Where are you looking for insight?

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It’s amazing to me how many people go in search of insights. They attend webinars and conferences, download white papers and eBooks, chasing the dream that the next thing they obtain is going to be the magic bullet that cures all their ills. While I absolutely admire their tenacity and willingness to improve, the search itself may be a bit misguided.

Here’s why. Think about the word insight. You are almost literally looking – sight – within. The etymology is from German – inner sight, or wisdom. We know that the formula for wisdom is knowledge + experience = wisdom. What you’re looking for when you’re downloading other people’s books, videos, etc. is knowledge, something you can put into action to gain the experience you need, so that eventually you create wisdom inside yourself.

Think about cooking. You can read all about a chef’s account of how to make a dish, filled with their wisdom, drawn from their own combination of knowledge and experience. But because they are a professional chef, their experience is much different and greater in many cases than ours, so their wisdom, their insights will be different and not necessarily applicable to us. The best thing they can do is highlight what they learned about a particular dish, what mistakes they made, how they made it, and then let us try at our own level of knowledge and experience.

When you go in search of insights for your marketing work, understand that you are seeking someone else’s knowledge and experience. If you find it isn’t working for you, know that it’s likely because of a mismatch in experience. Get the knowledge instead in that case, and use it to create your own experience.

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