Learning is vital for success. If you want to grow your business, then you need to learn how to learn efficiently.
Ever since I can remember, I have always been a gifted student. I was naturally able to process and work faster than my peers. This made me arrogant and prideful. That also made me hesitant to ask for help. Even though I would finish the work faster than others, I was not maximizing my full potential.
I still remember the day when my dad had this conversation with me which forever changed the way how I looked at learning. He told me:
Some day you will understand that time is your most valuable asset and experience is the best teacher you can get. However most people end up trading one for the other. Meaning they learn from experience (mistakes) as time goes by. However if you want to be successful, then you need to learn from experience without losing your most valuable asset.
My 8 year old brain was puzzled for a few minutes trying to process all this. Finally, when I couldn’t figure it out, I got frustrated and left. But the fact that I couldn’t figure it out kept bothering me. After much thinking, the next day I asked my dad, how can I be successful? His response was “just like that”.
The little light bulb in my head turned on. All that time, he was just trying to get me to ask for help. If I had asked him for help earlier, then I would’ve saved a whole day.
That was an important lesson I learned. From that day onward, I was never hesitant to ask for help.
Learn to Learn From Experience
As I started my entrepreneurship journey, I quickly learned that just asking for help was not enough. Knowing how to ask and who to ask played an equally important role.
If you want to be an efficient learner and want to grow fast, then you need to find mentors. Someone who is experienced and has done what you want to do. This will allow you to learn from their mistakes and avoid making the same ones. This doesn’t mean that you won’t make new mistakes, but it will definitely give you a head start.
So how do you find these mentors? You can always do research, or you can ask your existing network.
Over the years, I’ve been very lucky to establish such a great group of friends and contacts who have made countless introductions. You can ask friends to make introductions when appropriate. LinkedIn is very useful for that.
Another great service is Clarity (founded by my friend Dan Martell). It helps you connect with other entrepreneurs who have done it before. Sure you might have to pay for some, but if it helps you make faster and better decisions, then its totally worth it.
Identifying the When is Important
One thing I learnt from experience is identifying when to ask for help can save you $25,000 or probably more depending on your case.
We were working on a client project that was coming close to the deadline. My employee who was working on it came to me and said that this cannot be done in the given time period. When I asked him when did he know, he said a few days ago. My response was then why didn’t you ask me when you first knew. Long story short, we lost the client.
From that point onward, I’ve instilled a when did you first know culture within our company. While I encourage problem solving, I want everyone to communicate and utilize the resources at hand.
Take Action Now
Do you have a mentor or a mastermind? If not, then find one. Can’t find a mastermind? Then create one. Find a group of like-minded people and learn from each other’s experiences.
What are you doing to learn and grow your business? Share your comments below.