The Experts Need to Keep Learning From the Experts.
Some of us involved in the business consulting industry are doing it a long time, while others are just starting out. The range of experience and expertise we bring to our clients varies widely. There is, however, a common theme we all share and that is the need to continuously upgrade our knowledge and skills.
Sure, we learn on the job as we interact with clients and build up our experience. We also keep abreast of new techniques and frameworks by learning from colleagues and by continuing the reading habit, long after we acquire our professional qualifications.
Continuing with formal learning is perhaps less common, but no less important than the other learning methods. This is not to say that a string of degrees will make us better business consultants. On the contrary, I believe that exposure to non-traditional and less academic evolving experts is far more valuable for most of us.
I have been following a number of experts in a number of fields for several years, and have been lucky to have been able to attend their seminars and avail of their teachings online. Some have business degrees and others have just High School diplomas. The funny thing is, the formal education levels that they have achieved do not matter. They are often schooled from interacting with business leaders, political, leaders and thought leaders from many different backgrounds. In my view, this exposure to practitioners of sound business practices and techniques far outweighs what we learn in formal degree programs in College.
One expert author and speaker that is worth listening to is Brendon Burchard. He actually has a background in management consulting with one of the larger practices, until he spurned this to set up his own personal training business about 15 years ago. Burchard claims to have studied psychology, leadership, neuroscience and high performance for the last two decades and has continued to read at least one book per week in all of that time. He has the reading habit.
Burchard has distilled his acquired knowledge into business frameworks and programs that are easy to understand and implement in all kinds of businesses. He is the most watched personal development trainer in the world. Over 30,000,000 people watched his videos in the last 12 months, and over 15,000,000 see his posts every week on Facebook. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, his books include The Motivation Manifesto, The Charge, The Millionaire Messenger, and Life’s Golden Ticket. Larry King named Burchard “one of the top motivation and marketing trainers in the world.” SUCCESS Magazine named him in their Top 25 Most Influential in Personal Development.
You can see Burchard pictured on his personal website with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Arianna Huffington, Tony Robbins, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Paulo Coelho, Wayne Dyer, Bill Nyes, Larry King, Anderson Cooper, Paula Abdul, John Gray, David Bach, Tory Burch, Montel Williams, Katie Couric, and Steve Forbes. If you can ignore the razzmatazz, Burchard actually has terrific content that we can all learn from.
Another expert I like to follow is Eben Pagan. Pagan never attended university but he often lectures there. Although his first venture into Internet marketing was a dating eBook, Pagan quickly identified a niche for helping people to market information products online. With estimated earnings of $134 million so far, Pagan has developed a completely devolved business empire, wherein all of the people he works with are effectively self-employed and work from home.
Pagan has a likeable nature and the ability to teach other people in an easy to understand, step by step, way. Like Brendon Burchard, he interacts and interviews business and personal development leaders like Tony Robbins, Sir Richard Branson, Dr. Bradford Smart, Wyatt Woodsmall, Jennifer Russell, Bryan Franklin and many more. Much of his vast knowledge comes from being an avid reader and from his love of learning. He is also a really nice guy. At one point, he not only recommended half a dozen books he thought I would benefit from reading, he actually paid for them and had them shipped to me.
Learning from non-traditional experts from the Internet era may not be to everybody’s taste, but I would argue that there is huge value to be derived from interacting with some of the winning players in this space. After all, they cannot continue to amass significant wealth if they are not delivering value to their constituents. I believe that we can all learn to use new tools and techniques if we are open-minded, and the real winners will always be our clients.