The Power of Learning

Laptop in classic libraryPeople who earn hundred times your salary aren’t hundred times smarter or more productive. The only difference between you and them is that they know something you don’t. Then it is our responsibility to learn that “something”. You have to find out what successful people know that has made them successful. The only way to do that is to get educated on the topic.

Go into the home of any self-made person, and chances are you’ll find a library containing books on business, success, and wealth creation. The question you need to ask yourself is: Which came first? The library or the luxurious house? I’ll bet it wasn’t the house. If you study successful people, you’ll discover that they all have one secret: learning. A commitment to learning has given them the knowledge and tools to succeed. It will do the same for you.

Cindy, one of my coaching clients, works as a management consultant, making workplace systems more productive. Every year she spends $10,000 on training courses. She spends another $3,000 on business books and newsletters. It costs her a lot of money, time, and energy, but in three years her consulting rate has gone from $300 to $2,000 a day. And she has gone from being a contract consultant to running her own top-drawer agency. That’s the power of learning.

…when you keep learning, success builds on success. With this knowledge you can, 1) maximise your opportunities and minimize your mistakes, 2) create opportunities you otherwise may not have seen, 3) do things you couldn’t do before.

When you think about succeeding, do you think of working harder, meeting people, or having more capital? Or do you think about sitting down and reading a book, or finding out about someone else’s business? It seems that the common idea of success doesn’t include learning and too often that’s where people go wrong.

Learn no matter what

In surveys conducted, it was discovered that the average businessperson reads just one business book per year. And about 95 percent of all business books bought are not read past the first chapter. It’s not just books that are the problem – fewer than 12 percent of business people attend any training programs in a given year.

So where do people get their sources of inspiration and new ideas? The short answer is that in many cases they don’t. They go on doing exactly what they did yesterday, hoping that things will miraculously get better. This behaviour explains what makes average businesspeople average. You also don’t need to go to seminars and formal courses to learn, although they are great for some types of education. If you’re observant, interested, and committed to learning, an event, person, or situation is a potential teacher . . .  become rich in learning and in experiences, and then all the other riches will follow.

Enemies of learning

The two biggest enemies of learning are comfort and arrogance – either will cripple your desire to learn and grow. And when you don’t learn and grow, success will not only be hard to come by, it will positively avoid you. This is true not only for people who need to educate themselves, but also for those responsible for educating their staff. I have worked with business owners who’ve complained that their salespeople weren’t doing the job, but who didn’t give those salespeople any training or support to develop their skills. They felt they knew enough. Through their arrogance they closed off their own development and that of their staff. The only way for their business to go is down.

Then there are those who feel that even if they don’t know it all, they’re all right. They don’t, or won’t make the effort to learn because they’re too comfortable. Without the pressure of losses, or obvious failures, they won’t do anything different. This is a certain path to lifelong mediocrity…put time aside to learn something new. Read business books, read summaries, read business magazines, [read autobiographies], listen to tapes of successful people, watch business videos, attend seminars, go out and see what your competitors are doing. Get educated – every day. Personal development is your guaranteed path to success, and each step you take along that path is something that can never be taken away from you.

An investment in knowledge always pays the most dividends.

Culled from ‘What Rich People Know & Desperately Want to Keep Secret’ by Brian Sher




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