Industry insights. And other brain fuel!

Get J2 updates delivered straight to your inbox!

Sign up to get the weekly Friday Food for Thought email & the quarterly PULSE email.

Sign Up For Updates!

“I Don’t Know”

Business Analyst It

I have been writing the FFfT blog for about 20 months now, which means I’ve written nearly 100 entries. Since I’ve started, the distribution list has grown significantly, as has the variety of topics. I get asked on a regular basis what I’ll write about next. My answer generally is, “I don’t know.” I have been saying that more often than I probably realize, and it got me wondering what folks thought about that answer from me. Is “I don’t know” an acceptable answer? Does not knowing what’s next at any given moment mean impending doom for the blog?

We rely on our leaders and experts and even sometimes parents to have the answers when we ask for them. That’s a lot of pressure to put on someone. Combine that expectation with living in the era of instant access to information (Google, Siri, Alexa), and “I don’t know” seems like a crappy answer. But is it really?

When I say, “I don’t know what I’ll write about just yet,” the person I am having the conversation with usually offers to help; either by giving me suggestions, by offering to write one, or by sending me articles that may inspire me. It’s often that some combination of this feedback makes its way into my writing in some form or another.

In addition to the help I get, a few other things happen. Saying “I don’t know just yet” shows that I place a great deal of thought into what I want to convey (this goes for more than just the blog) and I am not quick to jump to an answer. I believe that admitting when you really don’t have an answer, adds a level of credibility and respect. Besides, who wants to be labeled a know-it-all?

“Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you.” —Eckhart Tolle

Have a great weekend.



About Friday Food for Thought (FFfT)

I frequently attend conferences and retreats on entrepreneurship and leadership and while I am away, the J2 team picks up the slack, allowing me to learn to be better at what I do. I wanted to share what I was learning with my team, so I created the weekly FFfT emails in November of 2015 and have been writing them ever since.

Before long, the J2 staff began sharing the FFfT emails with their friends and family and now other leaders have asked to be included, which led to the creation of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy!