time. It does. The results you’re getting from right now are a result of the work you did three, six, nine, sometimes 12 months ago, depending on the investment level at which you’re trying to sell people.

It takes time to nurture. It takes time to grow an audience. It takes time to get them to hit the buy button. And yes, I’m sure you’re constantly inundated with three quick ways to convert more high paying clients now, I’ve seen the ads too, and guess what? I call BS because it does take time. And so, while we’re waiting, what are we going to do? Well, we should, and I don’t like the word should, so we could be continuing in action, continuing in implementation, so that we don’t end up on the roller coaster ride of, I have business. I don’t have business. I have business. I don’t have business. Yeah, I’ve been there too. It blows. It’s the least entertaining roller coaster I’ve ever been on in my life and I’ve been in a lot of roller coasters.

But what most of us end up doing is looking for the next thing, usually shiny, often by way of Instagram ads, we’re looking for the next thing to consume and learn and maybe kind of implement. And so, we fall into the habit of a little doing and a lot of learning, and a little doing and a lot of learning, instead of a little learning a little doing, a little learning a little doing, which in my opinion, quickly evolves into a lot of learning and doing at the same time, because I don’t know about you, but for me, I decided I do know for you, you’re going to learn by doing and I mean that not because you’re a kinetic learner and you learn by doing the actual task, which I completely am.

I mean, that in the sense that you’re going to get data, you’re going to get information. You’re going to get clarity. You’re going to get next steps and evolutions of things by trying it on, by working through the process, by living in the experience, that’s how you get the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing. But if we stay in this, do a little learn a lot, do a little learn a lot, do a little learn a lot, we never really learn about our audience. We never really learn about our business. We never really learn about what works for us. And yes, I’m going to beat that drum again because your business is unique, not because we’re all special little snowflakes, which we are, but because we’re surrounded by people who are also unique, who happen to be our customers.

And when you look at the Venn diagram that has to come together between what we sell and who we are, and what the people who are going to buy it are, there’s a very small space where it all comes together, and that’s where the money is, that’s important, but it takes some time to figure out where that overlap sits. And it takes even more time to get really comfortable in that space because, generally speaking, one or all of the circles, change and evolve. Maybe you’re selling something new, maybe you’re talking to a new audience, maybe you’ve learned things that have evolved your own process or grown your expertise. It actually happens all the time.

It was interesting, I was talking to my family, who I lovingly call the board of directors of Uncommonly More, the other day, about my business and the inside of my brain, which is its own unique and interesting place. And I was saying, this is the only job in my whole life that I have had for more than 11 months. I’m going to give you a second with that. This is the only job I’ve ever had for more than 11 months. You see, when I was younger and I say younger because I’m fully still young now guys, we’re holding onto it. When I was younger, I was wildly commitment-phobic and then one day I woke up and I had a business, and a baby, and a husband and things were like, “Whoa, what happened here?” I was asleep at the wheel or something, but they quickly, and not as lovingly as I would have liked, reminded me that part of that is because this job has changed many, many, many times.

And as you’re listening and I expect, smiling a little, realizing that the same is probably true for you. How many times has your business changed, either the offering or who you worked with or how you worked with them? And in a couple of cases more than one of those things. And in a few cases, all three of those things changed, right? It happens. It’s one of the cool things about what we do and how we work, is that it can evolve, as we evolve and as we grow. But it’s exactly why implementing what you consume is critical.

So, let’s dig into a few ways that I make sure everything I consume gets implemented and that starts by really curating what I consume.

That’s step one, really pay attention to where you’re getting information from. So, I have a handful of email lists that I’m on. I have a handful of podcasts that I subscribe to and listen to weekly. I have other podcasts that I subscribe to and I listen to as there is an interesting episode, but there are a few podcasts that I really do listen to every single week. I have lists on things like Twitter and I have groups that I’m in on Facebook again, though, very, very curated. I’m not in many. And I’m in even fewer that I use on a regular basis.

I am very focused on my investments, as in, I have a mastermind and a coach in one single offering that I work with on a 12-month basis. Here and there, I will hire in experts for a single day session or for many cases just done-for-you support. I don’t invest in a ton of courses, generally speaking, if I do invest in a course it’s so my team can take it or I’m working through it for a very specific outcome and more on that in the second thing we’re going to talk about, but I just don’t have a lot of things I’m … I won’t even say learning from, I’m consuming, at any one space and time, because what happens when I have a hundred sources I’m consuming, is none of that’s going to get implemented and worse yet, very little of it will be impactfully consumed, meaning things will actually sink into my brain and I will then take any kind of care or importance to what has now entered my brain.

All right. So, the first step is always, always, always curate what you’re paying attention to. And I want to caveat by saying, this means I subscribe and unsubscribe and follow and unfollow a lot. I just do, because it’s all about what I need right now. When I unsubscribe, and when you unsubscribe, it doesn’t mean anything, which is really important to remember when people unsubscribe from you, because it may not be that they’re not paying attention. It just might mean they’re not paying attention in this way right now. And really, what I’m doing by unsubscribing from somebody who I’m not paying attention to right now, is allowing them to talk to people only who are paying attention.

And don’t we wish our audience did that? Let us know when they were and weren’t paying attention. So, let’s do that for the people we’re consuming from. All right? Curate your sources. And as a little special note from that, pay attention to who your sources are learning from. This is something that I have never put more weight on, than I have in the last couple of years, because sometimes when you look at the connections, that the people who you want to be connected or connected with it will change your opinion. So, I always pay attention to who they’re following. Who are they engaging with? Who are they shouting out? Who are they consuming and if they’re sharing those things? Because it’s an important thing for me to know, as far as, is this information in the spirit of what I want to be consuming and learning, et cetera?

From there, the number two thing I want us to talk about today, the second piece, when are you consuming? And the reason I say this is because when I sign up for a program, be it coaching or a group program or I hire an expert to do a really focused bit of time with, I’m scheduling the actual calls and any follow-up. So, if I’m working with a business coach and I’ve got our calls on the calendar, I have time in my calendar that day, and throughout that month of when I’m implementing what we talked about when I’m digging into what I committed to doing. If I buy a course, which is much more rare than it used to be, I put on my calendar, when am I working on this? When am I doing this? Because if I don’t, it doesn’t happen, it just, it won’t happen. It really won’t happen. I’ll forget all about it.

For example, I committed at the beginning of this year that I wanted to learn something that was not business-related, and I have, my entire life, wanted my pilot’s license. I’ve always, always, always, always, always wanted my pilot’s license. I thought it was just the coolest thing. So, late last year, early this year, I was like, “Oh, I should really, I feel like now’s the time.” And when I decided at the beginning of this year that I wanted to have something, it might even have been December of last year, when I was on retreat with my mastermind, I really wanted to have something to learn and to engage with, and to challenge myself with, that had zero to do with my business. And so, I decided, all right now is the time. And so, I have spent the first five or six months of this year doing that.

First, it was, cool, so what does flight school look like? What are my options? What kind of plane do I want to fly? What do I want to learn on? What do I need to do? What does even this process look like? And then, it was signing up for flight school, which I started this month. Yeah. So, that meant putting time on my calendar for flight school and to study flight school-related stuff, planes and whatnot, weather. There’s a lot of weather, a lot of weather. So, for me, this isn’t just a business thing. It’s anytime you want to learn anything, but it’s got to go onto my calendar. I have to give it space in my schedule so that it actually happens. So, if you’re taking a program, or you’re buying a course, or you’re investing in a free challenge, and by investing, I mean your time, if you’re committing to doing any of those things, give it real estate on your calendar, figure out when you’re going to take action.

The other thing I like about this, and this is something that my friend Brandy Lawson at FieryFX reminds me of a lot, is things will take as precisely as long as you give them. And so, mark out how long you’re going to do it for. How long are you going to play with the settings in your podcast recording software before you go, “I need help.” How long are you going to do it? This was true in building some graphics we needed for the Launch Your Podcast Challenge, getting the worksheets done, something had happened and we needed them last minute. And the designer that I thought was going to do them, ended up not doing them, and so it was like, “Oh, what are we going to do?” And so, I spent way too long doing a really terrible job on one page of one worksheet before I went, “No. Stop. Okay. I’ve reached the end of the calendar block in which I gave this. It’s time for somebody else.”

So, granted I wasted the entire two-hour calendar block I had set out to do all of them, but I hadn’t left that open-ended. Things will take as long as you give them. So, go figure out where it goes on your calendar and put it there. All right? The third thing I really pay attention to is before the investment, and that is, why do I need to know this? Why does this matter? And we talk a lot about this. I talked about it last week for the podcast. Why are we podcasting? When we begin strategies, what are we selling? Who are we selling it to? How are we selling it? I need to know what the result is. I need to know what’s at the end of this.

So, why am I learning this? And I like asking this question before I purchase something, because in many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many cases it’s because, “Oh, well I don’t know how to do it and it needs to get done.” Which is not the reason, it’s not the reason to buy a course. And now I find when I do buy a course, it’s because the question is because I want to know more about this before I hire someone. And so, oftentimes I will take a course by someone who also provides a service, because I want to be able to spend just enough time learning from them, how they talk about this, their philosophies, so I can see if they’re a good fit to work with, or I can see if how they’re working resonates with me or if we’re in alignment.

And in most cases they are, and it’s great, and I love it, and it’s awesome. But also, when I go to get on a sales call with them, I’m like, “Yeah, no, I already know what you’re going to say. Just take my money. Here’s my money.” Right? And so, really look at before you buy, and let me say, not just buy, but before you hit sign up, before you opt-in, before you hit subscribe, before you download, before you do any of those things, what is the point of this? Why am I doing this?

And I know right now it can feel a little like, “Well, what is the point of anything?” But ask yourself, “What is the purpose of me spending any amount of time with this content?” Because if you don’t know the answer to that question, you can skip all the other steps in this episode. Really. There’s no need for it. All right. All right. Soapbox away, implementation matters. Action matters. Please do that. If podcasting is something you’re ready to take action on, we have an action-packed, free training, five days, you can go see those sweet, sweet worksheets over at I will see you next week.

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