Are You A Student of Your Business or Are You Missing Something?

August 22nd, 2011 by under Event Planning & Marketing, Information Marketing, Marketing, Uncategorized. 2 Comments.

Are you a ravenous student who just can’t seem to get enough books, tapes and courses in your niche, field, or in some topic area that makes a big difference in your business?  Or, is the idea of reading a book, listening to an educational CD or DVD, or going to a seminar or workshop, to learn, appalling to you?

If you’re reading this, it’s more likely you’re a ravenous student who just can’t seem to get enough, you devour books, you’re constantly listening to educational or self-help materials (even when you’re exercising or on an airplane), and you invest mightily in yourself.

The question to ask yourself is are you being a smart student, are you studying the things you need to be studying, reading the books you need to be reading, and listening to the people you should be listening to?  At first glance, this may seem like a silly question, but if you look at it a little deeper you’ll find it’s a great question.

As an Information Marketer, Direct Response Marketer, Event Planner, and entrepreneur, I’m constantly investing in new materials to help me be just a little better, to learn the best, new way to do something, to get just one step ahead, or get just one new idea I can use.

Not too long ago, one of my coaches and mentors shocked me when she said to me “Stop reading marketing books, stop investing in those things, you know everything you need to know to be a world class marketer and stay in front of the pack if you never read another marketing book for the rest of your life.”

Frankly, I was shocked, because this mentor is an author, a reader, and a learner herself.

However, after some further examination and a few more conversations, I understood exactly where she was coming from.  You see, we all have a tendency to become a little one-sided with the things we love and are good at, so that’s where we tend to stay.

Now, my coach wasn’t suggesting that we all go out and learn a new skill or try to strengthen our skills in areas that we don’t enjoy and are never going to be very good at (for that, the best advice I ever heard was from Joe Polish who says “strengthen your strengths and hire your weaknesses” – that’s great advice).  Instead she was suggesting we all round ourselves out a little more.

For example, by reading fiction novels, copywriters improve their ability to write copy, by going to movies, we all allow our imaginations to soar, and giving us fresh, new ideas for our business, and by adding flexibility training to their workout routines, bodybuilders and athletes, get bigger and stronger.

Speaking of bodybuilders and athletes, the one thing they are obsessive about is trying to make sure they don’t miss anything their body’s need.  It’s not unusual for them to take handfuls of vitamins and supplements multiple times a day, and if you ask them about each one, they know what they’re and what they do for them.  Most will also admit that they aren’t sure they need all of them, but they take it all because they don’t want to take a chance of their bodies needing something and not having it, or not having enough of it while they train, and as their bodies recover from the training.

As business people, we sometimes have the same philosophy – we feel as if we need to know everything and have to be able to do everything in our businesses in order for them to succeed.  The exact opposite is in fact true in every case.

If we will focus on, and concentrate on, the things we do really well, and work to make them better, hire out, or possibly eliminate, the other things, we’d have more success, make more money, and have more free time to enjoy life and the things we’ve worked so hard for.

Being a student of your craft, of your niche, of your field, is very important, especially in today’s fast moving world.  Make sure as you study and learn, you’re focusing on your area of expertise, but that you aren’t so focused that you forget the ancillary or secondary areas that are important as well.

One of the reasons we sometimes see weekend athletes pull muscles and have injuries is that while they spend time building the main muscles, the ones we all know the names of, like their pecs, quads, abdomen, biceps, and triceps, they don’t spend time working on building the secondary or supporting muscles that are also important.

It reminds me of the big, strong weightlifter, with the huge chest and arms but the toothpick legs.  It always cracks me up, he’s unbalanced.  It’s as if he doesn’t know he has legs.

Don’t be the out of balance weightlifter.  Instead, be a well-rounded student of your niche and craft who gets all angles and all parts of it.

When you are the full-bodied athlete in your business who continues to get educated, grow and learn, you and your business will be more successful!

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Becca Niederkrom  on August 22nd, 2011

So on point! This was a great read to start off my Monday. I see new business owners earning another degree, attending endless workshops, or checking of a reading list that has no end in sight. Its as if startup owners are awaiting permission to make money. Many times the best education is experience and along the way its best to carefully select books/workshops/etc. Most importantly, ideas, inspiration and new and interesting people come along when you are out there having fun.

Diane Conklin  on August 23rd, 2011

Thanks Becca – so glad you liked this post.

Get stronger at what you’re good at and hire your weaknesses – I so love that concept and all any of us can do is our best every day, learn and move on – keep growing.

Thanks so much for your comment and we look forward to hearing from you again when you read something you like.


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