Growth should be the overriding goal of our business. Without (at least some) continued growth, our businesses will stagnate and die. We will be passed up by all our competitors that are growing and expanding the reach of their businesses. Without growth, without trying new things and making advancements in our knowledge and our methods, we fall behind everyone else.
Either you’re growing or you’re decaying; there’s no middle ground. If you’re standing still, you’re decaying.Alan Arkin
Learning is defined by the Oxford-Lexico online dictionary as “the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience or being taught.” We grow our business by learning new skills; by trying new methods; by doing things differently than we’ve done before. We learn through education. We learn from mentors. We learn by following examples and implementing new techniques. We learn by changing the things we’re already doing. We learn by taking chances.
The problem is that we’re often afraid to take chances. We reason that if something is working fine for us now, why the hell would we want to do something different. We fret over whether or not to make a change; to try something new. We think: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The more you learn, the more you earn.Warren Buffet
Meanwhile, new competitors are entering our marketplace. We see new businesses embracing new technology; or at least that’s how we perceive their business model. To them, it’s not new technology at all; it’s simply the technology they started using out the gate. It’s not new, it’s now.
Think back to when you started your business. You bought the latest technology and started using it. You didn’t look to see what the old companies were using and imitate them; you simply bought the best tech you could afford and hit the ground running.
Now, the new businesses, your competition, are doing the same thing. And there you are, content to stand still. You can almost hear yourself reasoning: “I’ve been doing it this way for ___ number of years, and it’s worked fine; there’s no reason to change what’s working.”
But there is. It’s called competition. It’s called growth. It’s called technological advancement. It’s called business, and it’s passing you by.
It’s worth remembering that if someone knows how to do something, that means, with sufficient effort, you could probably learn it too. You might not be willing to put in the time and effort, but it’s learnable.Seth Godin
Often, there is really only one thing that holds us back from advancing our businesses; from trying something different; from learning something new.
And that one thing is fear.
We fear trying something that we don’t know how to do and looking silly. We’re afraid that someone else will see us when we’re not at our best. We fear getting it wrong. We fear failure.
We tell ourselves that we don’t have the skills that we need to work that new technology. We tell ourselves that we’re not smart enough to learn some new software program. We tell ourselves that we don’t have the strength, dexterity or physical ability to start using some new tool.
But, that’s not really the reason at all, is it?
The real reason, the reason we really don’t want to tell ourselves, is that we’re afraid. We’re afraid of failure. We’ve convinced ourselves that we don’t have the skills, the smarts or the physical ability to do something so that we don’t even have to try.
We can’t fail is we don’t ever try. But, if we don’t try, then, by default, we’re going to fail.
We are all failures- at least the best of us are.J.M. Barrie
Failure may come rapidly, blindsiding us out of the blue, or it may come slowly, chipping away at our business, health and happiness until one day it’s all gone. But make no mistake, either way it’s coming.
If you don’t try, by default, you’ve failed. So, don’t be afraid to try; don’t be afraid to fail. Learn something new. Try something different. Do something that’s out of character. So what if you fail? The odds are that you will fail at many things throughout your life, so why fight it? Try anyway. Sooner or later, you’ll find something that works for you and your business.
But you’ll never find it if you’re not looking.
Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.Robert T. Kiyosaki
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