Want to Earn More? You Need to Learn More…

It used to surprise me when I heard statistics such as this: 50% of all businesses fail in their first three years.  Now that I’ve been in business for several decades and have seen many entrepreneurs come and go, I’m more surprised that 50% of businesses actually make it past the first three years!

Maybe I’m being a tad harsh . . . but not much.  One thing I’ve learned is that most successful entrepreneurs embrace and engage in a culture of learning in order to excel.  Personal and professional self development is an ongoing journey–not a destination.  It’s always a work in progress.  Often, businesspeople get so caught up working “in” their business that they forget to spend time working “on” their business.  Part of working “on” a business is one’s professional development.

Most entrepreneurs only pay lip service to education (okay, maybe not you since you’re actually taking the time to read a blog post about business but I’m talking about the average entrepreneur).  Ask a number of entrepreneurs and businesspeople if they would be willing to attend a seminar on building their business and three quarters of them will say yes.  However, if you proceed to tell them that the seminar is four weeks from tomorrow at 7 p.m., only a handful of those who initially agreed they would go will actually sign up.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him.  An investment in knowledge always pays the highest return.”

With that in mind, here’s an action item that will help get you started on the path to immersing and engaging in a culture of learning:

Look at your financials (or checkbook, or credit card statements) for the past year.  Have you invested money into any type of ongoing business education?  If you aren’t “emptying some of your purse into your head,” take a few minutes to think about what you want to learn to help you build your business and then sign up for something this week.

Remember, if you want to earn more, you need to learn more (and reading this blog from time to time won’t hurt either)!

Lastly, share with us something that someone once taught you (something from books and seminars are OK) that helped you in some important way.

13 thoughts on “Want to Earn More? You Need to Learn More…

  1. I was taught the value of ones word.
    That is, for $10,000 would I guarrantee that I would be in your office at 6am Thursday? Absoluteley! I came to realize that my word alone should be just as valuable.
    I have never missed a cut-over date with a customer since our inception. I am proud of that.

  2. Thank you, great blog! The more attention we can give to education at a business level, the more we will raise the professional practice within organisations.

    I am the CEO of an SME Sales Training organisation and i would largely attribute the success of my company to a professional doctorate i undertook.

    It is a subject that i am very passionate about; in fact Consalia have been working with Middlesex University, London, UK for the past six years to bring about what has just been launched as the UK’s first in-house work based Masters programmes for Sales.

    As part of this, Consalia were recently mentioned in an article relating to education with Sales; the article appeared in the pull-out Raconteur, The Times Newspaper. (link below)


    Interestingly, there are a few testimonials on p.10 including the VP Global Strategic Sales Engagement at Atos who attributes a 4x increase in salary to a Masters programme he undertook through Consalia.

    I look forward to seeing your and others’ comments as to their experiences from education in business.

  3. Message I Can agree with.

    I have learned by listening many directors. I have interviewed plenty of good and bad leaders. At the same time I have been eager to know which one of them is closer to truth than the others.

    What I have learned is that there is no “one rule”. There are circumstances and personal assets. Sometimes education or learnings from the past. Sometimes high emotional intelligence or willingness to understand the others.

    As they say… “An advisor is a person who has experienced more mistakes (his/ her own or the others) and can explain why all tha happened.

    Most impotant thing I learned during my military service 25 years ago.” You may be scared that you can make right or wrong decisions. Still the worst thing would be that you could not make any decisions at all”.

  4. As an E-Myth Mastery Coaching client for the past year, learning the value of taking time to work “on” my business instead of always “in” my business has changed how I relate to the whole world of work which in turn has changed my life. LIkewise, learning what the VCP process really is in BNI as our chapter goes through Fast Track has been another huge enlightment for me in how I relate to my referral resources! WOW! As a result of both of these experiences, I am growing to be more effective…in all things and ilife is a lot more fun!

  5. I was taught at a young age to take pride in everything I do. If I post a comment representing myself or organization I always try and proofread. When I read comments and see them sloppily written with misspelled words and grammatical mistakes, it says a lot about the person or organization in my opinion. Take some time to write a comment when you’re representing yourself. Would you send an email to a client with typo’s, grammatical errors and misspellings? As a life and health insurance agent, we constantly have to invest in our education.

  6. Several years ago I started asking myself questions which lead me to more questions that I always looked and found the answers to. What followed was great learning and growth on my part that has become invaluable. A few years ago I heard a quote by someone I can’t remember nor can I remember the exact words but this is the gist of it: “The quality of life is determined by the quality of questions you ask”. I have experienced this to be a true and valuable statement that I discovered long before I heard it. If this is your first time hearing it…apply it! Be wise in your asking 🙂

  7. Growth is life. If growth or improvement stop then stagnation begins and decay is inevitable. Some of the best advice I have received recently is to not say ‘No’. While we have to be realistic about the space in our schedule and available assets to be allocated, if one says no to opportunities for business or personal growth the loss can be irreversible. I am in auto repair and recently had a walk-in request for an oil change service based on a recent ad. The shop was full but I backed another car out to get the job done. The result has been several new customers from this persons family and associates with 1,000’s in additional business that I most likely would have lost if I did not put forth the effort to accomodate a new contact. New knowledge is not always the key. Wisdom (application of knowledge) and new ways to use what one already knows are at least as important as what one knows.

  8. In addition to the value of constantly learning, I believe in the value of two other things (relating to learning:

    A. Accept feedback, even when it may be negative.

    B. Welcome and truly consider differing opinions.

    C. Learn and/or explore all areas, not just your chosen field/specialty

  9. Initially I was very selective about the books and authors as they all tend to speak the same. But lately I realized that as there are many roads to reach Rome in the similar fashion the same fact can be learned in so many ways. And each learning helps you master the subject as now you can view it 360 degrees. Learn more to earn more and the depth of learning of a subject helps you earn that much more times.

    1. Anil, this is a great comment. I couldn’t agree more. Different people bring different perspectives to the same issue. Reading different perspectives expand our horizons and knowledge. Thanks.

  10. Recenty, I reread again Think and Grow Rich. Napoleon says that, in order to succeed, we need to have specialized know but not general knowledge. And, we need to keep learning for the rest of our lives.

    I totally agree with that. For that reason, I bought your books, Ivan. Again, I really appreciate people like you share knowledge with us to benefit us. 🙂

  11. I fully resonate with this thought process. Most of the people think that there is no need to invest in the 6 inches portion between the ears and they choose to spend a big chunk of their earnings below the forehead starting from goggles to shoes. They forget Benjamin Franklin’ssuperb advice that “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him.”

    Simply awesome Dr. Misner. Spot on.

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