“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes”.
To be the best at what you do, your quest for knowledge should be unrelenting! I have always liked learning new things and from the time I was old enough to read I would spend hours reading anything I could get my hands on. Some things I understood first time round, others I understood better when I revisited them years later. I suppose you could call me a perpetual student!
My quest for knowledge has stood me in good stead over the years – and have allowed me to reinvent myself and or to adapt to new challenges as they come. I recall when I ventured out on my journey into self-employment I couldn’t get enough of what was then “Business Link”. I spent several hours a day trawling the web for anything that would inform my business plan.
I realised also that not everything I needed to know would be free, but that some information and or ‘know how’ came at a cost. So I set out my learning and development programme and earmarked the things that I would have to pay for immediately in order to present an authentic service to my prospective clients. I knew that in doing this, I would be investing in my future and in the sustainability of my business.
Over the years I have spent several hundred pounds on learning new skills and on my personal and professional development and I haven’t so far regretted a penny. And I will carry on spending where I need to, in order to grow and develop and be the best me.
There is also the investment in time and energy. Some of the events and training sessions that I attended involved trecking across London. I recall one such trek when I was attending Capel Manor College to undergo my 6 week floral decoration training. This involved three hours return each day on the Northern Line – longer if I had to take the bus. And… For one of those weeks it snowed all week – but I persevered because achieving that floristry qualification was part of my development plan.
So why am I telling you all this? Well, I am now in the business of offering professional services to self-employed and small business owners and I am flabbergasted at how many business owners scrimp at paying for their personal and business development. If it is not free, they are not interested.
I get requests like, “could you show me how to do that?” Or else, I get the “well it sounds really Interesting but I can’t afford it!” My services are ethically priced because I do take into account that startups in particular have challenging financial issues – after all, I was once a startup! Furthermore most of my services involve pro-bono elements and complimentary offers to carefully selected clients (under my “one good turn deserves another” policy). But I could never give away all my services for free, because that would diminish the value of my work!
My parting comment is “ignore your personal development at your peril – the saying knowledge is power is very true!”
Does anyone else out there have this problem? I would love to hear from you.