I read somewhere that for many professionals that have worked in a field for 20 years they actually don’t have 20 years of experience but one year of experience that they’ve lived for 20. It’s like the movie “Ground Hog Day”. They just keep living the same year over and over again because they don’t get additional training.
I think that could have worked for people in the past. Things really didn’t change that much in business for a really long time. Yes, we got computers, yes, the internet became available and email started to be the way people sent business communications, but I knew many in business that didn’t adopt these things for a really long time and were able to continue to make a fine living and maintain their status.
The game has changed though. In fact, the game is rapidly changing in almost any industry. It has certainly changed in the way that consumers get and exchange information about businesses that they are thinking about doing business with. I had a top level marketing executive tell me two years ago that “Facebook is a fad”. He was in charge of millions of dollars of company’s marketing and advertising spending. I wondered, at the time, if he would be able to hold onto that ideal and maintain his level of billing in the future.
Hey, 10 years from now we might look back and think that Facebook was a fad, and we might review things in the future and see that Twitter didn’t stand the test of time, or that network TV was more able to weather the changes and was still a significant tool to reach many consumers with new marketing messages. Who really knows? No one.
Here’s what I’m positive about. People want control. They really like to have control of the content that they consume and when they consume it. People dig the fact that they don’t have to be somewhere at a specific time to watch their favorite program. They love that freedom. They love to choose how and when they will interact with things. The freedom that the consumer is getting is popular and since it’s an ideal that is executed through tools, the tools may change but the ideal is here to stay.
So, here’s my message. Learn. If you don’t think you have time to read about some of the changes that are happening your industry or marketplace, then get an iPod and download some books or Podcasts and when you’re getting ready in the morning or driving or have any time where you can listen to something, listen.
If you don’t think you have time to learn, I’m just going to tell you straight up – you’re wrong. That may sound harsh but you need to hear it. Life-long learning is so mission critical to small business owners and professionals that you have to find the time. 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there – it adds up. You can put books everywhere. You’d be surprised how much material you can go through in a year at 10 minutes at a time. You can reach large volumes of text in that amount of time, over time.
Let the excuses be gone and figure out a strategy to have consumed pertinent information that can help you grow yourself and your business by year’s end. I want you to be successful and this success accelerator tip is one of the most important to be sure that you are.