The single biggest challenge facing the entrepreneur today is
managing, consuming and utilizing information. Thanks to the
internet and the Information Age, we have never been subjected to
so much of it in our entire history. The worst part of all this is
that we have been trained to believe that information is valuable
and useful. In school we were conditioned over more than a decade
to function in this way:
1. Consume vast amounts of information.
2. Retain as much as possible through repetition.
3. Test your retention and be rewarded or punished accordingly.
This is completely useless and has no basis in the real world for
how learning takes place. Education should be overhauled tomorrow
to reflect reality and if it was it would look something like this:
1. Consume a limited amount of vitally important information – less
than a few pages at most.
2. Practice applying the information in a real-world scenario as
many times as it takes to get a positive outcome.
That’s it. Then once the student can do that, it’s time to move
onto something new where the process is then repeated.
Information on it’s own is not useful. Knowledge is not power!
What’s really valuable is one’s ability to apply information in
action, monitor the result, adapt and try again with adjustments.
The school system was developed at a time when there was little
real understanding about how we learn and so it remains completely
out of date and irrelevant. The real problem is that most people
still use this outdated model in their own lives, because it was
what we were taught and in some companies it’s still the way things
Information itself is useless. It’s the continued application of
the information into action that is valuable. The problem is people
have absorbed so much info that taking action becomes scary due to
information overload or analysis paralysis. The most effective peak
performers take in very little information but are constantly
taking massive action.
The things you read about and the advice you are given only makes
sense in the context of reality – constant and never ending failure
in the real world with real mistakes. Only then is there meaning
behind those words of wisdom and it ceases to be just a collection
of words on a page that sound nice.
It’s the same as hearing love songs about heartbreak your whole
life but only really fully understanding the musicians’ perspective
when you experience heartbreak yourself. All that advice your
parents gave you about posture, eating veggies and exercise makes
perfect sense now doesn’t it? But when you were a kid your response
most likely was: “Sure mom, whatever!”
Here are two quotes to help drive it home:
1. Life is scary because it has to be lived forwards but can only
be understood backwards.
2. Everyone has 20/20 hindsight but nobody can predict the future.