Noticing > consuming

Marketing & Writing

With age comes wisdom, so they say.

And the older I get, the more I realize that what people say is not what’s most important. It’s what they do.

I don’t mean this in the “do as I say, not what I do” way—actually, that’s really good advice sometimes because if you are watching someone at a later stage of progress than yourself, you could make a mistake by watching them. What’s working for them may not work for you.

Taking the time to slow down and watch what a person does is often more instructive than hearing them talk about what they’re doing. For one, it takes less time. You could read a book someone wrote about doing a thing, or you could watch them do the thing and apply their own lessons.

Yeah, you could do both, too.

But one of those things has significantly less investment of time, which matters (at least to me).

Here’s an example:

One of my favorite writers is Randy Alcorn. Randy is prolific, having produced over 50 books at this point. But I began to notice a pattern in his books. Often, he’ll write a big book on a topic. Then a slightly smaller book (medium, you could say). Then some really short ones. Even on the same topics!

My first thought was, well, that seems redundant. But then I looked closer at the strategy and thought, wow, that’s a good idea! Do the research once and produce multiple assets to meet different kinds of readers where they are.

I wanted to know more, so I visited Randy’s blog and found this article. Lo and behold, he wrote about this exact thing! Turns out he gets the question a lot.

The lesson?

I didn’t need that article to tell me what I already knew.

Now—I am grateful for the article. I’m glad he wrote it, and I’m glad I read it. It “confirmed my suspicions” I guess. But all I had to do was slow down, notice, and draw my own lesson from what I noticed.

And the more I’ve thought about this, the more this seems true in many aspects of life. The consumer treadmill is rough. I love to read and engage with content, so it makes it hard to disengage sometimes, but it’s the only way to get off the hamster wheel.

Here’s another example:

I recently wrote about a trend I’ve been observing: the return to simplicity and authenticity in content creation online. Nobody told me it was coming. I knew what I was feeling and had a gut feeling that others felt the same way. I know how much more I enjoy content that I don’t overthink or overproduce.

Lo and behold, now “big time” creators are starting to talk about the same thing. I could have waited to hear it from them, but I noticed it, and started talking about it before they did.

Endless consumption makes you a parrot.

Slow down, notice things, think for yourself, create original ideas, apply them, and share them. That’s how you get on the other side of the chasm between a parrot and a real thought leader. It’s not by consuming; it’s by noticing.

Jan 23, 2024

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Hey, I'm Steve — a Christian, entrepreneur, thinker, and creator. Thanks for stopping by!

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