Just recently I’ve had similar conversations with business owners about all the events they are going to, the books they’ve read and the courses they’ve bought.

When they tell me their biggest take away from all of the things they’ve learnt, – that’s if they know because there’s so much going on in their heads – I ask if they have implemented that biggest takeaway, and the answer every time is ‘No’.

No because they haven’t got enough time, they don’t know where to start, they need help, there’s more to learn.

Learning is great but when it’s at the expense of taking action or creating content yourself it becomes irrelevant knowledge and a waste of time, money and energy.

I love reading and I love learning but knowledge by itself isn’t power, its wasted potential.

Knowledge with action is the real power.

You may be thinking “Steve, but you educate, coach and mentor business owners. Isn’t this counterintuitive advice asking people to stop learning?” The answer is no because it’s about implementing what you learn not just learning for the sake of it and making sure you learn only what is necessary for you.

I don’t want to sell my products and services and work with people who don’t use it. I choose to work with the ones who take with the knowledge they learn.

That’s why support, accountability, coaching and mentoring is included with all my products and services to make sure action is taken with what my clients learn.

And that’s the reason why in my book The Profits Principles – the practical guide to building an extraordinary business around doing what you love, I include practical questions and exercises to help you implement what you are learning.

How do I know about this? I’ve seen it with so many business owners, more times than I can count, and I did this myself (and sometimes have to catch myself from doing it again). I consumed content instead of creating it and putting it into action.

It’s so easy to waste your potential in this information age in which we live where we are constantly connected to the internet and can gorge on content on social media 24/7.

But there is a way to consume less and implement more.

Over the next month schedule a date to sit down and work out what you’ve learnt this year already and what you still want to learn to help you overcome your challenges and accomplish your goals.

Then choose one or two items (a book, course, programme etc) that you will follow through with and implement to help you get to where you are going. And make sure you have the support network around you either from the education provider or from your connections to stay on track, answer questions and ultimately achieve what you want this year.

Here’s 5 steps to work out what you need to learn:

1 – Identify your current biggest challenge and biggest goal

2 – Write a list of the things you need to be able to do to overcome your challenge and another list to be able to do to accomplish your goal

3 – Find the one thing on each list that will give you the biggest movement forwards

4 – Ask yourself do you have this knowledge already, can it be learned or can it be outsourced

5 – If you have the knowledge already; implement it, if it can be learned; learn it and implement it, and if it someone else can help you overcome your challenge or help you accomplish your goal without you learning about it; hire them to do it.

All other learning can then be parked or forgotten about until you’ve accomplished the result you want.

And in case you need to do the work, here’s how to implement what you’ve learnt:

1 – Make appointments with yourself for 30 to 90 minutes per day in your calendar when you’re at your most energetic (for me it’s first thing in the morning)

2 – In that time implement at least one task (regardless of how big or small) from what you have learnt that will move you closer to overcoming a challenge or accomplishing a goal. It doesn’t necessarily have to be completed in that time if it’s a bigger task, it just needs to be worked on. That’s it. Rinse and repeat.

Let me know in the comments below what do you really want to implement but haven’t yet or share your best two tips on getting stuff done despite all the information that can distract you.