What makes professionals better than others is that they ask questions and they are always learning.
“Have people around you who are better than you”. That was what my mentor said when I was learning how to grow influence. Then he made the second statement, “Hire people better than you to help you run your business”.
I was wondering to myself, “Why should I hire those better than me to run my business?” “You cannot do it all by yourself”, he said. “Sometimes you fall and you need some help”.
Smart people always ask for help when they need it. One thing that distinguishes geniuses from others is their ability to ask questions and then formulate new ideas to create new things.
When you get the opinion of others before you conclude on your decision, it helps you get perspective. The important thing is that others cannot decide for you, but they can give you opinions, and the decision is yours to make.
You might not be as intelligent as the other fellow, but when you ask how they do their stuff, it is a way to tap from their wisdom. You are learning something new.
When you ask for help from others whom you know can help you, it feeds their ego, but it helps you grow. You know that in some ways they are better than you, and you want to learn from what they know to get from where you are to where they are. It makes the other fellow eager to share more with you.
It takes humility to learn.
One who cannot humble himself will not learn new things. To go up you must start from down. It takes humility to make money too. You must learn to start small.
When I was young, my dad always says, “bend down and read”. Literarily, if you want to learn, you must bend your head to read a book. Metaphorically, you can only learn when you put your head down.
Why do you think the best athletes need coaches? They can’t work alone. They need someone to help them get better. They also need mentorship.
I learnt that even the best swimmers in the water Olympics have lifeguards to watch them while they swim. “But they are great swimmers.” you might say. You think they don’t need help. They can swim.
The reason is that anything can happen. Accidents happen. The swimmers can get injured. A muscle strain or even fatigue may set in. So, everyone needs help at some time.
Even top professional lawyers in court may lose track in their arguments and the judge may help them get back on track. That is why even experienced lawyers still ask for guidance.
It is not a mark of weakness to ask for help. Keep learning.
Every now and then, different professionals hold seminars, conferences, master classes, etc. They are all forms of learning. Professionals need help to upgrade themselves.
One thing that characterizes the 21st century is the rate of knowledge growth. Technology, the internet, Social media etc has made things change fast. What you know may be obsolete the next minute.
Many companies that don’t evolve get phased out or get taken over by bigger companies. To keep growing they must be learning new ways to get better results.
One needs to be open-minded to accept the need for change.
If you are closed-minded and too rigid to change, you might get left behind while others are changing and adapting to new business models and ways of doing things.
As a professional, have an open mind. Learn new things. Go for that class. Ask for help when you get stuck. Try out new stuff always. That is what makes you a better person.
Luck has nothing to do with those who make progress. The best definition of luck is “when opportunity meets preparedness, luck is inevitable”.
Luck only happens when you are prepared when an opportunity meets you.
As the boy scout always say, “Be prepared”.
Keep learning, keep preparing, and keep practising. When your moment comes to act, show the best you have to offer. Ace it.