State Farm doesn't want you to forget your previous experience; they want you to bring that to the table.
Stop Learning, Stop Growing, Stop Succeeding: Part One
When did you finish your education? If your answer is something like “In my twenties,” then you have the mindset of most people – you think that education means sitting in a classroom or being instructed in a formal setting. That’s wrong. Why did we decide that we spend the first quarter of our life learning and then stop? The most successful people never stop learning. They have learned that lifelong learning makes them more effective, more engaging and more vibrantly alive. Anyone can be a lifelong learner if they choose to be. Here’s why you should decide to become a lifelong learner.
Lifelong learning: Why you need it.
You will earn more. It used to be you could get enough education in college that you would be marketable for the rest of your life. That was back when everyone worked the same job their entire life. Not so today. No matter your field, if you are not learning new and peripheral skills to enhance your abilities you won’t move up. Your earnings potential will be limited. Being a lifelong learner helps you stay qualified for that next promotion or that next step in your career.
- You will enhance your entrepreneurial success. When you decided to become an insurance agent, you had to learn a new set of skills and subject matter. You had help in that task, some formal some informal. Don’t stop there. Keep learning. Learn about Social Media and how you might utilize it. Learn about sports and entertainment and literature so that you can converse with anyone and connect with everyone. Learning new hobbies and skills will put you into groups of people that provide possibilities for connections. All of these skills will help you be more successful as an entrepreneur.
- You will be a more fascinating person. Most of us want to be liked, and if you are in the people business you need to be liked. One of the best ways to draw people in is to talk about them, and the things they are interested in. If you can talk about what makes a plane fly, how to get wine stains out of a shirt, the latest sports controversy, the difference between Google+, Vine and Pinterest, the complexities of the middle east, how to change the oil in a car, how to grow a raised garden, and on and on – well imagine how many people you can connect with.
- You will be more independent and skillful. There are some skills and knowledge you will probably never possess (brain surgery comes to mind). What about the normal things in your life? When you call the mechanic for car repairs, and you have no idea what is wrong, or if the mechanic knows what he is doing. When your computer crashes – can you fix it? When someone refers to modern art versus impressionism – are you lost? Not knowing about those things generally makes us feel helpless when that knowledge is needed. Knowing about them empowers us. Want to be more independent? Want to feel more a part of the world and the people around you? Become a lifelong learner.
- Your brain will be healthier. There is lots of scientific data being published that demonstrates that learning new skills and “exercising” your brain helps stave off dementia in various forms. In addition, pursuing knowledge helps you enjoy life and stay out of the rut. People who are more satisfied with life live longer.
- You will be a better leader. Leaders need to know more than merely their own area of expertise. That’s because they are tasked with decision making, vision casting, marketing, adapting to changing business climates and much more. The more you understand about anything and everything, the more equipped you are to synthesize those facts and how they may impact your own business.
These are compelling reasons why you should decide to continue learning, intentionally, your entire life. Next week we will give you some suggestions on how to begin becoming a lifelong learner.
By the way, what is your mindset? Are you done learning? Or are you still growing?