When I use the word “Study” with most people look at me like I am crazy. The word “study” is used primarily in formal education and in most cases in our society it means study enough to learn the material, pass the test, and then you can move on.
My challenge for you today is to pick a subject and study it. The great Peter Drucker was known to pick a particular subject and dive into that subject for months and even years to learn as much as he could about that subject. He not only understood the importance of lifelong and continued learning, but he was curious to learn as much as he could about as many things as he could.
Many people go through life and think they know it all. I am sure this is not you. Or, they took a class on it in college or maybe attended a seminar on it once or twice. I am not talking about that kind of study. I am talking about a deep study of a particular subject where you become such an expert on it that you could write the book.
This morning I finished reading my 25th book related to selling in the last three years. These books are books that have the words sales or selling in the title. It doesn’t include all of the books on influence, psychology, and emotional intelligence which all relate to selling in many ways. Some of the books were very similar, some were way off the mark, some were process driven, some were theory based, and some were application based. In some of those books I picked up a lot of new knowledge and in others, I may have picked up one or two new concepts. Either way, I learned something new that has led to an accumulation of knowledge that allows me to be more effective in the marketplace on many different fronts.
I can remember a time when I was reading a book on selling around a good friend of mine. She grabbed the book out of my hand, thumbed through it rather quickly, and gave it back to me. She then said, I already know all of those things. At the time, I didn’t see it as anything other than her being herself. Looking back on that small interaction now, I can see how that approach and that thinking really limits a person’s ability to get ahead and stay ahead in the marketplace.
In an earlier post http://wp.me/p4eY1f-9d I talk about the “Forgetting Curve.” I believe that this study and this concept is more relevant today than it was when the study was conducted. In our over saturated media and content market, it is much easier to forget and not focus on things.
So what should you study or as Mr. Drucker would say, “what should or are you curious about?”
Your business/profession: My first suggestion is to be curious about your business and your profession. You should learn and make a study of everything possible about your particular business and your profession. If you plan on staying in that business then you should continue to develop your skills and knowledge in it. The only way to do that is to study it and know it.
Something you hate: A lot of the great inventions and technologies of the world have come from a belief in “there must be a better way”, or “I can’t tolerate this.” What is it that you hate? Find that concept and study it and get to know it. When you study it and understand it, I mean really understand it, then who knows what kind of solutions you may be able to find. And a long the way you become a more informed person about that particular subject.
Something you Love: My hope is that you love your work and you want to study that and will study it. But what else do you love. Maybe it is photography, emotional health, wellness, music, etc. Pick a subject and study it.
Families/Relationships: I will go out on a limb here and say that most of us have or belong to a family and value the relationships that we have with our family, friends, and colleagues. If that is the case, then why wouldn’t we study it and understand how to be better or more informed in this area.
Finances: Regardless of where you are financially making a decision to study money is beneficial. I think I read recently that millionaires spend about 20% of their time a month with an accountant. They are learning where and how their money is doing and performing. So as you can see the more you have the more you should study it. Or you could surmise that the more you study your money the more you would have of it.
My list is not a comprehensive list of things you should study, but it is a start. What areas do you suggest we should study? Please share with me your thoughts and ideas.
To your success and your future.