As little as a decade ago, information was power, and our careers hinged on our ability to access and process the information that was critical to our business success. In today’s world it is increasingly difficult to sift through the barrage of information we are faced with each day. The truly useful and important communications get lost in the sea of information we receive and often don’t even make it onto our radar.
So our challenge as consumers is to sift through the chaff to find the grains with which to make our daily bread. But more importantly, our challenge as business owners and entrepreneurs is to make it easier for our clients and prospects to find those grains; to access the information we want to share with them. We have to curate our content to be relevant to our audience, to respect their time and to help them determine whether or not the information we are sharing is relevant to them.
So, in a nutshell:
Content - is the valuable information you want to share with your target audience. Value is at the heart of all sustainable success, and those who are driven to excel in business also strive to excel at adding value.
Context - is what makes it relevant (or not) to our audience, which allows them to engage or move on … and, just as importantly, they will appreciate that you have been respectful of their time.
Information is losing its status in today’s “quick to click” culture. Information is in abundance. In excess. And anything that is available in excess quickly loses its value. That which is most valued is most often very rare.
Context is far more rare. When context is applied to content, it enables us to think more effectively about the information that bombards us. It gives us perspective and helps us filter, refine and create value from the content we absorb. Context clarifies information so that we can determine its relevance. Essentially, the better the context, the deeper, more thorough the thinking.
Coffee - is about taking the time to sit with your thoughts and to think about your valuable message from your audience's perspective.
That deeper, more thorough thinking comes from taking time to connect with what you are communicating. The point is, deep, thorough thinking is rare. It requires time and mindfulness to think about things from multiple perspectives. It requires us to stay with it, mull it over, revisit it, and think it through.
Very few of us force ourselves to take the time away from being ‘busy and productive’ because it feels counterintuitive. Action creates results, right? Not always, but certainly the right action creates the right results.
When we take time to mull over our ideas, we give our brains the mental space to consider the content, in the appropriate context, and explore its relevance and the hidden potential therein. This is how innovation, creativity, and bursts of brilliance are born. I experience this, myself, and I see this with the breakthroughs my clients experience.
So when you are taking a walk, enjoying a coffee, or engaged in potentially quiet time, remember that you don’t need to fill that time with more information or activity. It might be that an empty void, ready for new ideas, is the best possible use of that time.
To your success, differently,