Information vs Knowledge

I’ve heard it said that entrepreneurs work 80 hours for themself so they don’t have to work 40 for someone else. Why do we subject ourselves to this type of torture? Because we want to be in charge of our own destiny, to blaze a new trail. We are always thinking about how to improve something, to make something better. And we aren’t satisfied until we do.

Making something better requires continually learning something new. We need to be growing in our skills and abilities. The means listening to podcasts, going to conferences, reading books. What we get from those sources is lots of information. It’s like getting a massive spreadsheet with lots of data. To make use of the information, you need someone to take the time to do an analysis. This analysis is what turns that information into knowledge that can be useful to make a decision.

When I think about difficult decisions that I’ve had to make for my business, it always comes down to thoughtful analysis. Information is good, but it is only useful if it is understood and then ultimately applied to make a decision. Analyzing and applying information is what turns data into knowledge. The people that have been the most helpful coaches for me are the ones that have this type of knowledge, the ones that have been fighting to understand a topic area for years or decades. Their knowledge starts to head into the territory of wisdom, their advice becoming sage.

This is the goal of the work we do in our business. We want to have this arsenal of applied knowledge that we can use when working with customers. This type of knowledge doesn’t come overnight. It is costly to attain. It requires focus to gain information, diligence to analyze it and risk-taking to apply it. This process weeds out all who are young or that haven’t submitted to the process. When you do go through the process, your knowledge becomes a mote around your business providing a competitive advantage.

If you want to stand out, learn to turn information into knowledge.

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