Creating is more powerful than consuming

Creating Value Outside of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep near Chiang Mai, Thailand

“When in doubt, consume less and create more. The world will thank you.”

After all of last week’s talk about the importance of selling value to others, I realized we’d forgotten to cover an even more foundational step…and a decision we all face every day.

Thankfully I’m constantly reminded of it as I explore Thailand. The above man seems to have it figured out…

To Consume or to Create – The Golden Question

Two weeks ago over some Tumeric Spice tea at Samovar, my buddy Jonathan Fields casually smiled as he said “You know I don’t really read that many blogs anymore.”

Then it got me thinking…most people waste their lives consuming things.

When I first started my business I noticed myself spending a lot of money. And this wasn’t money needed directly for the business (it only required about $67 to start), but I was buying all kinds of books on passion, career, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, etc. I hired coaches, purchased courses and attended seminars.

I also subscribed to (and actually attempted to read) 30 or so of my favorite blogs.

Over the course of a year the cost, both in time and money, started to approach a rather ridiculous number.

I was learning a ton, but I noticed I was creating very little of my own work.

The consumption was killing me.

Even when I did create things, it was often because I’d read the latest post from one of my mentors or just finished a recent bestseller. All it lead me to do was create a much lower quality version of the same idea I’d just consumed.

I was stuck in this trap.

And it’s a valley every one of us stumbles into on the path to living our legend.

At some point, if you are going to become a perceived (and real) expert in your field, and build a business around helping people with something you’re genuinely good at, then making this transition is life or death.

Three years ago I proudly read over 60 books in a year. I attended half a dozen seminars and subscribed to at least a couple dozen blogs. I also had nothing tangible to point to as a result. I’d created basically nothing of value.

In the past year I read six books, attended one seminar and currently subscribe to three blogs that I actually read.

In that year, I built Live Your Legend and also created two courses that have turned into my most proud projects of my life. They’ve involved hundreds of pages and hours of content, and I believe they truly are unique to my talents and approach to the world.

They have also helped tens of thousands of people.

Over these past few years I’ve traded hyper-consumption for dedicated creation, and it’s change everything, both for our business and everyone who interacts with it.

The problem is that there is no risk in consuming.

There’s no fear of rejection.

No concern of choosing the wrong path.

And no feeling like an idiot.

Why do you think so many people love going back to school, and many choose to get advanced degrees? Learning is an easy way to justify putting off the big decisions.

Unless we commit to learning by doing…

Don’t get me wrong, I am obsessed with learning.

But there are all kinds of ways to do it.

You can learn by burying yourself in a library, or you can learn by burying yourself in a project.

One gives you ideas, the other gives you experience and results.


When Do You Make the Transition from Consuming Ideas To Creating Value?

The easy answer is “yesterday.”

Sure, in the very beginning of anything you will need to do plenty of work and consuming to get up to speed.

But what few realize is that the best way to become good at something is not to learn everything under the sun.

It’s to do it.

To find other people who need help and help them.

So the real answer is that as soon as you know one person in the world who you’re confident you could help in a massive way using your talents, skills, passions and experiences, then it’s time to start creating.

You still can (and should) consume on a specific and selective basis.

But if you are ever facing a decision to consume or to create, the answer is always to create.

The fun thing is that every one of us faces that decision every single day. Do I respond to emails or help a client? Do I read a blog post or do I write one? Do I take another course or do I start creating the one that I know will change lives?

We all know the answer.

Create first. Then if there’s time to consume, and you really feel like it, then go ahead and consume.

But realize that right this second there is someone out there who would happily pay you for something that’s still stuck inside you.

The sooner you get it out, the sooner you’ll make others’ lives better. And the sooner you’ll have experience and real tangible results.

No amount of consumption could hold a candle next to that.

So in case I wasn’t clear, it is time to start creating.

Now the important question becomes…

What are you going to build first?

Tell us in the comments and let’s make some magic!

If you need me, I’ll be in the jungle in northern Thailand, creating something new for you all,


P.S. Huge hat tip to the ever-talented Liz Seda of A Life on Your Terms, for bringing such a crucial topic to my attention. If you haven’t spent time with Liz’s work yet, I strongly suggest you do. We see the world in a very similar way.

And another thanks to the guy who sold me that coconut ;)

  • Tal

    This post hits the nail on the head for me! I find myself carried away with consuming blogs, videos, lectures, books, articles about how to get started with finding meaningful work, and yet I don’t take the action required to create anything from it. It’s basically like my consuming is a procrastination technique – even though sometimes I learn new things, in most cases I know enough that I can get started without looking into it.

    So for me, first and foremost, I need to get working on my resume and get out there to create work opportunities for myself! This post was a good reminder. Thank you!

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Now we’re talking Tai. Time for action!

  • Joel Zaslofsky

    Scott and Liz,

    This is *exactly* the dilemma I had as a new entrepreneur last year. There was sooo much to learn, so much awareness to be found, that I spent the first month-and-a-half consuming. Blogs, online communities, endless Google searches for what skills and resources I thought I needed at that point in time…and a whole lot more.

    I finally got fed up about spending 90% of my days consuming and created a little challenge for myself. Could I go three days straight while eliminating almost all forms of consumption? So I eliminated reading (books, RSS feeds, email), watching (TEDTalks, TV), listening (podcasts, music, the radio), social events, and even food (yeah, I fasted for three days…I’m a little crazy, I know) for those three days that came to be known as the Continuous Creation Challenge.

    It was one of the happiest three days of my life and incredibly meaningful. It’s the reason Value of Simple exists and the reason I did a five day Continuous Creation Challenge last year and keep getting jazzed when other people take on their own (customized of course). So yes, let’s continue to find reasons to consume less and create more. The minimalist in me shouldn’t need to hear this message over and over, but it’s always inspiring to see someone tackle it from a new perspective.

    Thanks for prompting Scott to write this, Liz!

    • Liz Seda

      Sometimes it’s hard to remember what it was like to be a sorta beginner. That’s why I think it’s so important, people like us who are coming into are coming into our own, because we have a unique perspective and it’s valuable :).

      • Scott Dinsmore

        I have always loved the idea of your Continuous Creation Challenge Joel. Please keep those coming! Maybe we can host one on LYL sometime soon.

      • Tracy

        for sure Liz, and btw you are GREAT!!

  • Peter Wright

    Wonderful post, I have been on a 6 week unsubscribe-from-blogs and purge-email-newsletters blitz for exactly that reason. Yours is one of a handful that have survived. I believe that it’s one of the downsides of the Internet and information overload, it is just too easy (and as you wrote) less risky to stay in a learning mode.

    In the pre-computer age (yes I am a boomer) it took action and effort to get information, like walking or driving to a library, museum or other repository of information. It was just as easy to talk to people while on that journey and take action towards building a viable business.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Wow what an amazing point Peter. It’s wild how difficult it used to be to consume info. That way Im sure you only would consume the most important stuff. Now it’s just too damn easy. It’s like a drug. It seriously is. Kind of scary in fact.

      Glad LYL made the cut btw!

  • Melanie Murrish

    Oh no-I have known for some time that I am doing the above, and just about getting away with it, by telling myself I am filling my brain with usefulness! I really need to be ruthless with the time I spend on the internet/reading self-help books etc. I have two daughters who I home educate, and just this morning the youngest said,”Mammy, I think you are spending too much time on the laptop!” Now for the hard part……..

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Wow that’s a serious wake up call. Can’t wait to see what you do with it Melanie!

  • Karen Sargent

    Ha! I’m definitely in consume mode right now. Have 4 courses going on :) I love learning and since going solo I feel like I’m a kid in a sweetshop with so many exciting possibilities. This post was a good reminder that I should start creating.

    PS Hope you’re enjoying Thailand we’ve just spent 3 months living here – in Pai and Ko Lanta. It’s been wonderful

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Awesome Karen. In Phuket now and heading to Kho Lanta soon. Amazing country!

  • Yongjue Tan

    Thanks Scott and Liz for the article! I have been saying I wanna start a project called ‘The Gifts I See In You’ for almost one year. It is about helping people see their gifts and strengths. Until recently I realised the key is to just do it! So I took action, printed small cards that I use to acknowledge people for their gifts, and gave it to people around me. The more I did it, the more confident I became towards my project. And I realised the fear, doubts , and procrastination I had in the past one year was totally unnecessary.

    Next, I’ll build an FB page and record a promo video for my project!

    • Liz Seda

      We’re going to hold you to that Youngjue…

      • Scott Dinsmore

        Can’t wait to see it! And isn’t it crazy how powerful the momentum can be in either way? Once you start, watch out!

  • Joseph Anthony

    “Do I read a blog post or do I write one?” *Punch to the gut* Thanks Scott. I will write before I read one more thing.

    • Scott Dinsmore


  • Thomas

    Thanks Scott & Liz,

    It’s the fear of putting myself out there and being rejected that makes me cling to the never-ending quest to acquire knowledge and become an “expert” before revealing myself and how little I know about my passion to the world.

    There is also another fear, the fear of realizing that this dream I have may be just that, “a dream” which I’m unable to convert into a way of life that sustains me and those dependent on me.

    I have purchased courses and either not completed them or not taken action on what I’ve learned. I’ve read blogs that inspired yet intimidated me. How could I ever hope to be that knowledgeable, write so much and write that well on any topic?

    Yes, FEAR paralyses me; it suspends me in this loop of continuous preparation and prevents me from committing to living life on my terms. It’s safe to read, write lists, buy courses, plan, plan, plan and do anything to placate my desire to move forward…anything other than actually getting started of course.

    So, what next then? Well, I know I still have lots to learn so I’ll probably continue consuming for a while yet, even if more responsibly. More importantly however, I know I must START and start now….if I suck I’ll just have to learn from it and improve on the go, it’s all part of the learning process right?

    I’m going to start my imperfect blog this week and take it from there.

    Thanks again for the wakeup!

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Hell yes Thomas!! That’s what I’m talking about. You will never be perfectly ready. And if no time is perfect to start then by default, every time is the perfect time!

      The only way to really learn and get experience is to put yourself out there and start testing things out. You should have seen the articles on this site when I first started. Actually you can have a look at them in the archives if you want, although it’s embarassing to have those still live :). But I will never take them down because it’s important to show the progression…

      I had no idea how I could possibly create new and unique things of value, compared to all the “gurus” out there. But as I wrote, created and helped people, I started to find my own voice. I continued to refine it and I still do. But now I have a way at LYL that I feel confident can help people – and that keeps me creating every day.

      The best time to start was yesterday. But the second best is right now :)

  • Jane Robinson

    Yes, yes and YES. Like Tal, this rang true for me as well. There are sooo many self-appointed gurus spouting the same information over and over. I’m going to focus on creating new content and presenting it in new ways. Everyone is Zigging and I want to Zag.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Here’s to the Zag!!

  • mm1

    Ironically, your business model depends on channeling other people’s desire to create into consuming your courses/content. What is it exactly that you “create” again?

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Great point on this and I’m glad you brought it up.

      At LYL as I mentioned in my recent comment above, at we try to do everything in our power to create things that will enhance your ability to create things yourself. For instance, Live Off Your Passion, helps you nail down your natural talents and passions so that you can leverage them in a way to help people in a meaningful way and build a business around it. And Connect with Anyone helps you to surround yourself with the people who allow you to create things on a totally different and much more inspired and powerful level.

      And…our next big project is going to focus purely on helping you all create your best work – in real time. It will be about accountably, making real progress, taking action and getting results. Because without that, nothing else really matters. I cannot wait to share this with you all. It’s going to be so much fun!!

      But all of you please always remember that there is nothing that helps more than just putting your head down and creating something. You don’t need any tools or courses to start doing that right now. Just start. And see what comes of it. That’s what creates the magic!

  • Tracy

    Very Very Very GOOD advise Scott..How you find the time and insight boggles my mind..but so glad you are who you are, and doing what you are doing..Your positive energy the world needs and it has been a BIG inspiration to me as i slowly work toward my own dream, I know i’m going to get there :)..Thank you!

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Thank you Tracy! To be honest, my best work comes from when an idea hits and I just open up my computer and start writing right away – that’s what happened after i got off my last Skype with Liz and she had brought the whole creation topic up.

      Oh and having a 12 hour flight last week didn’t hurt either ;). But I think you’ll find that if you dedicate time each day to creating, you’ll see massive changes in your ability to create useful things. When I dedicated myself to writing at least 500 words a day for a month (inspired by Chris Guillebeau and Chris Brogan at WDS last year), it was crazy how my ideas exploded. And I ended up writing like 1500 words a day on average just due to the momentum. Flow is a crazy powerful thing.

      But realize that for every post you see published, there are 5 or so that never see the light of day!

  • JeanaPSuds

    Oh wow! The first post on my blog was on this very subject ( I was struggling with reading everything I could get my hands on about blogs and it was growing the huge perfectionist monster in me! I finally just gave in an started typing! Thanks for adding to this topic that I’m sure a lot of us are facing right now.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Love it. Will have to check out that post. Very fitting for your first post too :)

  • Jeff B

    Scott, this is rather timely. I went for a trail run yesterday and could think of nothing but ending the research phase and hugely ramping up the creation phase. I love devouring content, watching Ted Talks, and philosophizing over life topics. Yet my value to the world is practical, tangible tools that are a manifestation of all that I’ve learned. Moreover, what we often fail to understand is in creating these tools, we’ll have plenty of content in the form of responses coming in for us to continue growing off of.

    Keep on with the highly germane content.

    You and the wife, keep traveling/living safe and well, amigo!

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Tell me about it man! You have so much to share with the world. I know first hand, as I have benefitted from much of it as your friend. Can’t wait to see more and more of it go live!

  • Cailen Ascher

    This is just what I needed to read — thank you! Over the past few month’s I’ve been transitioning of consuming to creating, but I’m still heavy into the consumption end of things b/c I feel “I don’t know enough yet!” But what you said about if there’s one person you can help, you should start creating, totally shifted my universe. THANK YOU!!!

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Awesome Cailen. The fun thing is that you’ll find that the more you create, the more you’ll create. And the more value you’ll add!

  • Kim

    Have you had a camera in my office?!! This post is so perfect and affects so many people. Thanks for the reminder :)

    • Scott Dinsmore

      ha ha. I promise I don’t, but it’s a great sign when I read something like this from you. That’s our biggest goal – not to spy on our community, but to nail the things you all are most struggling with. Glad it helped!

  • Mike

    I think this is right in the sense that action creates momentum, but you definitely need to have something to offer, and that does require your spending time studying and reading.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Totally agreed Mike. That’s why consuming is a fine place to start and a powerful practice for life, as long as you don’t let it take over all your time. The sooner you start creating, even if it’s crap at first (as it usually starts that way with most anyone), the sooner you start nailing down how to help people. And plus, why not get the crap out of the way early?? :)

  • Stephanie Arsoska

    Guilty as charged! I was going to reply yesterday but I decided to write and send of a guest post instead. First time I have tried to offer a guest post. Thank you Scott and Liz!

    • Scott Dinsmore


  • tereza crump

    wow!! this is one of the most encouraging posts I have read in while. I always choose to create instead of consume when relating to food… maybe because I believe what I can create is better than what I buy at a restaurant or store?? and then for everything else, I just spend my time reading and reading, consuming ideas and dreams, instead of going out and creating my own. Maybe I really need to unsubscribe to all these blogs that clutter my inbox!!! and spend time creating instead of looking at other people’s creations. hmmmm… lots of food for thought.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      I love having this same approach to eating. Never thought of it that way but that’s actually how Chelsea and I go about most meals. Except when traveling of course :)

  • Swediepie

    It’s very true… I’ve had this problem in other parts of my life and consumed information well past the point of turning it all into procrastination. Now I am doing the same thing all over again. I really badly want to do something that will get me closer to my goal of living the mobile lifestye, travel the world and make money online.

    I love coding and think I would really enjoy being a freelance coder. It would at least be a very good start on my journey. I’ve realized though that even though it’s something I enjoy I am not yet at the level where I can start charging for it. (This may be a major limiting belief.) Any tips on how to learn and improve my skills to where I can start charging for it? (Without getting too stuck in the “consumer trap”.)

    • Scott Dinsmore

      The crazy thing is that if you know how to code at all, you probably know enough to help a guy like me who knows nothing. I bet you could already start changing people. The best way to find out is to post your skills on sites like elance and rent a coder. Who knows, someone just might decide to hire you. At the very least, if you want a chance at getting hired, you must have a way for people to hire you. Create those profiles today if you can and then report back to us. There’s no harm in finding out!

      • Swediepie

        I feel bad about taking so long to respond when you took your time to answer me personally. However, there is a good reason for that. That reason is that I didn’t want to come back whining and with nothing to show for it.

        I just made my first $1 (actually more like 90c) doing freelance programming (I now have two clients and one of them is offering recurring work)!

        If it wasn’t for you and for my good friend Kevin Cole @ – who gave me similar advice – I would not have thought this was possible!

        So thank you and keep up the good work! :)

  • Scott Dinsmore

    You know the funny thing is that after writing this I realized it might make a bunch of you decide to unsubscribe to LYL :). We’d hate to see you go but if it’s so that you can start creating what you’ve always had in your head then it’s for a good cause!

    But I promise I do everything I can to compliment and encourage your creating here at LYL than distract from it. As I’m sure you know by now, it’s all about action here!

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Oh and that reminds me – Liz and I have been cooking up something very exciting that I think is going to help us all create a ton more in the coming months. I can’t give any more details yet but I am SO exited about it! More coming in April. But for now, know that the wheels are turning in a big way :)

    • Tracy

      You do Scott, you do a great job..keep it up..and Thank you!!

  • Jenn

    Oh boy…I got called out on this one! Thanks for the reminder, Scott. :)

  • meanttobehappy

    Hey Scott, I generally agree with you on every point. My only warning is that the blogosphere is filled with great amounts of insight and wisdom but also with great amounts of junk. I think some of the reason is that too many people never did what you did: consume enough to know what they are talking about. Those who are just starting out really ought to do a lot of consuming, maybe more consuming than producing. Then, as they become increasingly knowledgeable, start shifting the ratio of consumption to production until, like you, they are producing much more than consuming. If new bloggers start influencing lives before they have matured a bit, the direction they send those who follow them can be down dead-end paths, into traffic and off cliffs. So personally, I’m happy you started off consuming so much. Your expertise is obvious. It may not have been without that foundation.

    • Andrew Highland

      I totally agree. I think the perfect balance is where you’re not using consuming as an excuse not to create and you’re not using your desire to create as an excuse to stop consuming (though the former may be more likely).

      • meanttobehappy

        Perfectly said, Andrew. Thanks for adding to the thought!

  • LolaZabeth

    Wow–this is such an eye-opener. I think I knew that i was guilty of this, but to put a name on it and have it broken down as you’ve done is extremely helpful. Thank you.

  • Clayton Elliott


    It feels like this post was written for me personally lol. I can’t count the amount of courses I’ve consumed and number of blogs / newsletters I subscribe to. I’ve been on an endless consuming spree of information and training for a couple years now. There was a part of me that knew I needed to start creating, but I kept telling myself “I don’t know enough yet. I still need to learn just a little more”. In hindsight, I can see how costly this has been for me, not just in money spent, but in time as well. I’m at the stage now where I know I know more than enough to create value for others just beginning to embark on their journey to discover and live their legend. This post was the kick in the butt reminder I needed to stop consuming and start creating! I too will be unsubscribing from the majority of blogs and newsletters I’m on, but will be staying on LYL for sure! What you share here is so relevant and helpful to me on my quest and I appreciate your very much.

    Thanks Scott and Liz for this share. I’m off to start creating!

    P.S. If you’re in Chiang Mai and have the time, visit Elephant Nature Park I volunteered there for a week when I was in Thailand back in 2011 and it was pure magic to say the least. One of the creations on my list of things I want to build is a “Living with Elephants Coaching Retreat” which was inspired by my experience there. I’ll be hustling to get this trip launched by the winter 2013/2014

    Anyways, have fun!

  • Stephanie

    “Learning is an easy way to justify putting off the big decisions.” -> This one is a bit painful but so true! Haha, you’re right Scott, also for me it’s time to create. Maybe I’m going to put in my agenda blocks to consume and blocks to create.

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  • Barry Mitchell

    It’s like the universe is counseling me. Thanks.

  • Mike Butler

    Scott thank you! I relate so well to this post. I am ready to start building!!

  • [email protected]

    Hi Scott, your article gave me the idea, what I might be doing wrong. In my job I learned and learned the last years to become the biggest expert, but suddenly I realised that I am perceived as a “professor” rather than a “manager”. Maybe your advice is exactly what I should do: Learn less and do more. Thanks Ingo

  • M. Ambassador Bruny

    That was a great post Scott. I was about to read something else, but decided to create instead. I’m about a few days away from a 2 month sabbatical and I’m working on what to create. So many possibilities.

  • Anatoly

    I am starting now with writing my first apps for iOS/Mac devices, and I plan to start a personal development club at my university from this Fall, and create a place to share my creativity with the world (codename “my creativity portal”)

  • Ilina

    This is an article that I think I have projected into my life, a wake up call telling me it is time to act on my organic farming project. Thank you, Scott. You are my materialized energy. It was so valuable for me to read this. Totally appreciated! send all my positive energy :)

  • Ryan Saplan

    I finally read this email / blog lost today. I think its so amazingly coincidental that I read your emails right when I need them most. Thanks Scott. “Learn by creating.”

  • Susan K. Osborne

    This is such a valuable post and a great eye opener for me. I consume ALOT and noticed it really does keep me from actually creating. It’s safe. But much of what I consume is really a distraction from doing the real work.

    I also noticed the more I read and learn, the more confused and overwhelmed I feel about my own ideas. Even coaching has done this (although I’m a big believer in having a coach). But sometimes all of the outside “noise” really makes it hard to listen to my inner voice. I start to lose MY vision.

    Time to consume less and create more. Thanks for saying it out loud :).

  • Hilary McLean

    I love this post, and the one preceding it. I am in graduate school, embarking on the thesis/capstone project adventure and trying to leverage it so in the end I have something I can use to help people. These posts are helping me to clarify and get started. Enough research! The line that particularly resonated with me is “But what few realize is that the best way to become good at something is not to learn everything under the sun. It’s to do it.” I keep thinking of excuses why I am not qualified to help anyone. So the idea that I become qualified by DOING IT is awesome. Thank you!

  • Amy Lambert

    This is exactly the rocket up my ass post I needed to read today. I read A LOT, and I’m at the point now where I feel like I’ve been talking about doing things for a long time, and I’ve kind of bored myself now, I dread to think what my friends and family think. So here goes… normally Id say don’t hold me to it, but this time I’m really hoping people do… I am going to build a website that will help people lead happier and healthier lives through helping them surf and travel more… And just in case anyone wants to read where I’m up to right now you can visit

    Not very far along after two years, but a start at least. Thank you Scott for reminding me that knowledge is useless unless you do something with it.

  • Andy Knolla

    Great point Scott…I’ve had a nagging feeling that I need to do just what you are encouraging. I agree with the comment below, that building a foundation of knowledge and familiarity is important, but I think that it’s never too early to start creating SOMETHING…even if nobody will see it. Personally, I’m not ready to launch the idea that I have in my head, but I know deep down that I need to be writing, taking pictures, and even simply getting more involved in the online conversations, as opposed to just silently trolling the blogosphere! I just recently found your site btw, and I’m really digging it. I’ll be sure to focus more on creation, but I think LYL is one site that I’ll continue to make time for.


  • cathy

    hey scott,

    right on target with these posts over the past few weeks as i am actually in a fresh new attempt at starting a venture in a field i’ve had nothing to do with up to now, but it would help others in Romania heaps-worth..

    however, i also rather agree with meanttobehappy, you need anyone who’s creating to serve as opposed to creating-to-pump-my-ego-and-show-off to first get their act a bit straight, their intentions pure and their mind clear and their knowledge sorted out, even if it’s just knowledge of their own life experience.. stories are the strongest form of influence in writing, this is why most major religious figures are told to have used the power of story-telling to teach.. you can’t argue with a story, it’s a story, no1 telling you to do anything, the power of personal example.. and that’s why it;s really important to either be quite objective or really note what is corellation and causation in a story, or you’ll be sending the possibly impressionable reader hunting for unicorns..

    anyhow that’s not why i replied.. i was just wondering.. if everyone took on this create as opposed to consume approach, who would be subsidizing the creation? i guess the premises for generalizing this approach would be that people’s creative thrive would spread over a vast field of work..

    as for consuming as a first step.. yeah, sure you need to know when to stop, but generally we learn ideas, but we can also learn from others’ experience – case study and historical style – and I think that would be quite useful in order to skip taking some hurdles head on by yourself.. otherwise i guess we’d just be repeating historical mistakes and that’s just being human, but still expanding in knowledge, love and unity as a society is building on the efforts and experience of our predecessors – or correcting where the case.. just my two piece

    n-joy northern thailand. If you’re heading for Chiang Mai, go to the writer’s weekly meet’up at the writer’s wine pub and bar – the most awesome ppl meet up there, ask for lisa keary, she’s a treat.. and also, the DAA center is worth a visit :) founded by fellow TED speakers and ppl who’ve got their hearts in the right place :)

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  • Sidney Owsley

    Hi Scott, this is a great post. I have just started my blog and I am in this consumption stage of learning new things. Your post serves as a reminder that we must make the transition from consumption to creation and that we do not need to know everything to get started. When you have consumed a reasonable amount of knowledge on a subject its time to start creating, make some mistakes, learn and repeat the process.

  • Jade Craven

    With me, it’s a cycle. I go through a period of intense learning and then a period of intense creation. I think the learning period is necessary. I believe that once you get to a point, you will stop and dive back into the learning as you pursue a new level of growth.

    Having said that, I don’t read that many blogs anymore. Except for some ultra specific digital marketing ones (Mobile commerce daily, real time report) as the immersion is necessary for me to understand a new field.

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  • Yaron

    I am almost there!!!!!! Brilliant. Thanks Scott!

  • Sarah Russell

    I think there has to be a balance. As a writer, consuming new content is a vital part of staying current in my field and expanding the number of topics I’m able to integrate into the content I write. But as a blogger, consumption can become a crutch that ties up time that would be better spent actually producing.

    So far, my only solution is to set aside a few days a week to catch up on blogs and read articles. On the other days, I hang out inside my own head, synthesizing what I’ve read and using it to inform my own work. It’s not a perfect system, but it does keep me from wasting too much time!

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