If you are completely happy with your results in life, you probably don’t need to read this post. Although, would you be here reading this if that were the case? My guess is….probably not.
We all have areas where we could improve…..even if things are going really well!
It is one of my commitments to be in a continual state of life-long learning….not that my way makes it correct, but if you do the research – most successful people care very much about education.
I’m not just talking about college degrees either. I’ve known people with MBAs who were having a really hard time in life and then there are people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who don’t have degrees at all and have made a tremendous life for themselves. Yes, there’s more to life than college degrees. (But don’t tell corporate America I said that. I’m sure there would be an uprising of disagreement.)
Now, I’m not saying college degrees aren’t a great thing to have, so don’t prepare for the stonings just yet! All I’m saying is it’s just one way out of many to continue to grow and expand life.
What are some others?
So glad you asked! :o)
The secrets of the world are locked up in books!
Successful leaders are avid readers! When’s the last time you looked for a book on pretty much any topic? No matter what the subject matter, I’d be shocked if you didn’t find at least one. (As a matter of fact, if you’ve ever found a topic that didn’t have a book, let me know….I’d be interested to hear about it!) It’s amazing how much information can be found in text and between Amazon, Google, Barnes and Noble and libraries!
Go for an upgrade.
Not into reading? No worries! There’s something for you too – YouTube! I continue to marvel at how much instruction you can find on YouTube. (Yes, there are other video sharing platforms available….YouTube just happens to be my “go to.”) Why, just today I was at the local Habitat for Humanity Restore and someone had donated a refrigerator. Only problem was – the doors and hardware had been removed! Now, I know you may be saying “So what? That’s easy!” However, the two other young volunteers who received the distinct pleasure of trying to put it all back together were having difficulties. So, they turned to YouTube and had it together in no time! I’ve found videos from how to setup a website to changing the floating device “thingy” in the toilet! There’s something for everyone!
Study “the greats.”
One of my mentors suggested at one point that I study the lives of the successful individuals who have gone before. In fact, I believe he learned this pearl of wisdom from Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich! Have you ever taken the time to do this? Wow, what an eye opener! So many successful entrepreneurs, actors/actresses, business folks and politicians have come from very humble beginnings. Studying their lives has not only taught me what a little committed decision making and determined action will do – it’s also shown me I’m not crazy to think it’s possible!
Gather with others who have a thirst for knowledge.
When you put a bunch of people who continually educate themselves all in a room together, guess what happens? They mingle…..and share ideas….and talk about their successes and failures…..and while all that is going on you are learning through their experiences. I absolutely LOVE being surrounded by positive, like-minded, helpful people and my favorite places to do this is at personal growth and educational seminars. Where could you go to be in presence with those who share similar personal or professional goals?
Accepting that sometimes, you don’t have all of the answers.
That’s right! You’re smart – I know you are. And the one thing that I feel indicates intelligence is the ability to admit we don’t know everything. You may have the highest IQ on record (I just read tonight that Bill Gates passed his SATs with a score of 1590 out of 1600!) but there is someone else who has had different experiences in life, which may give them an edge. Be willing to accept feedback and an alternate perspective and you may just learn exactly what you need to move forward. Heck, even my ten year old is getting smarter than me in some areas! (But I will never admit that I said that.)
Prepare for, recognize and accept opportunities when they knock.
I have a friend who wanted to work in the music business and when he was finally given the opportunity…..he blew it! His first gig as a sound engineer was a disaster! However, after his employer gave him a second chance, he decided to keep a low profile. He stood in the back and took it all in while others ran the sound board. The experience infused in him the insatiable desire to master the complicated electronics….and he found a way to do that. Patiently, he waited for the day when he could showcase his newly developed skills until that day finally came. He’s now a very successful sound engineer working with music legends and on top of all of that, he’s married to a pop star!
Bring the gang with you!
It’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) to become wildly successful all by yourself. We need others to teach us the ropes, guide us, give us feedback, and support us. Sometimes, their education can be just as important as our own. If you have at least one employee, consultant, business partner, or any number of other “supporting roles” in your life, take to time to invest in their education as well.
This is extremely important for corporations and businesses. I see so many training budget dollars go down the drain simply because they’re not utilized. It’s a tragedy! In my opinion, investing in the management team to improve leadership skills is one of the most important things a company can do. Leadership isn’t just getting things done. It’s also about people and providing the encouragement, empowerment, life skills and sense of belonging and contribution that is so extremely important. The compensation package is one of the last reasons on the list of why employees leave a workplace. Feeling valued and having good relationships with the people surrounding them makes up the majority of the list. Think about all of the time and productivity required (which, of course translates into dollars) in training new employees and bringing them up to speed!
Learning to treat our employees in such a way that it increases their self worth and gives them a sense of belonging and meaningful contribution is sure to alter the course of our success in business.
In fact, I’d like to help you with this, if you’re interested! Business coaching is just one piece of what I enjoy doing – especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs! I guess there’s just a special place in my heart for those who step out into the world to take risks and invest in themselves. It takes a lot of guts and I know what it feels like to try to build a business and keep it going. If you’re interested in getting to know me further and how I can help you and your business, please feel free to reach out to me through my Contact page.