Knowledge Is Power
One of my favorite quotes, a Russian proverb, is engraved on the side of our downtown, Toledo library. “There is no shame in not knowing, only in refusing to learn.” It resonates for me for several reasons. There are those who thirst for knowledge. For them, there are no limits to what they want to learn. If they’re intrigued by something, they’ll research it, take a course in it, or just plain Google it or find a tutorial on YouTube™ to learn it. The payoff of learning a new skill and applying it is enough for them, adding to their confidence.
Conversely, there are others who don’t have this desire to learn. Perhaps the topic isn’t of enough interest, they feel like they’re too old to learn something new, or technology crept up on them and now they feel left in the dust. This point of view is fine and understandable at times unless it has to do with your business.
Change is a constant, and with it comes upgrades to they way we go about getting work done, communicating with our customers, reaching out to prospects, even balancing the office checkbook. Learning new software, techniques, apps, and the like can make running your business more efficient. Diving into, and researching, consumer behavior could lead you to come up with a marketing message or an epiphany on how to reach that elusive millennial. Going about your day to day tasks in a different way with different tools is a way to save time, therefore saving money.
Wearing too many hats as it is? Hey, we get it! In this day and age, though, it’s still no excuse to not empower a staff member who may be eager to learn or assist in order to make business better. You don’t have to be an expert in every single aspect of your business, but you should still want to know or learn how to do something that can be of benefit. Not to mention, it’s draining to other co-workers to constantly have to pick up the slack for someone who is making excuses for why they can’t do something, adding to their own workload.
The trick is to break down daunting tasks into chunks that you can learn and absorb without getting overwhelmed. Want to build a worksheet in Excel? Learn Google analytics, or export and examine data from your point of sale? Depending on how you learn best, you can go to an online forum, pick up a class at your local university, or even go to your local library. You may have to get out of the office to get out of your comfort zone or to focus fully. Knowledge is power. Don’t be the person throwing up roadblocks and saying I can’t do that in 2017. Be the one that can admit that you may not know how, but you’re willing and able to learn.