Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
I’m not just talking about the mountains of festive food and drink I’m about to encounter over the next few days…
I mean the increasing amount of choices and opportunities we’re now faced with, each and every day.
Sure, the luxury of choice can be a good thing. But too much of it can create unnecessary work.
And as business owners, marketers and creatives, we have a responsibility to the people we’ve set out to help.
Our job is to help these people understand what’s important to them – to communicate the right signal through the noise.
There are so many ways to send signals these days, but more signals = more noise.
Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD…
You CAN start a podcast.
You CAN create a webinar funnel.
You CAN add a countdown timer to your offer.
You CAN add as many upsells as you want.
You CAN track people all over the interwebz after they click away from your sales page, and retarget them whether they like it or not.
Maybe. A lot of other people are doing these things…
I guess it really depends on how you want YOUR signal to cut through the noise.
The author James Clear, who writes about forming and keeping better habits, summed this problem up well in a recent post:
Modern society is defined by an excess of opportunity. We have more information, more products, and more options than ever before.
As a result, curating, filtering, and refining are more important skills than ever before. Those who edit best will find the signal in the noise.”
In this context, ‘editing’ is about more than just reviewing and changing words…
It’s about how we make any decision which impacts our understanding.
We need to become better ‘editors’ for ourselves and for others, as the world develops and changes around us.
Yes, it can help us see things more clearly, and understand them better.
But it can also obscure things. Often, more information is just too much information…
Information can get in the way – too much data, too many opinions, too many options.
Hence the need for better ‘editing’.
When you’re looking for the right path through the trees, the last thing you need is more paths (or more trees!)
But information is addictive…
There’s now a thriving industry of apps, tools, experts and self-help books to help us ignore, avoid, filter out and even rehabilitate ourselves from all the ‘TMI’ we created, and which we’re regularly faced with.
Not judging anyone here btw – I’ve experienced this personally…
I don’t generally struggle with focus or indecision about what’s right for me at a particular time, but I must admit I’ve had to make some considered changes to the way I live and work because of ‘the noise’ of TMI.
I’ve actively planned and implemented steps to change the way I use things like Twitter, F***book (ugh) and LinkedIn… the way I manage notifications (hi Slack you absolute monster)… the way I use email, and the way I manage other peoples’ expectations of how & why I do this.
Finding the signal in all this noise is a work in progress
It seems funny to me to have invested so much time figuring out how to efficiently use tools and products which – on the surface – are supposed to make life more efficient.
But it’s absolutely necessary. Never has the phrase “less is more” been truer.
If any of us could go back in time and tell our 20-year-ago selves (with apologies to younger readers who don’t remember that far back!) that we’d be spending time doing this in the future, actively battling things we sometimes even pay for to supposedly make our lives easier, it’d sound crazy.
Yet here we are.
So this year, I think each of us can and should consider what our role is in terms of helping our customers, clients, partners and audiences find the signal in the noise.
Whether you’re creating products, marketing them, supplying services or just trying to figure out your next step in biz, be aware of the struggle that’s going on around you…
People are looking for guidance, not more decisions to make.
They’re hoping for clarity, not confusion.
They want more of what’s important to them, not simply ‘more’.
As the year nears its end, I recommend spending some time thinking about how you can help people with that. I’ll be doing the same.
PS – there’s still time to get your signal found in the noise, starting today.