Every truly wise person knows that learning is a lifelong endeavor. It appears that we are, in fact, created to keep learning. It’s an obvious condition that is grossly overlooked by employers who do nothing to encourage their workers to learn.

The entrepreneur, on the other hand, can be in a constant state of learning. That’s what attracted me to my own business in the first place.

Most of us who have heard the Eastern proverb that says, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” think it refers to an individual who comes to guide us.

I’d like to suggest that proverb applies to business as well. Your business can and will teach you to uncover hidden talents, to think bigger, to discipline yourself.

It would be impossible to identify all the things my business has taught me, things I might never have learned any other way. Here are a few I do recognize.

° Building from the ground up is fun. My mentor used to say we all have an architect within us, a force that wants to design and build things that have never existed before.

The joy of seeing an idea come to life is one of life’s great blessings—one that entrepreneurs have over and over again as they create new things.

° I can’t outperform my self-image. My business is a reflection of what I think of myself and who I am in the world.

Once I learned this, working on maintaining a positive self-image and challenging self-doubts became a top priority that led me to a new area of study.Consequently, my library is filled with books on personal growth subjects by numerous elegant teachers.

° It all balances out. Taking a long view is the secret weapon of every successful entrepreneur. Life is about ebb and flow; so is business, of course.

If cash flow is down this month, it may be unusually large next month.

It takes a few years of being in business to see how this really works, but it’s still helpful to make this basic assumption.

° We live in a world of opportunity. I certainly didn’t know this in the days when I worked for others.

Now I am constantly in awe of how huge the possibilities are for anyone willing to take responsibility for bringing them into being.

° The more I invest in my business, the more it returns the investment. When I spend my time and money in ways that stretch me, my business gets better.

Books, seminars and time spent with other entrepreneurs are not simply indulgences. They’re power tools for success.

Taylor Caldwell said, “The true purpose of education is to enlarge the soul, to widen the mind, to stimulate wonder, to give a new vision and understanding of the world, to excite the intellect, to awaken dormant faculties for the exultation of the possessor.”

The true purpose of business is exactly the same, but in this course you get paid to learn. What a great way to spend a life.

One Response to “Business as a Teacher”

  1. Dee Relyea

    Eloquently said as always! It is a wonderful thing to sit in that state of awe and play with the possibilities, but the true payoff is when some of them manifest in real life.

    One thing my business has taught me is that you do have to take action to bring those ideas into being. You can’t just sit in the harbor waiting for your ship to come in. You gotta build a boat and venture out of the harbor! —Dee

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