HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR KNOWLEDGE INTO UNSURPASSED SUCCESS

How do you feel about gaining new information? Is it an exciting prospect? Or a daunting one, as the ability to extend your knowledge of a subject or a skill can be just that. However, if you approach the exercise with the right mindset you can walk away feeling very satisfied. 

Personally, the words of Vincent van Gogh sums it up beautifully:

Learning, or educating myself, has always given me a great sense of achievement, satisfaction and ultimately, confidence.  

THE URGE TO KNOW

When the decision was taken to startup on my own, there were quite a few elements within business that I knew, as far as I was concerned, too little about. Using this information gap as an example, there were mainly two ways to go about obtaining the info that was missing. 

One way was to sign up to a course or three and let others be my instructors. There is nothing wrong with obtaining knowledge down this avenue. To be honest, there are certain aspects of business solutions that can only be accomplished this way. 

On the other hand, to seek the information on one’s own accord somehow sounded so much more fulfilling, in my humble opinion. Therefore, yours truly, tackled the proverbial bull by the horns and upscaled the current understanding of certain areas I lacked knowledge in, by myself. 

THE LEARNING CURVE

With the worldwide web at our finger tips nowadays it is much easier than years ago to get hold of answers to all our questions. There are huge amounts of DIY Learning Videos for instance on platforms like YouTube. Not to mention special websites like SkillShare to train yourself how it should be done. It takes some research, but persevere and I can promise you will find what you are looking for

What could, or most likely will happen, is that you will find parts here, there and everywhere. The fun part (to put it mildly) is to then put it together like a puzzle. First, one finds the pieces with a straight edge and/or the corner pieces and before you know it the border (or outline, so to speak) is all in place. To follow is to fill in the middle section and voila!, your picture is complete. All pieces slotted in and you’re sitting back looking at a complete visual. This process translates to you having conquered the assignment of learning how to perform a certain task within your business and/or life. It’s moments like these that a firm pat on the back is in order (even if it’s done, sort of, by yourself)! 

THE IMPLEMENTATION

Now comes the tricky part. This is honestly the section that is as important if not even more so than the educating process itself. 

Once the know-how is firmly in your head, it is time to put your new found extended knowledge into action. Best bit of advice I can give you at this stage is to get going immediately since the information is still very fresh. So:

  • Practice

  • Practice it again

  • Practice it some more

  • Practice until it becomes second nature

Repetition is known to cement actions within us. After all, the exact meaning of repetition is ‘the action of repeating something that has already been said or written’. Once you leave the new found facts and skills at the door, the inevitable is sure to happen - when you return to put it all to work, most will be a haze and you will need to start again to remember and refresh your mind. This can, obviously, end up as wasting some valuable time.

THE CONCLUSION

Please understand that as I mentioned earlier, certain expert knowledge can only be accomplished via the help of specialised individuals that spend many years of their lives learning so they are able to teach others the required information and processes. What I am trying to say is that one shouldn’t always assume that gathering all knowledge is only available if someone/persons directly teach you.

To study or learn on your own takes a lot of effort and determination, not to mention focus. You need to be proactive and resilient at all times. As tough as this may sound, the outcome will easily overshadow the angst of doing it yourself.

For me self-education works and it works well. Currently there a few new ventures on the cards and instead of signing up to expensive courses on how to achieve this, I am (enjoying!) taking matters in my own hands. Yes, I do attend webinars, seminars and join many discussions to get some guidance, but at the end of the day it’s up to me.

Some will call it the hard way and won’t understand why the narrow, steep road is more attractive. Each to their own I say. It is not a matter of making it unnecessarily difficult for oneself, it is much more about achieving something where there was originally very little knowledge of in one’s head. 

As a strong believer in one can do whatever you put your mind to, it’s obvious this is the preferred route for me. That moment you reach the end of the rainbow (as in the final section of a project) and find your pot of gold, is really priceless. To sit back and look at the finished assignment you did with a complete new set of tools you taught yourself is beyond satisfying. Once you experienced that feeling, I bet you will want it again and again. Believe me the feeling is truly that wonderful. 

As always, please feel free to share, comment or send me a message if you have any questions and/or if you felt some affinity towards this topic.

You can reach me here, or on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

And most of all… Thank You for reading. 

VALUE. IT'S IMPORTANT. WORTH IT AND USEFUL.

How was that project eventually perceived? Was that feedback you got sufficient? Or have you ever felt some criticism wasn’t really constructive? We’ve all been there. One way or another.

There is the age-old ‘exercise’ of debriefing. Which, if done correctly, can be worth it’s weight in gold. There is such a lot to learn from a great debrief session. However, it can also leave us feeling dissatisfied and frustrated since it was more about the praises (and let’s face it, lots of time to those whom doesn’t entirely deserve it…) than dissecting the process, delivery and outcome. 

Most of the time such meetings take place with the team/s that endlessly ploughed through and made the project happen. This is good, since the need is there to know what was going right and what went wrong. The point being that hopefully lessons will be learned and improvements will be evident infuture workflows. Rarely one comes across a situation where the client actually put together a case study showing us how it all look from there point of view. 

As if reading Moving Brands’ side of the the rebrand story for Asana wasn’t already great, there is a whole other section where Asana themselves put together a case study about the process from their POV. Now this is truly an interesting and exciting read. It gives us a great insight into what they went through from start to finish. 

Although it all is great to read, what was most intriguing was the value brought to the table. It was clearly a team effort from an incredible, talented bunch of people on both sides of this coin. Value within collaborations is utterly important. It’s more that the hours you put into the project… the many meetings scheduled… massive email-trials… endless messages… etc.. This small word has such a huge meaning. Sometimes it’s overlooked and shadowed by the big things talked about. 

It is all well and fine to come up with a striking design - or find that part of the process that smooth over some irritating issues. To be noted in the so-manyeth-meeting is great - and always something that push someone to put even more shoulder to the wheel. However, at the end of the day it is the value that ended up on the proverbial table that scratch that itch well and truly. It is that moment one looks back and realise the whole process/project was worth every single moment spend on it. 

It maybe perceived as something small, but trust me, this tiny word has a massive impact. If one can walk away knowing that an enormous amount of value was laid firmly during this project than that is amazing. Hardly ever will anyone forget about the value brought by individuals or companies. A project maybe done and dusted quite some time ago, but every now and then someone will mentions and remembers the value that was involved from start to finish. 

If you want to make an impact with the next project on your list, deliver some good, ol’ honest value. That will make them remember your name!