CONSUMING QUALITY CONTENT: HOW TO AVOID SHINY OBJECT SYNDROME
Ah, sweet, delicious free content. It can be both a blessing and a curse to business owners. Are we consuming quality content?
How do we know…
Which podcasts, blogs, and influencers to follow… and which to ignore?
What courses to buy and programs to invest in… and which ones to skip?
How do we discern what’s a credible source?
And how do we balance our desire for consuming quality content and getting more knowledge… with what should maybe be our greater desire: To grow our business and make an impact?
The good news: I have answers to all those questions, and that’s what today’s post is all about.
…But before we dive in, let’s unpack the problem a bit more.
There are so many resources — many free — readily available to entrepreneurs. Which is awesome! We live in the age of the Internet and there’s more knowledge available than ever before. Anyone with an Internet connection can learn to do most anything. Literally.
You can learn a foreign language, you can learn to fix a car, you can learn to build a house, you can learn to cut your hair, do your make-up, cook a souffle, change your carburetor, build a website, train your dog, train your kids (just kidding), train your husband (maybe not kidding), knit, crochet, cross-stitch, paint, draw, dance, sing…
…to name a few.
And because of the magic that is The Interwebz, we’re more connected than ever before.
It’s how I’m able to reach total strangers in dozens of different countries across the world every single day and teach them how to grow their businesses (like I’m doing right now).
Talk about meta, am I right?
This easy access to extra resources and extra connections also means good news for new entrepreneurs:
There has never been a better time to open a business. That’s a fact. The barrier to entry has NEVER been lower. Which is both a good thing…. And a bad thing.
Because the barrier to entry is lower than ever, this means that really awesome, talented, skilled, wise people can more easily share their gifts with those who need them the most. And not just with people in their local communities, but with people anywhere in the world. (Well, the World Wide Web, that is.)
This also means that lots of… other people can share… whatever they have… to share. With whoever happens to receive what they’re, um, sharing. Get my drift?
As the barrier to entry continues to lower, it becomes more and more of a mixed bag. Free Facebook groups are especially notorious for this. I know. I have a free Facebook group. And I love it.
But that doesn’t mean that every great question that gets asked inside that group always receives a ton of great answers. Sometimes. Sometimes… not so much.
If you want to see this happen in sketch comedy form, check out our video here! (If not, keep scrolling and reading.)
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How to Consume Quality Content
So, how do we know when we’re consuming quality content from credible sources? How do we know that that course or program we’re investing in is going to be worth our while — that it works? Does that Facebook group or podcast or blog or social media influencer we follow knows what they’re talking about… or is giving bad information?
I get these questions a lot, but they have simple answers: Do your due diligence. Research. Google them. Ask around. It’s never been easier to research something (or someone). And honestly, there are more credible sources than corrupt ones.
But discerning one from the other isn’t the REAL problem. The real problem goes deeper.
Consuming content is great, but only if consumption is balanced by action.
When it’s not, consuming content can quickly become a stall tactic; it can feed into analysis-paralysis. If you’ve ever looked back on your week and realized you’ve listened to 17 podcasts episodes, watched a dozen Youtube videos, read 100 Facebook posts, and double-tapped on insta a thousand times… yet you didn’t really do anything, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
So discernment is key, BUT being proactive first, and being mindful about what content you consume (and don’t consume) is the real issue.
How to Get Out of the Consuming Content Cycle
Ultimately, to get out of this cycle, you have to stop what you’re doing and choose what you will allow yourself (because it’s a choice) to listen to, to read, to watch, and to learn.
When you’re choosing, I tend to think there is a right place to start… and a wrong place to start.
The wrong places to start would be from a place of panic or FOMO or a made-up sense of duty.
Panic that something is going away or it won’t be available so you have to consume it now. (Which is rarely true.)
FOMO — fear of missing out — that you won’t be included in something, that you’ll be left out, that everyone will be doing this thing and you’ll be the one on the outside looking in.
Or duty. Doing something out of supposed duty can lead to inaction and is a terrible place to start when sorting what content does or doesn’t deserve your time.
Maybe you think, hey, I’ve been listening to this podcast for so long, I have to keep listening…
Or you bought that course and spent that money and you feel like you’re supposed to go through it right now.
I see a lot of people in my community commit to consumption out of duty, especially with course purchases. And this misses the point.
So don’t make a choice out of panic or FOMO or obligation; Start with the goals you’ve set, the plans you’ve made, and the priorities you have right now — this month, this quarter, this season. Then choose your content from there.
How to Start Consuming Quality Content
Look at what knowledge gaps you have, then fill those with the helpful content that you need. Look at what areas need improving, then consume the specific content that will help you make those shifts. Look at the skills or strategies you want to refine, then choose the content that serves those goals.
Consuming content isn’t a goal; instead, consuming quality content and relevant content, then implement what you learn to achieve your goals.
You might want it all – we all do — but to keep taking specific action and going after your goals, you have to differentiate between the things that are fuel versus filler.
Now, your turn to take action:
Look at the podcasts you listen to, the blogs and newsletters you read, the Facebook groups you hang out in, and the courses that you have:
Do they serve your current goals this month, this quarter, and/or this season of life?
If not, unsubscribe for now, shelve that course until later, and be sure that you are only consuming the content that serves your goals right now. You can always come back to those other resources later.
Your future self will thank you for all the work you’ll do and all the progress you’ll make in the name of your goals.
P.S. Want extra accountability to go after those goals? Check out my 6-month curated coaching program, Launchpad.
HI, I’M COURTNEY!
I’m here to help you build, grow, and scale your business.
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