We’re taught that knowledge is power, but at what point does collecting information prevent us from taking action? There’s a book for any dream, a how-to for every goal. And although I do firmly believe in the importance of studying the marketplace, of research and in collecting data, I’ve recently rediscovered the value of “less is more”. Gathering information can be addictive – you begin to feel as though you will never learn enough, that you will never understand everything you need to before proceeding. And before you know it, you’ve never done anything at all.
A few months ago, I achieved one of my goals. I wanted to appear on national television, and I did. Before I began the process (which I detailed on this very site!), I did a little homework. I found some information through Google, searching “how to get on TV”. Not a lot, but enough to get me started. After the show aired, a good friend of mine noted that there were a lot of interesting books on the subject, and purchased one for me – “Get On TV”, authored by Jacquie Jordan.
I read it in a day – I was fascinated. The information was truly wonderful, and so comprehensive. I could relate to so many of the aspects the book described, like writing a pitch letter and choosing what to wear, how to treat the producers and unscripted material. The pre-interview, the press-kit… It was all there.
But I quickly realized that if I had read the book before I began trying to get on TV, I don’t think I would have tried at all. There was just too much information – too many bases to cover, too many details to remember. The process would have been daunting, unreachable. I could have never done everything I “needed” to. It would have raised my fear rather than lowered it: I’d have been scared.
There are an equal number of informative books about inventing, and how to bring your product to market. Some of them are good, great even. But I don’t necessarily recommend them. They’re thick! In truth, you just don’t need all of that information. If I had begun this adventure by reading one of them, I doubt I would have gotten any further.
Knowledge IS power. Gain that knowledge through experience, through mishaps and folly, success and failure.