Mark Twain said, “A person who won’t read has no advantage over a person who can’t read.”
One of my pet-peeves with some business owners is that they don’t take time to learn. When I graduated from college, I didn’t want to read another book. Years went by before I realized what a fool I was. Now, I am always reading a book or two.
The fact is, business owners come from many different backgrounds. Their education may not have prepared them for the broad range of skills required to run a business. In addition, they are so busy “sawing” that they have little time to step back, read, ponder, analyze, plan, and essentially “sharpen the saw.” The most successful owners, however, do find time to return to the well often to study the leaders and experts in their field.
I think it’s amazing that a knowledge leader’s lifetime experience can be captured in a $15 book and read in just a few hours. What a world we live in! Wouldn’t you agree?
The Application of Knowledge
The commitment to learning, however, is just the beginning! The saying that “knowledge is power” is not completely true. Real power comes in applying the knowledge in some way to change behavior and improve results. Go read a thousand business books, and you have nothing but ideas in your head—soon to be forgotten. However, go inject one true principle that you’ve learned into a business system or process and you will begin to generate real power.
In my career, I have gone to dozens of seminars, hired numerous consultants, read many books, and learned much from my colleagues. I regret, however, that “after all is said and done, there is usually more said than done.”
The truth is that no one benefits until you go to a business system or process and modify it to reflect the newly learned principles—improve system components or procedures (the recipe). There is no other way!
You can read about it and dream about it, but nothing changes until you do it—until you apply your knowledge to elevate the business system (see Law of Cause and Effect).
Improve Your Business Today
The knowledge you gain today can give you a better company tomorrow, but only if you put it to work! So, write down the key principles you have recently learned. Identify the system or process they apply to. Modify the business system to incorporate the newly learned laws, principles, or best practices. And monitor results.
Congratulations on your latest business innovation! Now, go improve another system or process. In time, your company will become remarkable!