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Don’t Let The Internet Take Over Your Business!

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Don’t Let The Internet Take Over Your Business!

What drives your search for answers to improve your business? Is it a deep understanding of who you are and what you do; is it an awareness of your objectives/goals and what you want for yourself and your organization… or is it something else? Whether we call it Internet overload, filter failure or just plain lack of clarity, sometimes we need to step back and examine our MO.

Don't Let the Internet take over your Business

Every business starts with a great idea, fuelled by passion and driven by a desire to succeed. As it grows, the survival instinct supplants new ideas, processes replace passion, and stress (if we’re not careful) blurs objectives. It’s a cycle you see most businesses undergo at some point in their development – often 2–3 years post-startup. Why?

It’s the human condition

We start a business to make life easier, get rich, fulfill dreams. The original creative process draws on all our energies. A new idea needs nurturing. Sometimes it is so new that it requires help to overcome the resistance of others or to educate others to buy into it. But because we believe in it, we do whatever it takes to make it work.

That’s when the web bites!

It’s so convenient, isn’t it? It’s the first thing you’re drawn to every morning. It pervades your life via your desktop and mobile devices. It sucks you in. After all, it’s your life-support system and it has all the answers. Or does it?

Undoubtedly, the Internet does hold a lot of answers, but how we use it and the expectations we have of it are key.

Increasingly, I see that we’re becoming expert at providing and consuming ‘light’ information on the web. As Internet marketing and interconnectivity become more sophisticated, we are bombarded with half-useful information that never quite gets translated into practical improvements in our business. It consumes a lot of time, while seducing us with fascinating infographics, pictures, videos and never-ending threads.

Clearly, a lot of marketing activity is designed to keep you hooked, under the guise of ‘relationship-building’. Why, then, do I increasingly feel a sense of entrapment?  I’ve let myself become consumed by a process, and I need to take back control.

Here’s my solution – something for you to try for a week. When you get up in the morning:

  • don’t switch your phone on
  • don’t go to your computer
  • don’t think about researching a topic on the Internet

It’ll be tough, at first, but try to do it without calling your therapist or taking out your frustrations on the cat. Trust me: once you get through the cold-turkey phase, you’ll see some interesting things happening.

Five steps to e-freedom

# 1. You’ll start thinking for yourself

It’s been said that people who rely on Google for all their information are actually losing brain tissue. Think about it (if you can!). It makes sense. It’s the ‘use it or lose it’ principle that applies as much to our physical as our mental health.

# 2. You’ll remember why you have a business

You may think that’s obvious, but Internet ‘dumbing down’ can be insidious. Life changes, markets change, the environment changes. If you’re not regularly ‘refreshing’ your perspective, the initial impetus for your business may have shifted  – and left you behind.

# 3. You’ll notice new things

Apart from birdsong and the sweet smell of spring. You’ll also get a fresh take on how you operate and how you use your time. The absence of online ‘static’ will allow in fresh thoughts and better logic, and you won’t be governed by a ‘filter bubble’ restricting and distorting your view through Google algorithms.

# 4. You’ll de-stress and re-connect with yourself and others

While our creative faculties are neutralized by the all-pervasive Internet, we’re also succumbing to ADHD. Our children are growing up in a frenzied state of performance anxiety and disconnection, and billions of dollars are being lost in industry, due to stress-related problems. The online lifestyle feeds this process. Mindfulness, meditation, exercise and real communication are the only antidotes to this, even if we cannot escape the unknown dangers of permanent wi-fi all around us.

# 5. You’ll get your life back

Having real human connections and staying grounded are the best routes to success. When you are present and emotionally connected, you can stay in touch with why you got into business in the first place. Whatever your reasons, you won’t find them online. You’ll find them in you – if you allow yourself that respect and take responsibility for your journey.

These days, I switch myself on before I power up. I figure out what I want to achieve each day before I enter the online world, so that I can use it to my benefit. Like an artist faced with a blank canvas, it can be hard, at first, to decide what marks to make and what picture to create. But it’s so much more satisfying than painting by numbers – both for me and for those who come into contact with me and my work.

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Images:  ” A business man is sitting on a black background and is working on a laptop computer. He is browsing websites that are zooming for speed   / Shutterstock.com


Lewis is an artist, author, entrepreneur, inventor, marketing communications consultant and business mentor. Fuelled by creativity and driven by a passion to provide innovation, impact and influence, his career has taken in a large variety of disciplines, skills and experience across many areas of industry and the public sector. He has worked with startups, SMEs, multinationals, rock stars, legends of film, the UN, people with AIDS and many more. All this has made him at times cynical, but more than ever confident that the future is bright if we can only empower ourselves and each of us employ our unique creativity to help achieve this. Through his service - www.CreativeCOGS.ca - Lewis offers a powerful four-step programme and a range of marketing communications services aimed at improvement, transformation, increased efficiency and profitability. He also runs creativity courses and courses in currency trading (www.leftbraintrading.com). His most recent venture (www.scribbleo.com) is concerned with making complex and long-winded information on websites fun and quick to understand and act upon. His first novel, Hominine - it's time to choose (http://www.hominine.info) is a powerful geopolitical thriller that fictionalized popular global concerns - and then provides answers! http://about.me/lewisevans777

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Comments
  • Great thought-provoking (or guilt-provoking) post Lewis!
    I think we all need an Internet Holiday – whereby nothing works for a period of time 🙂

    Ironically, I find myself here, after lunch just catching up on my SM activities. If I had timed it properly, I should have logged off mid sentence…

  • Hi Lewis, this is a great reminder and you are right, the internet is an incredible tool but it is so easy to get sidetracked – or in my case, sidetracked by those who are sidetracked! Finding time away from the internet is also very important as you point out.

  • ” in my case, sidetracked by those who are sidetracked! ” Ha! I like it Niall!

    It becomes not so much a distraction as a proxy brain sometimes….

    :0)

  • Hi Elaine. How’s France?

    It’s interesting what you say. I find that when i get stalled by the web-babble, and take a holiday, everything starts working again.

    I wonder if anyone, these day, would consider taking a week off it? Now, theres’s a challenge.

  • Christina Giliberti

    Hi Lewis,

    The internet stops us from using our brains at peak….plus it also supplies us with incorrect information (so a percentage of the stuff that sticks takes up valuable space). That’s what I’ve found, anyhow.

    The online world is both engaging and addictive – it can eat up all your time and you hardly realise how obsessive your behaviour is. Life is about experiencing more, agree with point 3.

    A big issue (plus and curse) is the instant availability of the internet. Being close to WiFi and having a smart phone is just too tempting. There are spas that prohibit the use of phones to allow you to completely immerse yourself in relaxation…..that’s the way to go to re-balance the mind.
    Great thoughtful post. Big thumbs up!

  • Derbhile Graham

    Thanks for the jolt of common sense. On quiet days, when I wonder what it’s all about, I’ll do this.




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