Advice is a tricky thing, especially when dispensed en masse.
The answer to most things, if we’re being honest, is it depends.
There are certainly principles that are near universal, and I try to stick with them as much as possible around here, while showing how those basic principles can be applied in a new and quickly evolving medium.
Aaron Wall’s recent confessional post about advice got me thinking about this topic a bit more than usual. In reality, everyone’s situation is different, and what works for me might not work for you when it comes down to the nitty-gritty details.
Now, of course this truism won’t stop all the opportunists with their Gobbledygook Manifestos telling you that the entire world has turned upside down thanks to social media. And of course, only they have the high-priced new ideas you so desperately need to avoid going out of business.
During Web 1.0, the purveyors of Gobbledygook tried to convince us that e-commerce altered the fundamental rules of economics.
I think you know how that turned out.
This time, they’ll try to convince you that technology has altered human nature.
If you’re inclined to believe that, bookmark this post and come back to it in a few years so you can tell me I was right.
The truth is, most so-called “new” business ideas suck, and only distract you from the fundamentals that lead to success. Much of what you need to know has been around for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Whether it be Plato or Aristotle, or simply copywriting techniques that have been around for a century or more, you’re often better off looking to the past for the fundamentals to apply to the ever-shifting present. And people who give advice based on applying the timeless in new ways are probably a safer bet than the “everything’s different” hucksters.
- What can Socrates teach you about copywriting?
- Why is Alexander the Great a Sales Role Model?
- Was Isocrates the World’s First Blogger?
- Who Was America’s First Blogger?
- Would Voltaire Start a Wiki?
- How Can a Goethe Novel Help You Build Buzz?
- What Can Christopher Columbus Teach You About Marketing?
A few years ago, Robert Hagstrom published a great book called Investing: The Last Liberal Art . The book encourages investors who want to better understand markets to study biology, economics, mathematics, philosophy, physics, psychology, and literature, rather than focusing only on technical analysis.
But that’s just my advice. Take it for what it’s worth.
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