Month of Learning

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You Can’t Do This On Your Own – The Help Of Others

The Help Of Others

The past month or so has been a testing one. Please do not feel this is a place to turn into a rant.

There are times when in order to reap the rewards we want to achieve, we have to understand that we can’t do everything ourselves. We need the help of others to accomplish our goals and to encourage us to take a step back and look at how things are currently shaping, in order to make them more effective.

Co-founder of Def Jam records, Russell Simmons said it very well when he commented, “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Pick people who are interested in what you’re interested in.”

My book project has been a close part of me throughout 2014. The Content Revolution has recently gone through the process of an editing stage that was a lot more in depth than I had anticipated. With the suggestions and comments from the publisher it was time to take stock of what had been produced from the first draft. There was quite a lot that needed to be addressed and aspects that I personally wasn’t happy with when reading through. A lot of the book has been rewritten to something that I am now ready to stand back from and let it go through the final copy editing amends. There have been times when the journey has felt like a long dark tunnel and I have to say it has been a time consuming and lonely process. If I had known at the early stages that this is part of the books evolution, would I have been so enthusiastic at the idea of taking this on as a project. I hope I would have done?

If I had taken the book project on with a final goal to self publish and control the entire management of the book myself with limited help from an editor, the final result would be no where near as accomplished. It would just be a piece of content that lacked consideration and critique but was easily published via the channels that are now available to everyone such as Lulu and CreateSpace. This backs up my decision why I chose not to self publish.

Leg Day

Keeping to what you’ve always done is the same as skipping leg day.

It made me realise that to be become better at what we want to achieve we need alternative perspectives and to be regularly challenged by others. Otherwise the world becomes a bit too safe, with no blind spots. We all need others to test our level of thinking; if this helps us create better work, then healthy conflict is needed. If we don’t take on board what others say, it’s similar to going to the gym and constantly skipping leg exercises. People keep to what they have always done and focus on the torso because it looks better in a mirror. Why put time and effort into something that needs a lot more dedication, when you can stick to what you’ve always been used to. The final product that is delivered is going to be average at best. Businesses who take this approach are the ones that get left behind.

The past couple of weeks have been about pushing the book project to a stage where there is something bigger out there to attain and that to achieve it; it’s not necessarily going to be comfortable. This all comes from knowing that there are others who are willing to tell you what you need to hear (or what you do not want to hear). This is all about having people around you who acknowledging that you can’t face everything on your own. There are others to guide and support.

Being supported by others who can support on a different level has been very true in the past week. My wife gave birth to our second child last Friday (17th October). Although the weekend was spent in intensive care and was a pretty unsettling 24 hours, the time and attention from the nurses meant that my wife and I were surrounded by the true meaning of ‘experts.’ This being a group of people who are highly skilled in their area of knowledge. We couldn’t have got through the initial days without them. For that, I am eternally thankful. It has even got to a more relaxed stage, where I have taken my laptop in and worked on the book edit in a hospital (that’s Alice at the top of the page).

This is the same for business where we need to listen and be guided by those who can help and support. We can’t go about the working week with our own pre-disposed view of the world, we have to be ready to learn. Competitive advantage is created through the ability to grasp knowledge and from the advice provided, to think for ourselves and to aid further discussion. This helps us solidify what we stand for and the supportive role that others can play.

I believe that we all need guidance when it comes to achieving our goals. I am not talking about the spiritual sort, but where other people have a role to play in our success. This affects our well being and peace of mind where we are influenced by those who are around us (a case in hand being the staff from Poole Maternity Hospital).

We just can’t take everything on board ourselves, we have to strive to improve our own learning and to attain the results that we wish to achieve through the support of others. Once we have done this, then we have the opportunity to be regarded as a ‘trusted advisor’ to others who seek our help and support. We can’t profess to be someone who knows all the answers, but the experiences we have had (in a personal and business capacity) can help us shape how we see the world and where we have come from.

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