Want to be Successful? Then Learn to Learn From Experience

Learn to Learn from Experience
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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.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “Want to be Successful? Then Learn to Learn From Experience

  1. Syed,

    You rock! Thank you for this great post. Obviously I believe the best advice you can get is from someone who’s been in your shoes before.

    It turns out that if you’re working on something you’re passionate about, others can feel it and they’ll want to help you (as long as you actually DO something with it).

    You’re post was spot on.

    Great stuff.

    Dan
    CEO/Founder of http://clarity.fm
    http://twitter.com/danmartell

  2. Hi,

    If we were sat in a room with 1000 people right now I bet 99.9% of them have at some time done exactly what you’ve been talking about and have tried to re-invent the wheel at some stage of their lives.

    Many of us are still in the old way of thinking.

    Thinking you have to go through years of struggling before reaching your goals.

    This is not the case these days it’s all out there waiting for you to tap into.

    Thanks and what a great post.

    Gavin

  3. Hey Syed

    That’s an impressive post. Well People learn from experience. Experience come from work.
    So it is important to take initiative. On other hand we can say that experience is equal to the excellence.

    Thanks for the awesome sauce update :)

  4. Hi Syed,

    Stumbled upon this blog from WPBeginner which I use a lot for tuts and the like. This is even better! I like the personal touch and took something away right from the first post: “Some day you will understand that time is your most valuable asset and experience is the best teacher you can get”

    I’m currently working 12-hour days on my business and these words rang painfully true. Made me realise how much time I’ve been spending learning or figuring things out because I like it that way BUT that it’s the trade-off with the time taken to do so. Thanks for the inspiration :)

    Dee S