We believe in what Ghandi said: “Live like you’ll die tomorrow and learn like you’ll live forever.” Fred is 80, turning 81 in September, and I just turned 70 last week, but despite our ages and our years of business ownership and consulting experience, that adage has never been truer. Because of the pandemic, we’ve been unable to get on a plane and travel, so we’ve been working on projects at home, including attending webinars and Zoom meetings and researching ways to be better at what we do. There’s always something to be learned. We call it the “1-Thing Rule.”
Back in our business youth, we poked at plenty of rubbery chicken breasts while lunching through live presentations, and traveled far away to be trained and molded in multi-day events, and during those lunches and flights, we’d sometimes think, “Well I’m sure as hell not selling anything today on this long flight!” or “Experience is the best teacher! Why am I stuck in here? What good does this do me?” Despite our misgivings, we would still dutifully follow the course outline, taking notes and circling important points, sometimes fighting yawns and trying to stay alert. But always, even if the presentation was uninspired or the presenter was as dry as the Gobi Desert, there would be something learned, perhaps a way of looking at a problem that we’d not considered before, or a new book to read, or a fresh take on an old issue. Sometimes the biggest and only take-away was gaining confirmation that a tool or process we had devised ourselves was indeed, according to the experts, a good idea. Validation is always a balm.
So today, when we consider a class or research and both of us pull a sour face, we step back and ask each other: “Could we learn one thing?” And the answer is always, “I’m sure we could.” And we do.
July 14, 2020