Common Sense From 221-B Baker Street

Well, the 2nd Annual Sherlock Holmes Film Festival and Potluck Soiree went off Saturday night without a hitch.

As co-founder of our local Sherlock Holmes society, I’ve held these potlucks at my house for three consecutive years now.

The first year was a “game night,” and for the past two, we’ve spent the evening watching movies while we pig out.

But we don’t watch your everyday Sherlock mysteries starring Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett. We watch obscure stuff.

Saturday, it was Priklyucheniya Sherloka Kholmsa I Doktora Vatsona  (“The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson”), a three-hour 1980 USSR television miniseries starring Vasily Borisovich Livanov as Sherlock Holmes and Vitaly Mefodyevich Solomin as Watson.

As you’d expect, a Soviet Russian interpretation of Holmes and Watson has its share of odd moments. Which made the evening all the more fun for us diehard Sherlockians.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories.

There’s actually a lot of valuable advice for small business owners and internet marketers in those old tales. (Surprise!)

For example, early in Watson’s friendship with Holmes, round about the time of the Drebber murder in Lauriston Gardens, the doctor was shocked by the great detective’s ignorance of some very commonplace facts.

Replied Holmes: “There comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

Boy, ain’t that the case!

Before I ever launched into a business of my own, I read everything I could get my hands on, online and offline. I listened to every audio tape, CD, and podcast available. I watched videos up the wahzoo.

I was a voracious info junkie!

Problem, though, was that I couldn’t get started on a single business project.

I didn’t have time to, because I was too busy cramming into my head every last tidbit of business knowledge I could find.

I devoured so much learnin’ — much of it contradictory — that I didn’t know where to begin.

I even forgot some of the really good how-to to make room in my brainpan for new how-to.

Can you relate?

If your email inbox looks like mine, I don’t have to tell you we live in an age of information overload. So much so that it often cripples our ability to get things done…or even started.

So what’s the solution?

Maybe we should follow the counsel of Sherlock Holmes and be more careful “not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

Maybe we should be more judicious about selecting the knowledge we absolutely need to get started and keep moving forward.

Maybe we need to perform mental “spring cleanings” all year round.

Good idea?

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