Sometimes knowing a lot can be unhelpful

This morning I went to the monthly meeting of a unique networking group called Friendly Friday, which is run by a friend of mine. Nothing extraordinary about that but I ended up not doing a great deal of networking because a series or people just kept picking on my knowledge of how to get started in business.

So, now I’m wondering: do I know too much stuff and does that stuff get in the way?

Don’t get me wrong; I love helping people (I’ve been told I’m good at it) and enjoy encouraging and inspiring those around me, especially if they’re looking to start a business. But this morning was a good example of where my knowledge (or rather the demand for it) stopped me from networking.

So what should I do? Play dumb or help as many people as I can with what knowledge I have.

I’ve decided to do the latter: I’m going to do all I can to help people.

But with that comes a risk. If I spend all my time helping people then I won’t have time to help myself. So there has to be a balance. I only have so many hours in each day so need to limit the time spent giving my time and knowledge away. I still need to earn a living and spend quality time with loved ones etc.

One of the things I’m going to get started on is to put up a web page so that people considering self-employment can find information. Yes, I know that there is plenty of stuff already out there but it’s often very generic and wrapped up in business-speak (which is unhelpful for those who’ve never been in business before).

With this approach I can point folks to my web page and not have to spend all my time chatting. Even better is that I can include downloads and links to other resources too. I’m a big fan of getting stuff for free so will be looking for help with researching this.

But am I being a little optimistic in thinking that people will look online rather than just want to talk? Probably, but if the information is useful and even just one person benefits then it will have been worthwhile.

So now it’s your turn: please make a comment below to give me ideas on what to include on this page of helpful information…


1 thought on “Sometimes knowing a lot can be unhelpful”

  1. I think that your contribution at Friendly Fridays over the last few months has been very valuable for your networking – you met me!!! But seriously you have given lots of advice and support on a variety of subjects, not least business start up! So I thank you on behalf of all those you have helped, not least me!

    I think that there are two reasons that the need for business start up and going self employed is very much in demand, firstly it is a sign of the times, people are finding they have no other option than to go self employed or start their own businesses as the jobs market is so competitive and doesn’t deliver the rewards we want! Secondly the and the fact business link in now an online only service is forcing people to get guidance, support and advice from alternative sources.

    I feel that whilst websites etc can offer useful online resources, I don’t believe it can ever match the benefits of face to face business advice from experienced entrepreneurs such as yourself and others like you.

    However I do agree that a different approach in the language used and type of resources would be useful for new entrepreneurs. I personally feel that online, print and networking events such as Friendly Friday and the like, offer people a variety of practical business advice and information as well as a range of different audiences to tap into.

    I think the information most urgently needed is: How to go self employed, VAT, business planning, capital and start up funding, how business can affect relationships and the realities of cash flow, the pitfalls of partnerships.

    I’ve got lots of ideas and would like to discuss this with you in more detail!

    See you at the next Friendly Friday!

    Beckie Sanderson – Director Engage Multimedia
    Organiser of Friendly Friday events.

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