61: Data over instinct? Instinct over years of experience?

Today for our 61st episode, I wanted to talk about a touchy subject, and a subject that I don’t know if I have the answer. It’s about when you know you should trust your instincts, when you should seek out more data, and the role of “years” of experience in this whole thing.

Let’s start with an observation from some upcoming podcast interviews with entrepreneurs.

Years of experience mean almost nothing. Click to Tweet

While I was batching up future podcast episodes, at least two of the interviews talked about their drive for starting their own business.

Part of their drive came from sentiment like this (and I’m paraphrasing): “I felt like while I was accumulating years of experience, I kept on having the same two years of experience over and over. I wasn’t growing at the level I felt I was capable.”

And once they jumped out on their own? They probably gained more experience in those first 6 months of entrepreneurship than several years at almost any job.

Not all experiences are the same. Click to Tweet

On the other hand, there is a lot of value in being around for a long time, if you embrace it. What’s old is new again.

The number of cycles you experience enhances your instincts

Years are not a great measure of experience. But the number of cycles you survive is incredibly important.

You can get cycles and be young. I had more cycles in my 20’s than many people get over an entire career with a single employer. I had more exposure. Experienced more uncertainty. More trial and error.

Doing the same thing the same way for years is not a badge of honor. To an entrepreneur, it’s a sign of weakness.

Going through cycles, evolving, learning. That is about as sexy as it gets. Today’s episode gets to the reasoning behind this position, and goes so much more beyond that. So be sure to give it a listen!

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About the Author

Jeff Sauer is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker and Teacher based out of a suitcase somewhere in the world. Formerly of Minneapolis, MN and San Francisco, CA.