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You Know You Don’t Know

Recently, when the Pope was asked about the issue of gays in the Catholic Church, his response was:  “Who am I to judge?”

The Dali Lama, one of the great spiritual leaders of our age, is known to use “I don’t know” as a constant refrain.

You might expect these men to judge and know things (almost everything) with certainty.  Instead, they humbly accept that they don’t know everything, and even from their position of prominence, shouldn’t judge others.

If the Pope and Dali Lama can reconcile this as they respond to world affairs, you can deal with it in your ecommece marketing.

A piece of advice:  take it easy on yourself.  Not knowing what you’re doing is a normal, reasonable position in our complex world.  Today, knowing how to change the oil in your car or use a phone is involved and complicated.  There is no way you can know everything about how to market online, or how to understand the needs of the diverse individuals you’re trying to reach.

In fact, there is tremendous strength in knowing what you don’t know.  If gives you the parameters to test and find verifiable answers.  It gives you the flexibility to move through trial and error.  If gives you a basis for making modifications and improvements.

We are all in the same proverbial boat today.  It’s a complex world where most things are out of our control.  Living with simplicity gets trapped in contradiction, because keeping things simple is itself a complex effort.

The only way to be successful at ecommerce marketing is to let go of the idea that you can know or control everything.  Your plans won’t work out as you planned.  There is no set design, no algorithmic answer.  Consumers are emotional and unpredictable.

But that doesn’t mean you won’t make money.  Ecommerce is a gamble, but every good gambler knows it a matter of playing the odds.  Know as much as you can.  Reserve judgement and control your personal bias.  Use intuition tempered with facts.

And relax.  Nobody knows everything.  The first step towards success is knowing it.