The Information - Action Cycle

How the "Information - Action" Cycle works

The Information - Action Cycle
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For more than 10 years I wanted to build something of my own. But I just couldn't do it, I couldn't even ship a side hustle.
But in the last 3 years I've shipped so much stuff it's crazy!
It's almost unbelievable.
And the biggest reason for my shipping momentum has been the Information Action Cycle.
I realized that the reason why I wasn't taking any action for 10 years was lack of information.
I was waiting for something all the time.
The perfect time, the perfect opportunity, the perfect piece of knowledge that will help me take the right action.
But that "perfect" something never came.
And I kept waiting.
Until one day I said to myself - "screw it, I'll have to figure this out myself" and I started taking action.
It began with a simple Substack newsletter more than 3 years ago. That newsletter itself hasn't grown very fast, but the mere act of sending it out every week has taught me everything I know about making a living online.
Action has led me to some invaluable information.
Now I've started to see Action and Information as Chicken and Egg in business.
One comes from the other, and a virtuous cycle starts.
But until it doesn't start, we feel paralyzed. Many people call this analysis paralysis.
So you buy every course and book out there, you consume every piece of content, but never take action on any of it.
You feel stuck.
The only way to get out of it, is to take some action, any action 🤷
You see - all action gives you information.
So for example, when you launch a product, you get information on -
  • Traffic on your site
  • Drop off points in your funnel
  • Feedback from users
You can use this information to improve your next action - your next product/feature/strategy.
Which improves your business overall.
But when you don't take action. You have no information. And without information, you're living in the dark. You don't know what works and what doesn't. You try to solve this by gathering 2nd and 3rd hand information.
So you read newsletters, blogs, threads, books, courses.
You think some day you will have all the information, and you will be prepared to take action.
But here's the harsh truth -
You will never have perfect information.
Entrepreneurship is a game of taking action on imperfect information, and gathering 1st hand info.
Beyond a point, 2nd hand info isn't going to help you improve your business. Only 1st hand info can.
And for that you need to take action.
So if you're stuck, find a way to get first hand info -
  • Send your first newsletter
  • Launch your first product
  • Write your first thread
Ship stuff.
This tiny action will give you the information you need to make your next action better.
I was just reflecting on how the information-action cycle has worked well for me, and I ended up creating a tiny Notion table to capture it. Here's what it looks like -
notion image

This was so much fun, I duplicated this table and ran it again in the context of my 25in25 challenge.
notion image

I'm going to fill this with the information I get while doing the challenge, and it will inform the next actions I take.
It's not very sophisticated, but it gets your mind running.
So if you want, you can grab this Notion template here.
Or you can do this exercise for yourself on a piece of paper or in a Google sheet. Just write down what information you have right now, and what's the most logical action you're going to take based on that info.
And then keep going.
Great way to build momentum.
It's so simple, it's silly. But think about it. You will never have perfect information, because you cannot see the future. At every point you have to work with imperfect information and find your path along the way.
This is the best framework I've found to get myself moving and shipping stuff.
And keep me out of a rut.
Hope this help you as well.
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Eternally Curious. Writing, Learning, Building in Public. Writing about Ideas + Inspiration + Insights for creators, solopreneurs and indie hackers | Simple tips and frameworks to help you build a sustainable solo business

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