Sunday, June 23, 2013

Why Taking Action Will Likely Teach You More Than What You Learnt in School

This year I started a business, and I'll be the first to admit I had no clue what I was doing. Now, just three months after starting the business, I am the remarkably odd position of choosing deliberately not to advertise my business, and deliberately keeping a low profile so I don't get more work than I can handle. Before the year is out I will likely have to start employing and training staff.

Now I don't share this story as a result of my business brilliance. Trust me - I'm not brilliant, and I certainly don't know everything, but oddly enough that is what has contributed to my success.

Normally I am the kind of person who likes to read every book on the subject. I read and I read, and I make plans to put into action, but never actually end up actioning the plan because I am so fearful of all the stuff I don't yet know. I was like this even a few months ago. But now I realise I could wait my whole life and I would still never know all there is to know. Sometimes you have to just do.

For example, I had no idea how to market my business. But I struck it lucky and landed my first freelance job, and as luck would have it, my first client was a marketing company. So in the process of writing for them, I learnt all about their business and how they do what they do. The knowledge I gained from doing just a few hours work for them gave me a lifetime's worth of practical skills, that would be far superior to the value of a marketing degree.

Now am I bagging tertiary education? Absolutely not. I myself am in school studying counselling. But you know what? Most of what makes me good at my study and counselling placements has very little to do with what I'm learning in school, and much more to do with the the number of years I spent in therapy myself as a client.

So here's to rolling up our sleeves, trying something new, and learning a whole heap in the process. Cheers!

Photo credit: Business of software - Alex Osterwalder by Betsy Weber on Flickr. (Used under Creative Commons licence).

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