by Joe Bonura, CSP
I Am Glad That Is Over
After the graduation ceremony, my son was standing next to me with
his college degree in his hand. Several young people walked by with
their graduation gowns slung over their shoulders and their hats
tilted back on their heads. One of them made the comment, "I'm
glad that's over, and that is the last book I will read." Hearing
the comment, my son said, "Gee, Dad, I thought this was the
beginning, not the end."
It Is Just the Beginning
Maybe that is why it is called a commencement, and not a termination
ceremony. Graduation is not the conclusion of 16 or more years of
study. Hopefully, you will treat your formal education as no more
than a hors d'oeuvre that will whet your appetite for the feast
of learning, still to come.
Which Doctor Would You Choose?
Assume that two heart surgeons graduated from medical school ten
years ago, and one was at the top of his class and he graduated
summa cum laude, while the other doctor graduated with a low A,
high B average. In the past ten years, the first doctor has not
read a book on heart surgery, attended any seminars, or subscribed
to any medical publications.
The Choice Is Obvious
The second doctor reads all the latest publications on heart surgery,
attends seminars and symposiums on his chosen specialty, and he
has accumulated a large library of books on the profession. Additionally,
he is current on minimally invasive techniques that will save the
patient from a painful recovery. OK, what is your decision: Which
doctor would you choose to operate on your heart?
They Pay For What You Know
Then why should your customer feel any different when it comes
to choosing a supplier? The customer is paying for your knowledge,
as well as, your product or service. In his book, "The Millionaire
Messenger," Brendon Buchard maintains that you can become a
millionaire, selling what you know. You too can become the go-to
expert in your profession.
Learn Something New, Daily
Subscribe to industry publications and read them on a daily basis.
I read at least one hour every day in order to keep up with my industry
and my clients' industries. Read books, blogs, and web sites, relative
to your appropriate business. Listen to audio learning material
whenever you have an opportunity. I especially enjoy listening in
the morning, while I am dressing and beginning my day.
One Hour a Day Keeps Ignorance Away
Make a commitment to become a lifelong learner. I remember motivational
professional Earl Nightingale told his radio audience that he had
over 600 books in his personal library. I was 20 years old at the
time, and was very impressed with that number of books. One book
at a time, one day at a time, and today, I have over 3,500 books
in my personal library. How can I share new ideas with others, if
I am not improving my mind every day? How can you share current
information, if you are not filling your bucket of industry and
product knowledge every single day?
Learn and Recognize
When I worked in marketing and advertising at the General Electric
Company, I signed up for a major course on Marketing and Advertising.
I was always amazed when I read something in my study guide at home,
and the next day, someone presented an issue that pertained to that
same subject. That knowledge was present every day, but previously,
I did not comprehend the new information because I was not familiar
with the essentials.
New Knowledge = New Opportunities
Watch what happens when you start a significant listening and reading
program. Opportunities to use your new knowledge in your profession
will present themselves on a recurring basis.
Some of my favorite books and magazines that I frequent to remain
current and to feed my mind with positive thoughts:
The Harvard Business Review
Speaker Magazine (National Speakers Association Publication)
The Wall Street Journal
Selling Power Magazine
Our Daily Bread (Daily Reading)
To get maximum benefits from a magazine, peruse the table of contents
and circle only the articles that are relative and read those articles
that pertain to you and your situation. In that way, you are making
the most of your time spent reading.
The Charge - Brendon Buchard
The Compound Effect - Darren Hardy
Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
The Bible - (Daily Reading), for spiritual self-development
Jesus Calling - Sarah Young (Daily Reading), for quiet time
Start to develop your list today. Because most of the books I now
read are on-line, I already have over 100 books in my E-Library.
One book at a time, one article at a time, adds up to a lifelong
experience of learning.
What Do You Think About?
You become what you think about. So why not seed your mental garden
with suitable thoughts each day? When you learn the thrill of something
new, you will never be the same person you were, before you learned
© 2012 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.