We can all remember the tedious task of researching information in the not too distant past. We had to use the card catalog at a library in lieu of a database to find what we were looking for. The newspaper was delivered every day to our doors to feed us information that we accepted as soon enough. It was a different reality that we felt was good enough before the web, on-demand media and RSS feeds to our BlackBerries filled in our mind space and attention. Speed, complexity and convenience took over. Technology has enabled a new reality for us.
I remember sitting in a seminar of a guy who spoke on the topic of money many years ago. He was sharing his advice on how he grew his wealth. He opened by saying, “So, what qualifies me to give this talk? Well, number one, I can read.” The audience laughed from his delivery of the succinct and witty comment. However, it was true. He could teach us many things because he read, learned and experienced what he tried.
You may be enamored by the wizardry of a person who navigates your computer with grace and precision and ask yourself, “How do they know so much?” Have you seriously tried to answer the question? The answer is simple, they chose not to remain ignorant and they got to work. Ignorance is becoming a lost excuse. We are swimming in a sea of information to help us learn whatever our hearts desire. The question is whether we truly desire to learn. The second question is whether we have courage enough to try new things.
Every year, ignorance will cost us increasingly more. If you do not know how to create a presentation, there are people who have paid the brain bill that will command a rightful fee for their knowledge. Everyone wants to create a brand and system which connects with prospects. Very few know how to do this. Those that do not will show one of the following:
- Avoidance: They ignore the reality until the pain gets high enough. The pain from lost business and the competition raising the standard will force the issue.
- Maneuvering: They will angle and coerce those that have the knowledge they need to avoid paying a price.
- Pay the Price: Those that have knowledge paid a price. In turn, they are compensated for the effort, distillation and expertise they have developed.
There is nothing stopping you from gaining knowledge that is valuable. It can become valuable not only to yourself, but others who need it as well. They are called customers. You are in the new economy. Those that have knowledge become valuable to others. Those that do not buy from those that do. If they do not pay the brain bill to learn the knowledge they have access to, they pay a monetary price. Here are three things you can do to increase your own value:
- Set Aside Time to Learn: Turn the TV off every night for a week and read, learn and research new information. How about going to http://www.howstuffworks.com and learning something. Then share it with me by putting a comment on this article at our advice site. Find out how a blog works and start one if you have something valuable to offer people in the way of knowledge.
- Commit to Speaking Engagements: Take some initiative and throw a seminar for your colleagues, your social group or for the general public. Speak on the knowledge revolution or how to raise children. Speak on a topic people care about and force yourself to step into growing your knowledge because you committed. To teach is to learn again. To teach is to master.
- Attend Seminars: You need to keep pace. For every valuable seminar or training you attend, think about how to use the new knowledge to share with others. That is ROK – Return on Knowledge. Get knowledge wherever you can find it. Others who have paid the brain bill are sharing distilled value. It’s your job to apply it and leverage it in your specific life and business to create more value.
Paying the brain bill is hard work. It is worthwhile, however. Every day, someone is getting ahead of you in your field or in life. Their passion to continue growing and knowing as much as they can places them ahead of the curve. Every day, continue to learn one new thing and then share it immediately. That one habit will help you become extremely valuable as the knowledge game continues to unfold and favor those who have know-how.