1492228164603 - Zac de Silva: Are you learning the right things to be successful?

Zac de Silva: Are you learning the right things to be successful?

Henry Ford famously said “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.

I see it all the time in businesses, results are less than optimum because same old, same old is happening. How do you get your inspiration to improve and to try new things, so that Henry Ford would be proud of you?

The first step would be to identify where you truly need to be more knowledgeable and improve.

It is just like having a business plan for a business, without a learning plan for yourself you will just meander from one thing to another, so you will likely waste a lot of time learning things that are actually not going to help you be more successful.

READ MORE: How successful people think (hint: It’s not all about being positive)

What are your biggest deficiencies that you need to formally and proactively do something about – the things that if you knew a lot more about, they’d help you have a great 2017 and beyond?

How about you make a list of what you need to learn about over the next year and then do something about it.  

Firstly, be open to connecting with new people.

Last year I was at a function where I knew no-one. I got talking to a nice Australian couple. We talked about their time in NZ and I suggested some things to do and they suggested some things for me to do the next time I was in Melbourne.

I had no idea who they were so naturally went home and googled their company.

Turned out the couple founded Thankyou, a hugely successful Australian social enterprise business and the winner of many notable awards in Australia. I have since followed them and got to know them and learned a lot about how they have been successful in business.

You may not initially enjoy going to functions where you know nobody, but you might meet someone who can add new ideas to your life with different experiences and views to yourself?

I am lucky enough to be on a few company boards and it is fascinating hearing the viewpoint of successful business people.

Are you mixing with other business people that you can learn from? Remember, you will likely be the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Make sure you have people around you who will help to make you better in business. 

The best business people I come across actively set aside time to learn new things. It might be as simple as having a coffee with yourself at 10:30am every Tuesday and sitting in a café reading your favourite blogs or listening to an interesting podcast when you are stuck in traffic.

Unless you know you have set time to put into learning, often your day to day busy-ness and your fighting of fires will stop you from having time to dedicate to reading, listening or watching new stuff that really interests you. How do you set time aside to learn new things?

I often hear a tip from very successful people that one of the best ways they keep improving is to have a mentor who they truly respect to challenge them.

To learn new things, we all need a realist in our life who will encourage us to do the right things, in the right order and to the right standard, when we are turning a blind eye. Who helps you to be accountable in your business? Do you have someone you can run important decisions by? 

We all know the power of the Internet. Google away and you will find the answer. Yes, you can learn a lot on the Internet with the endless advice you will be able to find.

The most important thing here is to be very discerning about who you listen to and learn from. There are many “internet gurus”, just make sure you the pick the most trusted ones to take advice and inspiration from.

Same with courses you might go on, make sure you choose great ones that will impact you, not just courses for the sake of training hours. Being out of the office at a course should freshen up your thinking and likely show you a few “lightbulb” moments.

It’d be an interesting exercise to add up each week how much time you put into learning new things and challenging your thinking. Will you have the accountability to put time into getting better? Do you know what you actually need to get better at?

Zac de Silva is an award winning business coach who owns www.businesschanging.com as well as being the co-founder of the Nurture Change Business Retreat in Fiji on November 8-12, 2017. If you like the questions that Zac poses, check out www.accme.co which will get you thinking on how to run a better business.

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