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Marketing 101: Keep on Learning by Elizabeth Slater

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Marketing 101:
Keep on Learning

by Elizabeth Slater

I am always saddened when I hear people saying that they have nothing to learn. It is very rare indeed that we have learned all we can possibly learn about any subject. There is always something new, a new idea, a different way of thinking about something or even something about ourselves and our reactions, especially when we are working with consumers. To improve our skills or learn something new is to access the ‘Learner’ which is in there somewhere in each one of us. Access your beginner’s mind, that place inside us that allows us to learn without judgment or embarrassment. When babies are learning to walk they will get up and fall down so many times it’s astounding. Yet they never get an attitude. They do not totter there thinking that they will never learn to walk, then sit down on the floor and stay there until they are forty. They just keep on trying until they can walk. Small children get frustrated but they don’t give up…that’s the beginner’s mind. Why do we need to cultivate our beginner’s mind? One word…Business! Business is requiring us, on a regular basis, to do more and more things that we have never done before.

Knowers and a Learners

Inside you have both a Knower and a Learner. As we get older, we access our Knower part more and more because it’s more comfortable for us, and we access the Learner less. Have you stopped being a learner and become only a knower? Take a step back and think about the things you need to learn to make your businesses stronger. Or we may choose to learn something just because we would like to. My sister, on the occasion of her fiftieth birthday, decided to learn to play the banjo and she did. Now, she is well known in the area where she lives as an excellent banjo player and plays in two bands, which perform regularly. She is always learning. Her choice of instrument has also afforded me the opportunity to make jokes about banjo playing and banjo players (sorry Mags), which brings me great enjoyment. However, I truly admire her willingness to take up something new and to put in the time and effort to become extremely proficient. 

Like my sister, I too love to learn and learning these days is so much easier. I spent lots of time on the internet, keeping up with trends, innovations and general information about the worlds of marketing and sales. And there is always new information to dig out, new ways to do things, or at least to try and see if it working. 

Much of my winter and spring is spend presenting seminars at conferences. For me it is a thrilling and rewarding time. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing “the light go on” in people’s eyes when I am speaking. When I see someone furiously writing I know that I have done my job. However, catch me during a break and you will usually find me furiously writing. Hurriedly jotting down things my audience has said so I will not forget them. It’s not only what I can teach people that is so exciting but what they can teach me. Every time I present a seminar I learn from the attendees. 

Being Open to New Opportunities

The important lesson through all of this – be open to learning something about your business, your methods of doing business or yourself at every opportunity. This motivation to learn will make you and your company more successful and more profitable. No matter how you choose to learn, through books, seminars, conferences, listening to tapes in the car or through listening to others in the same business, learning is what keeps us energized and enthusiastic about out business. It we are energized and enthusiastic we pass this energy and enthusiasm along to our employees.

 A big part of success is to be open to learning something about your business, your methods of doing business, your customers or yourself at every opportunity. This motivation to learn will make you and your company more successful and more profitable. No matter how you choose to learn, through the internet, books, magazines, seminars, conferences, listening to tapes in the car or through listening to others in the same business, learning is what keeps us energized and enthusiastic. Pass this energy and enthusiasm along to customers and people your work with. They in turn will pass it along to others who then promote our business and products to the rest of the world.