Don’t Believe Everything You Read on the Internet—Including This One

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Here’s the truth.

There’s just too much content today that it’s impossible to consume them all. Even if you spend 24 hours each day trying to read, listen, or watch everything it is impossible. Not nearly impossible, but really impossible.

Here’s what happens in a single minute on the internet in 2020.

Internet Minute 2020 Infographic

That’s right.

In 60 seconds, everything you saw in that infographic takes place:

  • 19 million SMS sent
  • 190 million emails
  • 4.1 million searches on Google
  • 59 million messages sent on Messenger and WhatsApp

And a whole lot more.

That’s why it’s impossible to consume all those content even if you dedicate your whole life to it.

But the problem goes beyond the quantity of content. It’s the quality of these content that makes it a big issue, especially in the world of business.

And I’m not just talking about low quality content —you know, those poorly written, paraphrased, or worse an exact copy-pasted version of another content.

I’m talking about bad content. Those that get you into trouble if you follow them.

And there are plenty of them.

It’s easy to create a website and start posting about business, interviewing, retirement plans, digital marketing, and many more.

It’s even easier to create a social media account, be anonymous, and start spreading fake news.

And while they may not be that much of an issue most of the time, because you can ignore them or it doesn’t reach you, it can affect significant events in our lives. Remember the Facebook Cambridge Analytica controversy back in 2016?

The only way to avoid getting duped is to remain vigilant. Apply discretion. And test them out yourself, instead of blindly accepting them as truths.

The first thing you have to accept is that you don’t know everything. And that’s a good thing. We all benefit from gaining more knowledge to improve our lives. And that’s where “experts” come in.

They have spent the vast majority of their lives doing what they do. Perhaps even achieve greater results than most people do.

But the main problem is that their circumstances are 99.99% different than yours. So, whatever strategies and tactics they used to reach their success will most likely not work for you.

You also have to understand that it’s easy to claim something and make a lot of people believe in it simply because it’s something they want to hear. In short— bad advice. Or, advice that’s not grounded on reality.

I’ve seen these kinds of advice in all areas of life. One of the things that were popular back in the day is to use video resumes. Sure, they are cute. Unique. Makes you stand out.

But it doesn’t take into account the reality that hiring managers process hundreds if not thousands of applications in a single role. For them to switch to a different medium (from reading a pile of resumes) to watching a video that could easily be 10 minutes in length or over. That’s a lot of hurdles the hiring manager has to jump over, not to mention the time it takes just to get through one candidate. If you’re a rockstar like Elon Musk, sure, I’ll watch your video. But if you’re John Smith, it’s not worth it. As they say, you have to first know the rules before you can break the rules. These advice usually come from people who haven’t even hired nor managed people in their lives. They just appeal to something people want to hear.

And that’s where the problem lies.

Most people who go on the internet believe these “experts” blindly to the point that they seem like a follower of a cult.

The same goes with this post of mine.

Take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt.

The next best thing you can do is apply the concepts and test it out yourself. But do it on a small scale first. That way, you reduce the risk to yourself and your brand especially if the advice or method or tactic was way off.

For example, I’m primarily in the digital marketing industry. So there are tons of experts out there who know more than me. But, their circumstances are different. They are in different countries. They have clout in their names. They do things at a bigger scale. They already have a ton of followers. And more importantly, they have money to soend on ads to grow and reach more people.

None of those are applicable to me.

So, if I blindly accept what they teach on their webinars, trainings, websites, and social media accounts, I could potentially lose any previous success I’ve had or completely wasted my time implementing them.

What do I do instead? (And what I encourage you to do as well)

Understand the rationale behind the strategy/tactic. Get into the why of it. From there, I let it simmer in my head. Maybe draw a mind map if it helps. But more importantly, I add my own experiences. Localize it to my situation and my understanding of my own clients or the market I operate in.

If I see it worthy to pursue, I conduct my own test. I apply those strategies and tactics on a small scale. Rather than implement them on my entire website or email campaigns, or social media networks, I pick one or two then try it out.

Of course, this would mean you’d need to have some sort of analytics in place and some benchmark scores. That way, whatever your experiment is, you’d know if it’s a success or not.

And that’s exactly what I did the last couple of days. I picked a few of these strategies and tactics that I find some merit in, then implemented them on my site. The tests are still running. It’ll probably take a few weeks to get significant results in those experiments.

In summary, don’t stop learning. There are tons of great and valuable content out there. You just have to know where to look for them. Then of course, continue applying discretion. Don’t believe blindly. Finally, test them out yourself to see if they are really valid and applicable to you and your specific situation.

Commandment 10: Never Stop Learning

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We are all busy. You are busy. I’m busy. Correct? 


Now that we admitted that we’re just lying to each other, let’s get down to the real deal. But first, I have to tell you something. 

I have used busyness as an excuse numerous times. Sometimes, I really am busy. But often, I say it to get out of something like hanging out with (toxic) people; or telling myself that I’m doing something worthwhile; or simply have something to say. 

I recently came across this video on Twitter. I’m not really sure if it’s true or just a meme or something. But it made me think back to all the times I have used the words “I’m busy” to someone — my boss, my client, my family, and my friends. 

But the truth us, busyness shouldn’t stop us from doing what needs to be done. We all have commitments. And regardless of how much time it takes or activity we do, what matters is that we fulfill those obligations — at work, our family and friends, and even our community. 

Our World Is Constantly Changing

You already know this. Our world is constantly changing. Regardless of your industry, technology is changing every business sector

Everything changes.


What that means is if you don’t keep up, you will eventually get left behind. And this has happened to me lots of times. 

I wrote an article about how to use Buffer and IFTTT together to overcome a specific challenge for me — which I later found out that many people are having as well. After ~6 months, Buffer discontinued the feature that I used in that post. 

Because I didn’t keep up with the news that time, it took me 3-4 more month before I found out about it. In that time, a lot of people have seen that article. Unfortunately, it was not updated and no longer working. 

I kept saying I was busy. Frankly, that’s partly true. At that time, I recently started with a new client. So I’m spending my available time reading up on the industry and learning about the business. 

Looking back, I know if I kept up with my reading, it would only take me less than 5 minutes to fix the article. That’s not even a fifth of a show in Netflix — which I have been binge-watching with my wife every night.

Fortunately for me, it’s just an article. I’m not selling anything. So, it didn’t affect me directly. But what if it’s something that is relevant to your business? What if it’s something your customers use frequently with your app/product but because you didn’t update it, you received tons of complaints. 

How to Dedicate Time for Learning and Growth

First, let’s get one thing out of the way — you don’t know everything. That is why it is necessary to keep learning no matter what. 

You circumstances also aren’t an excuse:

  • You’re just a fresh graduate
  • Just had a baby
  • An entry-level person
  • have multiple businesses
  • Have debt

Learning is free. And while I’m advocating using technology to automate your learning, you can do this without spending anything. 

All you need is your time and commitment. 

I recommend at least an hour a day. That’s 60 minutes. Sometimes you spend more time, sometimes less. And that’s okay. The most important takeaway is that you allocate time to learn new things. 

Here are 5 tips to help you do that. 

Use technology to your advantage

Automation helps you do the mundane things so you can spend your limited energy to do the more important things. 

I use two apps for my learning and growth session:

While I can combine the two apps, I decided to keep them separate. Feedly allows me to glance stories (from the websites I added) very fast. By browsing through the headline titles, I get updated on what’s happening. Some topics I included are the following:

  • Local news
  • Digital marketing
  • Advertising
  • Design
  • Business
  • Economy
  • Technology 

If I find something that interests me, I click on the title then read it further. If it’s longer or needs a dedicated time to read and understand it, I save it to Pocket. 

Pocket is an app where you can store articles and videos for later. This is the app I use if I want to really dive in the articles and process it. 

As you can see, they serve two different needs. That’s why I kept them separate. 

Setting up Feedly is very simple. After you create an account, you can simply press the + button to add new content. You can browse the categories or add specific websites you want. 

Add websites to your Feedly account

I recommend browsing through the different topics that interest you. Then, add in 2-3 websites of reputable local news. Then you’re all set. 

For Pocket, I use IFTTT to automatically add new articles from websites I trust. Feel free to check out that article so you can also automate this process — for free.

Add it to your calendar

Now that you’ve configured the tools to help you with learning, you have to actually do it. 

For most people, their calendars are only used for meetings. That’s an ineffective use of calendars, but that’s for another time. 

What I want you to do is set a recurring meeting for yourself to read and learn. Here’s how mine looks like: 

Add an hour of learning to your calendar every day

It’s an hour every single day. Occurs after lunch. Sometimes I don’t read. Sometimes I move it earlier or later. But because it’s on my calendar, I typically do it. 

Incorporate learning into another habit

If that’s difficult (which I highly doubt), or you really are busy, another recommendation is to add the task fo learning into another habit that you already do. 

For example, you have a daily routine of making coffee before you start your day (like I do). Once you start that process, start your learning time too. Open up the Pocket app on your phone and click on the headphones icon to have it speak/say out loud. That way you don’t have to read and can still do your morning coffee routine. 

You can add this to any activity you do: 

  • While eating or cooking breakfast
  • Doing the laundry
  • Stuck in traffic

Back when I was still working in corporate, I used to ride the train to and from the office. I use this time to listen to podcasts or the articles I have on Pocket. 

This way, I don’t “take away” from my day. Rather, I make full use of my commute time. 


The next tip I highly recommend is to diversify your reading. Just like what I shared earlier, I read about stuff not related to my industry or work. 

If you watched the Decoding Bills Brain series on Netflix, you’d have noticed that Bill Gates also does this. He reads stuff outside Microsoft and technology. This helps him take the insights and learnings from others and apply it to his life. This process will also help you develop critical thinking. And the best part is it gives you a wider perspective. 

Allocate a budget

Lastly, I recommend allocating a budget to your learning and growth. Investing in yourself is one of the best investment you can make. 

Two years ago, I decided I’ll spend up to 10% of my income to my personal learning and growth. Looking back, I spent less than that. But that decision gave me the peace of mind to spend on those things. 

Usually, I hesitate to buy books because they are expensive. I always tell my self it’s not within my budget. I can learn those online from other articles. 

But oftentimes, books offer something more in-depth that articles, even the 2000+ words I often read, don’t cover. 

The mindset is if it’s within the budget, just go buy it. 

This includes books, subscription, tools, etc. 

Right now, I’m subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. I received an offer from Amazon for a $0.99 for 3 months (vs the 1-month trial). So, since the amount is so low and really within my budget, I immediately subscribed. 

I also bought two online courses last year: one about python basics (programming) and about photography. 

Over to You

As you can see, my learning isn’t limited to my industry nor what I do. Yes, the majority of it is. But that doesn’t stop me from learning something from others. 

Bottom line: you should dedicate time to learn new things every day. 

You can start with the free ones until you get the habit going.

Commit to learning something new every day.