Let’s talk about the importance of cross-disciplinary experience (and experience in general). Not only that, let’s explore how to hijack experience, why it pays to be patient, and why experience gives you tons of leverage.
This is something that I’ve been experiencing a little bit recently on a project that I’ve been working on. We have somebody new that came on board who is really experienced with other forms of business. He came in from a different industry and is helping us with specific project.
This person could be retired, 65+ years old, and have decades of deep industry experience under their belt. So if you’re 21, when you read their content, you are effectively hijacking all those years of accumulated experience from the other person. The net effect isn’t a 1:1 transfer, but it’s still priceless.
The reason why I’m making this point is because when people who discount experience and want to take it on for themselves, it actually slows the company down.
That’s why I always encourage people to learn from others, read as much as they can, and stop trying to make all the mistakes on their own. This is why Warren Buffett reads 5+ hours a day. It’s why Bill Gates reads so much. Why Mark Cuban reads so much. It’s because of the experience that they can pull from other people and other areas, which they know can be worth billions of dollars.
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That’s why there’s such benefits of having groups like the Young Entrepreneurs Council, which is basically my online sounding board with an entire community of business owners. They’re all doing over a million a year, and we’re talking all the time and trading tips.
We’re asking each other for feedback, recommendations, and things like that so we don’t have to go through the pain of needless failure.
Typical YEC meeting, where I always learn a ton:
Same thing with Entrepreneur’s Organization. EO is like YEC but it’s more in person. So for example, one person gets put in the hot seat, we have another presentation as well, and we’re all sharing our experiences.
When I first took over Single Grain, it was an incredible opportunity, but I didn’t have a lot of experience running a business. There’s a lot of things that I had to learn the hard way, like a cash-flow forecast, utilization rates for running an agency, time-tracking, etc. I learned most of these crucial concepts from my forums.
Constantly learning from the experiences of other people is also a good character-building exercise.
It keeps you open-minded and accountable. So, even though I have very strong opinions, I can change them very quickly if I’m proven wrong.
If you take anything away from this blog post, remember this phrase: “Strong views loosely held.” This is the type of mindset you always need to be in when running a business that other people depend on for their livelihood, including your own family.
This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post: