You must yearn to learn if you’re going to earn.
For years, people have called me a “motivational speaker.” On the one hand, I’m delighted that people get fired up at my programs, but on the other hand, I’m always a little cautious about that title. After all, my specialty is peak performance and I know there’s a lot more to LASTING peak performance than a sixty-minute rah-rah speech.
It’s like the knight back in the Middle Ages. He was returning to the castle one evening after a long, hard day of skirmishes. His armor was dented, his helmet was askew, and his plume was broken off. Even his horse was limping.
The lord of the manor saw him coming and went out to greet him. “What happened? What hath befallen you, Sir Albert?” he asked.
The knight straightened himself up and said, “Oh, Sire, I have been striving in your behalf all day, robbing and burning the towns of your enemies to the West.”
“You’ve been doing what?” asked the astonished nobleman. The knight repeated his statement louder and slower in case his old master couldn’t hear well.
“But I haven’t any enemies to the West,” cried the nobleman.
“Oh?” asked the knight. Then after a pause he said, “Well you do now.”
There’s a moral to the story.
1. Motivation is not enough. If you motivate an idiot, all you have is a motivated idiot.
You’ve also got to know what you’re doing. You’ve got to keep on learning. There’s simply no way you can earn more if you’re not willing to learn more.
After all, it’s tough out there. Some call it a dog-eat-dog world. Others call it the information age. In fact more information has been generated and disseminated in the last two years than in the previous two thousand years. It’s mind-boggling, to say the least.
Despite this overwhelming need to keep on learning, to keep on building your skills, most people aren’t doing much learning. In fact, the average person spends more than $1000 a year on the outside of her head but less than a $100 a year on the inside of her head.
It doesn’t make any sense. The average person doesn’t think twice about spending money on the APPEARANCE of her head. Whether it’s beauty creams and makeup, perfume, haircuts and perms, people spend a lot of money to “look good.”
The sad thing is most people spend almost nothing to “be good.” Oh, they may attend a company-mandated seminar once in a while, but those same people would never think of spending their own money to buy a book or attend a class that would improve themselves and their futures.
If you’re not in the process of learning more and getting better, your competition is. And when the two of you meet, guess who has the upper hand? It won’t be you.
To get serious about your learning, to build your skills, remember …
2. You are responsible for your success.
Your husband, your best friend, your parents, your team leader, your company, no one is responsible for your success — but you. Oh sure, they can help, support, encourage, but none of them can make you successful. Only you can build your skills.
3. Get a program.
You may decide to read a book a month, a serious book that will help you get better at your business. You may decide to listen to three educational CDs or MP3s a week or attend three seminars a year, all geared to what you need to know. The point is, get a program and follow a program. There is no investment you’ll ever make that pays bigger dividends than the investment you make in yourself.
4. Stop making excuses.
Perhaps the most common excuse is “I’m too busy. I don’t have time for additional training.” Wrong! Truly successful people know there will never be a good time for training. It will either be a bad time or a really bad time. If you’re serious about success, you’ll attend training no matter what time it is, just because it’s necessary.
If you want to keep on learning, I suggest you sign up for a FREE subscription to my weekly Internet newsletter. It’s called “Dr. Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip” and goes out to thousands of people across the world every week. You’ll get hundreds of tips on communication, attitude, relationships, motivation, and teamwork. And I guarantee you’ll learn some things that will dramatically improve your life and your business.
ACTION: Write your plan to learn. What will you be doing on a consistent basis to learn more and, therefore, become more and have more?