There aren’t many times when my chemical engineering background is helpful in the world of online business and ministry. But when it comes to the information that bombards us everyday, the most basic scientific principle applies.
In – Out = Accumulation
When we take in more information than we can use, we clutter up our brains, inboxes and notebooks with an accumulation of courses, ebooks and downloads.
All of this clutter takes up valuable space and energy, but we hesitate to eliminate it because … well … what if that email we delete has the ONE THING that will make all the difference? The ONE THING that will make every post go viral and every course sell out?
But, honestly, there is no ONE THING. (You knew that already, right?) Success comes only with consistent, intentional hard work.
All that accumulated stuff just weighs us down. The unopened emails taunt us. The open ones confuse and overwhelm us because they contradict each other. And oh, the courses. We battle guilt over the courses we paid for but didn’t finish (or didn’t even start, amen?)
This is a place where we could actually defy the laws of science. Limiting our input could increase our output. Less time spent wading through countless emails and courses that teach the same things we’ve already heard means more time to do the things that really matter … the consistent, intentional hard work of our hearts.
The Bible clearly tells us that we should seek wise counsel from many places.
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14 ESV
But how do you know when you are getting too much counsel and how do you limit the input to focus on the output? By wisely and prayerfully limiting the voices you heed.
The online space is full of experts of all types. On any topic you can imagine, multiple people will teach it to you. However, that’s where the conflicting information comes in. People teach what worked for them, and what works for one person (or even for lots of people) may not be right for you. Even when two people are teaching the same things, you may relate to the style of one person more than another.
For example, there are some very successful experts out there who have fantastic content and very good courses, but it is peppered with foul language and off-color remarks. That doesn’t really work for me, no matter how valuable the information is. I’ll find someone more consistent with my faith and values to learn from.
Over the years, I’ve accumulated a group of key influencers in different areas that I trust and that I turn to again and again. These are some of my favorites:
General blogging education: Crystal Paine is my go-to girl with her Your Blogging University. I’m also a member of her mastermind group. Her courses are affordable and practical. The ones for beginning bloggers are clear and easy to follow. For more advanced bloggers, the mastermind is focused on generating an income from your blog.
Leadership resources: I love John Maxwell‘s books and other resources to inspire and teach me to grow my leadership skills. Propel Women, Esther Littlefield’s Confident Leader Club and Grit and Virtue are where I turn when I need other women speaking into the specific places where women need encouragement as leaders.
Writing resources: I’m a member and enthusiastic supporter of Compel Training from Proverbs 31 Ministries. There is a professionalism and polish to Compel that gives me confidence in what I learn from them.
There are a few others I rely on for specific topics, but sticking with this small list brings consistency to my efforts. It also keeps me from getting distracted by every new idea or opinion that makes the rounds. I still go to conferences and listen to podcasts to keep up with what’s happening and pick up a tidbit here or there. But when I’m faced with an issue or a new area I need to explore, I start with my trusted list.
Who do you listen to? I’d love to hear who has made a difference for you!