How I almost drowned in advice, a happy ending, and a point.

Hope you had an amazing week!
Today's insight:

Advice is USELESS. Unless given by "your person".

I'm drowning!

Over the recent few weeks my business is transitioning from strictly local to online, and the learning curve is steep. Figuring out online marketing feels like being thrown into a sea of overwhelm, trying to swim. Tempting logs and boards are floating around (did I say logs? I meant marketing gurus/ninjas/thought leaders), promising sweet salvation.

Immediate and Inevitable Success! Fame! Millionaire lifestyle!

You reach for a log only to discover it’s full of nails that poke at your fingers. You scramble to find another log, it looks nice, solid and smooth. You touch it and promptly find out you’re highly allergic to the stuff it’s made of. Congratulations, you now have a painful rash.
Where is the log that will keep your head above the water?! They are all look to be made of wood, they all seem like they can support your weight. Which one will actually keep you alive?
Cue panic attack/severe flu.

I promised a happy ending and a point at the end, so here goes:
The Happy Ending – I’m in LOVE!
I found that one blog that speaks to me, personally. 95% of the advice I got there makes total sense, and the content is delivered in a voice I can relate to. I loved that blog so much I read every single post in the archive and then sent an emotional note of gratitude to the author. She is beyond wonderful, both as an expert and as a human being.

The Point (see the heading):  Advice is useless. Unless given by "your person".

There’s a ton of advice out there, including systems and productivity guidance. Most of it would tell you the same basic things. Plan, organize, create good habits, remove clutter from your life and your psyche. However, advice only becomes useful for YOU, when it’s delivered in a way that fits your personality. Otherwise it’s easy to drown, overwhelmed by productivity techniques. Oh, the irony!

    You CAN be calmly productive if you are a hyper-focusing type.
    You CAN be calmly productive if you’re an all-over-the place type.
    You CAN be calmly productive whether you are a hip 22-year-old fashion blogger or a middle-aged marriage counselor.

These different personalities will truly listen to very different voices. There is no one-size-fits-all productivity technique. It seems obvious when pointed out, but way too often I see the following scenario:

A visionary entrepreneur, let’s call her Marie, decides she really needs to get her systems under control already. She finds a mega-brand productivity coach, signs up for his podcast, and starts enthusiastically following his 10-Steps-To-Inevitable-Success SystemTM.  Six weeks go by, Marie is exhausted by all the new stuff she has to do, and she’s not connecting with the system, nor with the guru. His advice makes sense on paper, but it doesn't make her life as easy as he promised. And the guy is a bit too happy-go-lucky. She abandons the SystemTM with bruised self-esteem (“I’ll never be organized, I’m doomed to live in chaos!”), having wasted time, energy, and sometimes a few hundred dollars.

Three months go by. Marie decides to give a chance to another expert, because really, it’s hard to operate with no method to the madness. She eagerly signs up for a You Rock, Ladybug! eight-part video series and starts rigorously implementing the content. And it works fine… until it doesn't. The expert really speaks her language and she’s warm and super-likable, but her advice is rigid: do THIS. THIS is the way, and if you do THAT (a.k.a. not THIS), you are a doomed loser.
Well, you know the next line - Marie is exhausted by all the new stuff she has to do, she abandons the class with bruised self-esteem (“I’ll never be organized, I’m doomed to live in chaos!”), having wasted time, energy, and a few hundred dollars.
And another six months go by and…, the cycle continues.
 So now what?

“Get yourself a Rabbi”
In Judaism there is a saying that can be loosely translated as the heading I just put above: “Get yourself a Rabbi” . It means find a person or an entire philosophy to follow, make sure it fits your personality and world view, and stick with it. It’s not possible to follow any and all advice, even within the same framework. Not only will different people give you different advice on the same topic, different people will give you the SAME advice, and you would only respond to one or two in a way you can benefit from.
This post is getting surprisingly long, and I know you’re busy. After all, you're visiting a good-systems-and-productivity website. So I’m going to wrap up, and next time I’ll be talking about different productivity tips for different personalities. 
For now, I just want to say it again:

 You CAN be calmly productive if you are a hyper-focusing type.
 You CAN be calmly productive if you’re an all-over-the place type (personally I like the term “feaster”).
 You CAN be calmly productive whether you are young, old, frenetic, contemplative, or anything else really. 

It's a matter of finding the right voice to listen to and finding the methods right for you.

Stay tuned!