JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

February 17, 2022

Have you ever heard the phrase, but we’ve always done it that way? I have.

It happens in client meetings. It happens in family systems. And it happens in politics. I get it. We’re humans. Once we learn to do things in a certain way, our brains become hardwired. And if we’d like to do it differently, we have to go through a process of unlearning. And that’s difficult! Who has time for that?

Case in Point

Once upon a time, there was a company that spent more than $3,000 per month on Google AdWords. While the number of clicks they received was high, it was very difficult to see which clicks were converted into real-life, paying clients. They did their due diligence and added a question to their intake form requesting the information, but most folks left it blank. They didn’t know if there was a return on their investment, but they were too scared to find out.

It makes sense after all. They learned early on that the money spent on Google AdWords brought them clicks. They wanted clicks. Spending more money meant more clicks. It became part of who they were as an organization. It was difficult to unlearn the behavior. And they didn’t want to give up the numbers.

Eventually their new business opportunities dried up, no matter how much money they sent to Google. The clicks kept increasing, but their bottom line was decreasing. Sure, their Google AdWords spend wasn’t the only thing that drove them out of business. But their philosophy of depending on the undependable was lethal.

Wisdom Over Knowledge

As the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu was quoted as saying, “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

If we want to be wise, we need to give into unlearning our bad habits. It might make us scared. It might make us upset. It may even feel crippling to imagine life without our long-held assumptions. But at some point, it’ll click.

And that one click will be worth more than all the clicks you could buy from Google.