Should you stop following the News?

So, its been just over 6 months since we completed sailing around the world. One of the things I reflect on was that for the 2 years ago, we were virtually in a news black out. When you’re at sea, you just don’t get any news unless you pick it up on the long range radio or someone emails you specifically to share anything. Did we lose out from it? I don’t think so at all. I don’t think there was any negative impact, only a positive impact from having a clear headspace.

I met last week with the Editor of a magazine who I knew from my Trovus days. She reminded me of an article that I wrote for one of my newsletters back in August 2011 on why I try not to listen or read the news.

As I found and re-read the article I realised that for the past 6 months I’ve become re-addicted to news. Whether it’s via a Facebook feed or online news sites, I’m regularly connected. Granted we have an exceptional time at the moment with President Trump and the regular news feed coming from America.

I’ve taken it as a note to myself to switch off the news and to follow the advice that I gave before. My full article from August 2011 is here:

I try not to listen or read the news any more and here’s why it helps our business

I used to think that it was essential that I was always up-to-date with the latest news. 

A year or so ago, I stopped, I realised it wasn’t good for me any longer. The Media has become incredibly and unremittingly negative. Perhaps it always had been, but I’d never noticed before. When you run a business I believe it’s important to have a positive outlook, be willing to invest and be confident about taking risks. Entrepreneurs and business owners can’t be negative or they wouldn’t be able to move forward.

If you listened to what the media pumped into your head every day about the 

economy, you’d give up and go hide under a rock. So I decided to stop listening to and watching the news. It’s about 6 months, maybe a year, since 

I last spent any of my valuable time consuming the news. I get enough news skimming the headlines at the newspaper stands or hearing the highlights discussed in the office.

Do I feel cut off from the world? Has my business suffered? No. I haven’t missed out on anything important. It seems that it’s the same old stories repackaged in different situations, month after month, year after year. Of course it’s still important for me to keep abreast of the coming marketing and 

business development trends so I do read extensively around this area and attend regular industry conferences & events; and that works for me because, thankfully the marketing & business development sector has a culture that doesn’t do negative.

Aside from the time that I have saved it really has made me feel more positive and entrepreneurial. So a news blackout has helped my business. We’ve invested and hired against the market trend. We’ve hired a business development director invested more in our systems, improved our processes, and are conducting a series of research work into benchmarking reports and C Level views on marketing trends and challenges.

So how do I find out what is happening in the market to help me make business decisions. Simple – I listen to my customers. I ask how their businesses are going, what their concerns are and what their plans are. I hear it without any filtering or ideological media bias built in – business owners are a very practical breed.

So my advice is, stop listening to the news – it’s very refreshing

Caspar’s story is simply inspirational!

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Caspar address an audience of over 800 technology channel people in Cannes, France. A mix of senior executives, managers, sales, marketing and techies, of which 3/4 were from outside the UK so English wasn’t their first language.

Despite the language barrier Caspar had them engaged for over an hour telling his story with purpose, vulnerability, humour and humility, making it relevant and demonstrating how the biggest of challenges can be overcome.

It just goes to demonstrate the power of a great story. Highly recommended for any business looking to grow its leadership teams
— Mark Waite - Managing Director at Tech PR & Marketing consultancy, Cohesive Communications