Is Cookie Cutter Advice Getting You Into Trouble?

14183965461The five seconds rule states that you can pick up a dropped piece of food and eat it as long as it doesn’t remain there for more than 5 seconds. There are those who truly believe in and practice the old wives tale. However, imagine the piece of food was dropped on a pile of cow manure. Does the same rule apply? Of course not! In fact, I don’t know of any culture that wouldn’t consider that grotesque. The rule would change because the scenario changed. Thus is the problem with cookie cutter advice.

What is good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander. What worked in one situation, may not work in another. I’ve read many books and watched many videos on various different subjects relating to business. More than ninety percent of the time, I find the information to be of good use. However, the problem comes when the information provided is specific to a scenario that is different than mine. While the information provided may be a good starting point, I may have to tweak it to fit my particular need.

For this reason, I’ve changed my approach. While in the past I relied heavily on the books I read and the videos I watched, I now seek specific counsel. If it’s a marketing issue, I speak with marketing professionals. If it’s a web development issue, I speak with web development professionals. Time and money are not endless commodities so I choose not to waste either of them on cookie cutter/one size fits all information. I’ve found this approach to be a saver of both time and money.

Access to good information is plentiful, but stay mindful that you find advice that works for your specific needs. If the information doesn’t resonate with you, don’t use it. If you are using the information and find it’s prohibitive, stop using it or tweak it so that it flows better with your goals.

Eric L. Lipsey
Phoenix Business Development