You all have likely heard the term “analysis paralysis”, that condition where you waffle on a decision because you’re too caught up weighing your options, seeking advice, or analyzing various outcomes.
But you may not be aware that analysis paralysis has a close sibling that I have dubbed “education desperation”—much like analyzing things to death without taking action, education desperation is when you’re too busy chasing after classes, workshops, and trainings without actually putting any of your existing knowledge into practice. There are two classic manifestations of education desperation in my book: Conference Junkies are people who just can’t get enough of short-lived, high-impact weekends, yet can’t seem to make any progress on their endeavors. And Webinar Chasers are always hunting after the next free broadcast instead of applying what the last one taught them.
So here’s the truth: When it comes to your handmade business, less info can be MORE. You can google to your heart’s content or drop serious dough on ALL the online courses all you want, but trying to buy success or seeking magic listicle formulas is really just a way avoiding the hard work of a business that can’t be done for you. You have to Do The Work.
I’m a firm believer that deep down inside, we all know what’s actually best for our business and what we need to work on next. We just forget how to listen to ourselves or trust our own capabilities because we think that some expert coach or consultant or teacher out there has all of the answers. Or we are too gullible and believe anything someone else tells us we need to do next. In most cases, any advice you receive from an expert will confirm what you already know about yourself.
So start with that. Start with what you know and work on applying it. Trust yourself to put it into practice. Then, as gaps in your knowledge become apparent, usually through some healthy trial and error, seek out help for those things and bite them off one at a time.
Sometimes you need more time to yourself to strategize, think, implement and experiment than buying another program, class or more knowledge or research. Education can be helpful if you know exactly what you need (and you’re sure you don’t already have it). It’s more likely that you actually know more about your business than you think, and more than the expert who is trying to sell you something. Trust your knowledge and your experience first, then put it into action. In this case, LESS is actually MORE.