3 Words that forever changed my life
I first heard these words uttered by the late Jim Rohn. They had such a profound impact on me at the time that I completely reevaluated how I was running my business and changed my philosophy. Not only did I make much more money, and quickly move up the ranks to the #1 spot in the company but my reps become some of the most profitable reps in the company during that campaign.
I really look at this philosophy as a way to master anything you want in life. If you want to learn something, understand it completely and make sure that it is ingrained in your brain, then you must follow philosophy. Lets take a closer look.
This is the most basic way of learning something, by studying it. We all studied in school and there are lots of times in life where we must continue to study. When we get a new job we must study how to do things. When we read a book, we are essentially studying that book. But studying something does not mean that we actually know it. There were countless times in school where I was studying for a test, I would take the test, pass it, and a few weeks later the info was no longer in my brain. Simply studying something is not enough to actually master or even understand the subject. You have to do more.
Practicing is taking what you have learned and applying it to real life. This is the biggest difference maker for people who do well at something and people who excel at something. Back when I was a sales trainer, I would run 3 day long seminars and teach my students how to sell products. After taking my course they had the ability to go out and do appointments and sell a few thousand dollars over the course of their first weekend. What they didn’t realize until after the 4th day of training (after their weekend of being in the field) that all I did the first 3 days was help them study the mechanics necessary to sell something. It wasn’t until they went out and practiced what they learned that they actually became knowledgeable sales people. This method is used not just for on the job training, but also in the classrooms. Thinking back to my science class in school, one class I would learn something from the textbook and then the next class we would do the lab and practice what we learned, it’s the same philosophy. By practicing what you have studied you are going to retain and understand the information that much more.
The key to mastery is by teaching someone. Once you know something well enough to teach and pass it along to someone else you have mastered that craft. When I was early in my sales career and was first promoted to Assistant Manager, I remember having a conversation with my manager at the time. I was complaining that all the extra time in the office was going to take away from my ability to get out in the field and sell to customers. He told me something that I will never forget. Yes I was going to have less time to sell but by teaching and helping the other reps become better salespeople themselves, I will in turn become a much more productive and better sales person as well. I didn’t fully understand why or how for that matter, but after that summer I looked back at my sales and sold more than twice the summer before with half as many appointments. That is when it made sense. By teaching others how to do something, you are relearning just as much as they are learning it. You are reinforcing the basics or the lesson in your mind just as much as in theirs. To fully master something you must be able to teach it to someone else.
Study, Practice, Teach.