Learning is the ultimate skill you can acquire. For obvious reasons, the ability allows you to learn anything with it. Imagine you wanted to play the piano, write a book, or start your dream business, but you don’t know where to start. If you obtain the skill of learning, you can do those things and more, because nothing can stop you. One of the people I study, Zig Ziglar, has beautiful words about learning. Out of all the greats that had something to say, it was his words that stick with me today.
If you are not willing to learn,
no one can help you. If you are determined
to learn, no one can stop you.
Learning takes one thing, self-direction. You aren’t in high school anymore, and unless you’ve chosen to continue your adult education, you’re not learning at all. That’s the only problem, the stagnation that occurs when we stop something because starting becomes even harder.
If it’s so easy to learn, then why doesn’t everyone do it, and the answer is they do. But the problem is that we aren’t learning the necessary things to help achieve our end goal. Learning needs to be something that allows you to test the practical knowledge you’re absorbing.
In school, you had a curriculum, which defined what you would learn for the year. In life, you have no guide, so it’s easy to think that by learning you’re moving forward. You’re growing, but you might not be expanding on your end goal. I’m going to use the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to explain how you can learn most effectively.
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Begin with the end in mind
One of the habits discussed that you should focus on to help your learning is Begin with the end in mind. Write down your goal, your endstate, or the outcome you’re envisioning. Be as specific as possible; when you’re vague, you’re allowing uncertainty room to grow in your goals; go into every detail of your dream.
A car traveling from California to New York can drive in the dark and still make progress towards the destination; the person driving the car only sees a few hundred feet in front. If the person only drove at night, they would still reach their goal. The vehicle has a GPS. If you know your destination, the right plan will tell you how to get there and what you need to do.
You know that taking a plane to Canada would set you off course so that you won’t do it. Learning is similar. There are a few skills that if you learned, would allow you to accomplish what you want. What are those skills? Now that you know where you want to go identifying the skills to get it is secure.
If you’re unsure about how to identify those skills, start identifying the people that are living where you want to go.
Success leaves clues, have you heard that before?
It’s a good question when you don’t know how to get somewhere. If you look for clues, you will find them. I won’t lie to you, you will make mistakes, but that’s part of the process.
Clarity gives you more information to strategize, decide, and move forward. If you don’t have clarity in your business, it’s because you don’t know where every single dollar flows. We’ve seen it many times after conducting a business projection.
We find that often, monthly expenses are recorded and accounted for, but other costs are left out. When the movements happen, surprise hits, but it is the attentiveness you give to your ledgers that will help your income.
You can only be proactive if you know where your destination is, and when you know where you’re going, you can be proactive. Being proactive is another term for being prepared. If you learn the knowledge, you’ll need to act later. You’re proactive.
Be proactive in looking to the future and asking, “Who can I study that would give me the skills I need?” You can read about the theory of what you want to do, but until you put it into action, you won’t know how it will work. So look for someone who is doing what you want to do. Others are going to offer you classes, seminars, and ways to teach you, but if they aren’t doing it, you’re wasting your time.
Being proactive is a habit for our accountants because money is always flowing in and out of your business. If you don’t have enough money to pay a bill, your account incurs fees. If payroll were running through your mind, there would be a bigger problem, and maybe you forget to deposit this week’s haul.
Payroll complications can cause more significant problems with the Department of Labor. By staying proactive, we prevent problems from having a chance to happen. The right accounting team can be proactive for you.
If you can, avoid procrastination, if you can’t, then try to fight it. Fighting procrastination is like fighting a soft resistance, the resistance is there to help you, but ultimately it ends up steering you off your course. Procrastination is going to occur when you learn. It happens when you know you need to do something, that something might be difficult, but possible and because you may put it off.
You can do it later. I know you’ve had those thoughts because I have, you’re the one that has to decide. Do you put it off or do it now? I can’t answer the question for you, but I can give you a little push.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Your life is like an hourglass, you know how much sand is in the bottom, these are the years your lived. But the top, you have no idea, because at any moment it could break. Those years you have ahead of you, nobody knows about, because life happens to all of us. There is no other time than now and now is always turning into a new moment. So the present is all our focus should be on.
The best way to complete tasks is to split it up into manageable blocks; each block completed gives you the momentum to finish the next one. If you try to learn everything in Algebra 2 in a day, you’ll find yourself with a headache and little understanding. So you split it into chapters, and you go through one section a day. It’s manageable because if it’s too hard, you’ll lose enthusiasm, interest, and drive to continue. Strive for manageable difficulty.
Put first things first
The next habit that will help your business and learning is to put first things first. You might be thinking, “That sounds just like priorities.” Well, it is. The problem is we have too many priorities. You’ve made everyone and everyone a priority in your life. The truth is, you can give your time to everyone, but then you’ll never have time to build or learn.
How much time have you given yourself to grow? To read or exert yourself physically? The average answer is, “I don’t have time.” That’s why you’re reading this article helps you take back control. Not having time means, “I haven’t found out how to create time yet,” the keyword is yet.
You should give yourself at least an hour of personal development each day. It’s only one hour, and you can split it up into fifteen-minute increments. Personal development is not only practical, but it’s also possible. An hour a day compounds over a year and over five years can make you a master in your field. But you have to put first things first, make the time for the necessary skills that you’ll need.
If learning how to fix a helicopter rotor isn’t necessary for you to reach your outcome, then it’s not required to learn. It’s putting first things first, reminding yourself what you need to learn and what is unnecessary.
Putting first things first in accounting is understanding what bills need paying from account payables and what bills need to be collected to account receivables. When should you pay your bills and how will they be paid? We can provide you training or management services for your account payables and account receivables.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood
Nelson Mandela used to accompany his father to the meetings in their village, his father was the chief. Nelson Mandela learned a critical skill, learning to speak last. The ability isn’t listening, what he learned was patience, or how to win against impatience.
Speaking last gives you two benefits, you get to hear everyone else’s answer, and you gain more understanding in reaching what you have to say. Today we seek only to understand. “Listen to me!” I screamed at the wall, but it didn’t understand. So I continued to scream at the wall, that’s how most of your conversations feel today. You’re talking to a wall, rather than give blame, why not take it? Seek to understand something that’s outside your healthy rational thinking.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Understanding will refine your skills
In learning, practice is as essential as learning the craft. Understanding will improve your skills. You can gain knowledge by expanding your understanding of the subject.
Use your search bar and type, “Top experts in ____.” Enter the skill you want to learn. You can do the same with “resources, training, and thought leaders” on any given subject. If you’re going to learn, learn from the best. When we need something fixed, we look for the best. Not someone who is okay or does it part time.
To seek understanding leads us to another habit.
Sharpen the Saw
In cutting down a tree, if you have 8 hours, you should spend seven sharpening your Saw. Sharpen the Saw refers to growing in areas of your life that will help you develop beyond your current capacity.
We must never be too busy sawing
to take time to Sharpen the Saw.
Dr. Stephen R. Covey.
In cutting down a tree, if you have 8 hours, you should spend seven sharpening your Saw. Sharpen the Saw refers to growing in areas of your life that will help you develop beyond your current capacity. You build a lifestyle of self-improvement.
In business, this equates to rising to the challenges around you. As you grow your business, your problems will increase, entrepreneurs thrive for these problems, and growth will help.
Are you continually improving your business?
Everyone that has reached success knows a simple fact. You don’t get there without a team. Compromise is a sacrifice, and it’s not what synergy is. Synergy moves beyond understanding into a realm of alternatives. I call this infinite intelligence. Dr. Stephen Covey says that valuing differences is how we drive synergy.
When we truly value the differences in mental, emotional, spiritual, and psychological differences among people, we can achieve synergy. To drive cooperation, it requires trust, and trust built through genuine interactions. Synergy is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.
Today our culture is gaining diversity and more open to the differences in each other. It’s exciting, because when we trust each other, we work together, when we work together we make great things happen.
Synergy requires you to learn about a culture outside of your own and grows your ability to learn.
The school year in China runs from the beginning of September to July, and the day runs from 7:30 am to 5 pm, they go to school for nine years. The average American attends K-12, the point is, we learn very differently.
The last habit of accelerating your learning and elevating your business is to think win-win.
When one side benefits more than the other, that’s a win-lose situation. To the winner, it might look like success for a while, but in the long run, it breeds resentment and distrust.
Dr. Stephen Covey
Grant Cardone talks about domination instead of competition, I see it as abundance instead of scarcity, but you should view it as collaboration. Synergy is created through your actions but thinking win-win is created in mind.
Most of us think in terms of either/or that if you’re one thing you can’t be the other. Win-win says that we are both, I can dive into duality and other aspects of the human spirit that show this, but I don’t need to. Everyone is both an introvert and an extrovert when placed around the correct people.
Learning, like any skill, needs to be refined towards a specific goal. We sometimes get trapped in the process of learning and miss the opportunity to test the knowledge. If we employ supportive habits, education is a breeze, but most of our practices are built to interrupt the process. Learning requires focus and an environment to support it. When we’re kids, we have structure, have you wondered why we learn in school and through a system? School is one way to learn, but there is always more than one path to the top of the mountain.
If your main focus is grabbed in different directions, you might feel overwhelmed with your business. We all get there at some point. We bear it all, of course, we can! But if you’re ready to focus, reach out to us, and let us help you build supportive habits.