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.

Why The Under Promise Over Deliver Mindset Should Go Away

People’s advice when it comes to account management or sales (and general business activities) is to apply the mindset of under-promise and over-deliver. This has got to be the biggest mistake one can make when dealing with your customers (or your boss or your colleague).

Why is it a huge mistake? Apart from it being a lie (telling you can only do X then you do Y), there are a lot of reasons. Allow me to explain a couple of them in light of the two parties involved – the provider and the customer.

From the Provider’s Side

1. It leaves a lot of room for complacency

Saying you can deliver a project within 30 days when you know you can do it in 15 days is terrible. It allows the provider to procrastinate. It delays the project. It is a waste of corporate resources. It locks up resources when they can be allocated elsewhere. Sure, that is okay if you have unlimited funds. But last I checked, even Apple and Google have limited resources.

2. Too many variables making it unmeasurable

We learned from Peter Drucker that what we cannot measure, we cannot manage. We also know from science that when we change something, we only change one variable at a time. That is the concept of ceteris paribus – all things being equal.

Going back to the example above, you were asked by your boss if you can handle another project with the same budget and scope? How will you know if your team is productive or not? How would you know if the resources you spent are the same or already over budget? Because you allotted 30 days for 4 people to work on a project, they will spend the whole 30 days working on it.

Again, the phrase “you know” was used because if you are any good at all, “you know” if your team is productive or not – whether that is from industry standards, previous projects or experiences. By limiting your deadline to 15 days, you now have one less variable to work on. If your team meets it consistently in 15 days and you did not meet it this time or you went over budget, you can pinpoint it better than you finishing the project on different deadlines, say, 20 days, 29 days, 14 days. You will have a hard time figuring out where you went right or wrong.

3. Shows no standards

Turnaround times are given for a purpose. They are deadlines which communicate the commitment of the company to perform work at high quality standards no matter the situation they are in at the moment. Saying different deadlines for the same project across multiple customers is misleading, is inefficient and show how management is not doing their jobs properly. Managers are there to ensure that the high standards (hopefully high and there actually are standards) of the company are maintained all the time.

From the Customer’s Side

1. Customer experience varies

Companies should place the customer first. Continuously pushing your products to them turns them off. That same principle is exhibited here. If you do not consider what the customer experiences when they engage with you, it sends a subtle signal to them that you do not know what you are doing. A good experience may not be repeated again; thus, leaving doubt to your customer as to whether you can fulfill their expectations.

A good example we all notice here in the Philippines is Starbucks. Without fail, when you come in the store, no matter how busy they are or how long the line is, you will hear a greeting. Regardless whether it is personal or warm, there is still that greeting. You can expect that no matter which store you go to. That is not an accident. These is the experience they want you to have each time you enter. Going back to their roots, Starbucks’ vision

2. Users don’t know what to expect

We all know that repeat purchases are where business profits really lie. People go back to you because they experienced something good. In their subconscious, people go back to you because they want to experience that same thing before (whether that was a satisfaction with the taste of your food, the clean bathroom, or that warm smile from your cashier). Whatever that utility was, they want to experience it again. That us the reason they go back. If the next time your customers come back, and they experienced the exact opposite of their first visit, you will lose your credibility already. Sure, they might give it another go just to make sure that bad experience was just a fluke. But if you have no standards , chances are, that third experience will be bad again. Now, you lose a customer for life.

Humans are creatures of habit. We love doing the same thing over and over. We wake up the same time each morning. The go through our morning routine the same everyday. Take a bath, have breakfast, brush your teeth, etc. We get irritated when changes happen to our normal routine, like waking up late. You get flustered. Rush through everything. You forget stuff. You worry. That has the same effect when your brand does not have any standards. It ruins your brands image. It disrupts the good that you have going. It sucks.

3. Experiences a lack of professionalism

Customers know what they want from you – the very best. While that may be qualitative, but that is a universal truth. If you promise something, then you deliver “more,” then they will think of you as making yourself look good. You understate something so that when the time comes to deliver, you would have exceeded expectations. Well, guess what, your customers already know what you can or cannot do. So stop lying to them and to yourself. Simply state what you can accomplish and accomplish it exactly when and how you stated it. It makes you look good. It makes you know what you are doing. It separates your from the rest. It makes you look professional.