In the spirit of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we asked Strategic Coach clients to share their secrets to success. The fourth in the series is written by Gary Klaben, President of Coyle Financial Counsel, Inc. in Glenview, Illinois. Gary also coaches workshops for Strategic Coach in Chicago.
A lot of people hate asking for help. Yet I’m very aware that learning from others has been a huge factor in my success as an entrepreneur, and I believe you can benefit from the guidance of a mentor at any stage of your career.
Who knows everything?
Sure, asking for help takes humility and makes you feel vulnerable. But I look at it this way: Just because I’ve been on this earth for fifty-six years, that doesn’t mean I know everything.
Learning from someone who is more knowledgeable and experienced in an area than I am, and could be of great help, is such a tremendous opportunity that it overrides the feelings of humility and vulnerability pretty much every time.
A vital characteristic of a successful entrepreneur.
And, of course, I don’t know everything. I do know, though, that being open to change and new ideas is vitally important for any entrepreneur, and I’ve seen the results that it’s created in my own career.
I feel very strongly that anybody I meet can help me. It doesn’t matter their station in life, their age, education, or experience level.
Say we have a new hire joining us straight out of college. Inevitably someone will remark, “Well, we’ll have to teach her a lot.” And my response to that is, “Yeah, but what does she have to teach us?”
Everyone has stuff to offer—especially if we give them a chance and ask, “What do you think?”
4 steps to learning something new.
Anytime I’ve wanted to learn something, I’ve done four things: Seek out a “best in class” expert who’s figured out the area I’m trying to master, ask them for help, listen, then try out what they say to do—without question—and see how it works.
I’m not afraid to ask for help, fail, or have things blow up in my face. It’s all part of learning, and it hasn’t hurt me once in my life. All it’s done is give me a lot more skills and the ability to be a lot better at what I do.