by John Spence
It is absolutely fundamental to the long-term success of your organization that you have good financial controls and keep a sharp focus on your revenues, profits, and cash flow. And, of course, you need to work to keep a strong and healthy bank account balance, but I’m going to suggest there’s another kind of bank account that may be just as important or more important – your knowledge bank account.
Of course you have to have money to run your business, but you need to invest that money in creating and delivering highly innovative and valuable products and services to the marketplace. A large part of that is driven by the amount of “knowledge” you have in your account.
Here are three proven ways to invest in and grow your account balance.
“Try to learn something about everything,
and everything about something.”
– Thomas Huxley
Never in the history of the world has so much information been available — for free. I recently read that if you were to pick one subject and study it for one hour a day, seven days a week, for seven years, you would be considered a national authority on that subject at the end of that time. It sounds almost ludicrous, but I’m living proof.
I have read a minimum of 100 business books year every year since 1989 which has helped me become one of the top 100 business thought leaders in America, I say that not to impress you, but to impress upon you that it doesn’t take a genius – it just takes focus.
So, pick a topic that would be highly valuable in helping you run your business better and then spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day studying it. Read a book about it, listen to a podcast, read a blog, watch YouTube video, but invest 30 minutes a day in your personal knowledge account.
Let me make this very clear. The future success of your business is directly tied to the quality of the people that you can get, grow, and keep on your team. This means that talent acquisition, talent development and talent retention should be a major strategy in your organization.
Having truly talented and innovative people on your team = innovation, creativity, differentiation, market advantage and access to all of the knowledge of the people who work for you.
“The richest people in the world look for and build networks,
everyone else looks for work.”
– Robert Kiyosaki
But, you say, you’re a solopreneur and don’t have any staff? Whether you have employees or not, the third way to increase your knowledge account is the most powerful and applies to every single person reading this article.
Having a large and vibrant network is perhaps the master key to business success. It gives you an incredible amount of confidence and a feeling of security to know that you don’t have to have all the answers; you just need to have someone in your network that either has the answer, or can find it for you.
How do you build such a network? When you find someone really interesting who has knowledge and experience that is valuable to you, you connect with them and then work as hard as you possibly can add value to them. You send them articles, links to blogs, book recommendations, links to amazing videos on YouTube (these are all of the cool things you’re finding while investing in your personal knowledge bank), and constantly try to share information with them that you think they will find very valuable.
The goal is 90% give – 10% ask. If you approach networking in this fashion and continue to add more bright, sharp, smart and talented people to your network – and then work tirelessly to share great ideas with them – when the time finally comes that you need a little help they will all be more than happy to give you their best suggestions, ideas and connections.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
– Benjamin Franklin
John Spence is recognized as one of the top 100 business thought leaders and as one of the top 500 leadership development experts in the world. He is an international keynote speaker and management consultant and has written five books on business and life success. For more information, visit www.johnspence.com.