Information overload: Why it’s killing your business and how to avoid it

Aug 1, 2017 | Mindset & Productivity

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Building an online store and selling your handmade products online these days is easier than it’s ever been because you can find all the information you need online for free. But overwhelm and information overload have become a real issue. Too many ideas, too much information, how are you meant to know what to focus on?

You can watch the video, or read the post below.

Information overload is bad for business!

When you’re the creative inspiration, the maker, the customer service assistant, the website manager, the packaging and fulfilment assistant, the photographer, the bookkeeper, and the marketer…it’s incredibly hard to know what to focus on!

Figuring out what really work is the hardest part of building a business and many go out of business before they can figure it out. There’s so many marketing channels, so much advice and so much trial and error, but worst of all, there is so much free information online. And as much as we think we’re doing the right thing, always learning about new strategies and trying to learn new business skills, we might be doing our businesses a big disservice. 

If you feel like you’re full to the brim of information, but you’re having the hardest time actually growing your business, this blog is for you.

Information overload can let you feel like you’re drowning in information and trust me, I suffered from this condition for a looooong time before I took back control of my time and started making conscious decisions about what I should be learning about and what I shouldn’t.

Free webinars, free trainings, free guides, free Facebook groups, free coaching Q&A live calls, free everything, free forums, there is so many free resources out there! It really, truly is a great thing that we get access to this. We didn’t have that 10 years ago so “Thank you the internet!”, but at the same time, you don’t need to learn or to do all of these things at the same time. That’s just overwhelming.

It’s making you spend too much time in theory mode and not enough time actually implementing the strategies you’ve learned and actually growing your business.

The problem is we don’t want to miss out. If you get an email in the morning saying that there’s this free webinar next week promising to teach you how to gain a thousand followers on Instagram in less than 30 days… of course you want to take it! Because it’s free. 

It seems great and you’re thinking “it’s only free next week so I really should attend this thing”, but what if you don’t even want to focus on Instagram for your business and this just wasn’t part of your plan?

You’re just adding to the noise in your head and you’re probably going to do this again for a Facebook webinar the week after that and maybe you’ve read a newsletter this morning telling you how to use SEO more efficiently and this thing just starts building up in your mind and you get really confused about what works, what doesn’t, and what you should really focus on.

How to reclaim your time and your focus

So what can we do about this? Well, the first thing you need to understand is that all of these different strategies people keep on telling you you should do: “You should do Instagram!” “You should do Pinterest!”….they all work!

At the end of the day, Instagram works, Pinterest works, Facebook works. Any sort of traffic source, if you master it, can bring you customers and sales. But you need to master it and that’s key because this comes with a bit of commitment to one specific marketing channel at a time.

What I recommend you do is lock in for the next three months one marketing strategy or one marketing channel that you really want to master and focus exclusively on this (or 80% of your marketing time on it). If you decide that over the next three months, you’re going to grow your business using Instagram, then yes, I want you to go and check out all the free training you can get and start implementing strategies about Instagram. But I don’t want you to get sidetracked by a Pinterest workshop or a Facebook workshop or anything that’s not directly related to the marketing channel you’re trying to master at this exact moment.

What  I do is I keep a folder in my email inbox where I file all those emails that look really interesting, but that I know are off-topic and not related to the thing I’m focusing on at the moment. It’s handy because it means that for the next three months if I change my plan and want to focus on something else, then I can go back into this folder and find resources that are going to help me grow my business.

But at least, it keeps my mind focused on exactly what I’m trying to achieve over the next three months for my marketing and it allows me to really block out the noise and go, “Okay, no. You know what, this isn’t something I should do right now and I shouldn’t care about this amazing training even if it’s free because this is not what I’m focusing on right now.”

Pick one channel, one marketing channel, commit to it and stop listening to advice about things that are not related to what you’re trying to do at the moment.

It’s time we reclaim our time, make room in our minds and get rid of these clouds of strategies and things that we don’t have time to implement so that we can gain clarity, focus and ultimately, grow our businesses much, much faster.

If you liked this blog post, please leave a comment below and let me know what are you focusing on at the moment on your business and don’t forget to check out our free resource library for makers just below 🙂

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14 Comments

  1. Donna Welch

    Thanks Deb!! Did you read my mind? I have been overwhelmed with information and so appreciate the advice to focus! Excellent! Sometimes we just need a little something to put things in perspective. Merci beaucoup!

    Reply
    • Deborah Engelmajer

      Most welcome Donna! I think we all struggle with the “I am overwhelmed” syndrome, it’s important to remind ourselves it doesn’t have to be this way! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Wendy Dewar Hughes

    Good advice. I have started asking myself, “Do I really need to know this right now?” There will always be another webinar or free video training, etc. when I need it.

    Reply
    • Deborah Engelmajer

      That’s the most important question! It’s so easy to lose track in this day and age… we have to remind ourselves that we can’t do everything all at once 😉

      Reply
  3. Luci

    Thanks that is what I need to here right now, I will just focus on Instagram for a while. There are only a few hours in a day, with the house, dog and 3 kids+ hubby, need to focus on my baby steps, just grow some followers.

    Reply
    • Deborah Engelmajer

      OMG yes I love that! Seriously, we’re in for a marathon, not a sprint! I don’t even have kids… you’re already a hero to me!

      Reply
  4. Julie Ryen

    Information overload is a major problem for me. You nailed it! I always want to learn more, be more successful, implement better social media – you name it! I’ve been fairly successful by prioritizing but certainly still have issues because I don’t want to “miss out”. Your video was an excellent reminder of how to gain back precious time and be more efficient by focusing on one area of business improvement at a time. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Deborah Engelmajer

      Hi Julie! I struggled (and still do sometimes) for years before I realized that’s what was holding myself back. It truly the reason most businesses fail… free information online is the BEST thing and also the WORST thing for us all… we just have to remind ourselves from time to time and get that focus back!

      Reply
  5. Emma Talbot

    I feel like this EVERYDAY 🙁 In fact I get so overwhelmed, I struggle to do my design work which IS the business! Thanks so much for this video- good to know I’m not alone : -)
    Instagram it is for 3 months!

    Reply
  6. Sarah Voltz

    Thank you for this great reminder! There is so much to learn out there that I have a tendency to wait until I have learned all I can before I do anything. Well, you can guess how much I get accomplished. The email folder is a great idea and I labeled mine the “Not enough time in my day” folder.
    Thanks again

    Reply
    • Deborah Engelmajer

      I love the name of your folder! That’s just great! That made me want to rename mine too => “DON’T YOU DARE!”.

      Reply
  7. susan

    Very helpful information! Easily implemented too,

    Reply

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