How Do You Know When Enough Is Enough?

By: Rich Schefren

Online entrepreneurs suffer from too little or way too much information... There is no in-between.

Where do you stand? How do you figure out which amount of information is "just right?"

Let's start with one of the biggest issues. I'm often asked: When is "enough" information really enough?

I can't tell you how many times I've heard this question from "newbie" business owners and veteran business leaders alike.

Smart people are convincing themselves that they are just not smart enough. Stop doing this. You can't possibly know everything, so don't even try. Recognize what you don't know and fill in the gaps along the way.

One of our readers, Dan Scott, put this urgency in perspective: "Often we keep acquiring more information so we can put off pulling the trigger... at some point, you've got sufficient information and should just act."

Excellent point, Dan.

Think about it:

You don't need to memorize an entire dictionary in order to enjoy a good book. If you don't understand a new word, simply look it up. It's that easy.

You just have to trust yourself - and your brain. After all, even Albert Einstein couldn't remember his own telephone number. He reasoned, quite accurately, that he didn't need to memorize his phone number because he knew where to find it in the phone book.

Einstein didn't question his knowledge, even for little things like remembering a phone number.

Knowing how to access the information you need is more important than the information itself. Remember that - it will become more and more important.

There's another puzzling question I hear a lot, and this one is funny when you say it out loud: How do I know that I'll know what I need to know when I need to know it?

These type of questions don't lead to solutions; they just heighten our anxieties and pick at the scab of uncertainty that irritates us all.

"What if I can't keep up with my competitors?"

"What if I don't buy every business book, read every e-mail, and scan every RSS feed?"

"What if I miss the one bit of information that could truly set my business on fire?"

"What if?"

This type of paranoia freezes growth and opportunity. It also discourages risk-taking and leads to indecision, and ultimately, paralysis.

Information anxiety plagues many people. But the great ones are able to sort through the clutter and get to the part that really matters - the information that leads you to take action.

Knowing how to access and interpret information is sometimes more important than the information itself.

Think about this example: What turns the lights on in your house? Simple answer: A light switch.

You don't need to know about volts and amperes to turn on the lights. You just need the lights to work so you can see what is in front of you.

The ability to see what is in front of you: This is what so many of us seem to have lost.

Instead, we block our own view with needless stacks of irrelevant information.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes. You'll still make them, regardless of how much information you have in your memory and at your fingertips.

I'll share a secret with you...

If you've done anything at all - not just business - then you have valuable experiences locked inside you that are just waiting to be rediscovered.

You know what has worked and what hasn't in certain situations. This will ALWAYS provide the best information you need to succeed. It is personal to you and it is timely: Two strong reasons why it's more valuable to you than most information you'll come across.

Most likely, no one has ever shared this with you.

I've had some of the best mentors in the world - Jay Abraham, Michael Masterson, etc. - but even with that star-quality guidance, I needed something more.

The most important, impactful, and relevant information I ever received that has helped me be successful has come directly from my own experiences - good and bad.

REMEMBER >> You are the best source of information for your business.

You know what works best and what doesn't. You've thrown yourself into the fire and perhaps you've been burned by a few failed business decisions.

So what? This is just what you need to assure success in the future.

Your experiences, your passions, your successes and failures, all come into play as you move forward in any business venture. Each bit of experience you have gained along the way becomes a pebble on the path toward future growth.

Don't turn that pebble into a boulder by blocking your ability to move forward with confidence.

When I make a mistake, rebound and leverage it for future growth it inspires people around me to change their way of thinking. They are no longer timid with fear of failure. Instead, they are ready to pounce on opportunity, even if it is at risk of error.

While you may be tempted to ingest all sorts of information from outside sources, the ultimate business decisions are made by you.

It is essential that you take control of that decision-making function.

Never discount what you know - or make your knowledge any less important than anyone else's. It's your wisdom that has value because you are living with it.

Even if you are an information junkie... don't let information anxiety turn your business into junk.

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