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Entrepreneurship: How Learning Without Action Leads to Failure

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Knowledge is power, or is it? Nothing could be further from the truth. Now, knowledge can lead to power, but only when you know what to do with it and how to use it. Knowledge means nothing if it’s not applied efficiently.

The more you learn, the more time and energy you’re expending on theory. That’s all well and good… but… there’s something you should know…

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Think back to when you were in elementary, middle, and high school. You were taught information at a rapid pace, then tested on the information which was supposed to dictate your level of intelligence.

“Learning is to execution what doing is to success.” – Jo Mayo

In reality, a lot of what you learn in school may or may not be used in your daily life. We forget most it by the time we are in our 20’s. Similarly, many people who decide to become entrepreneurs fall into this trap of reading as much as they can. Self-help books, business books, and a ton of other irrelevant content is consumed in the belief that learning more will guarantee their success.

Once again, it doesn’t. Let’s look at the true cost of learning…

“Nothing just happens; it’s a process.” - Jo Mayo

*It takes time

Nothing just happens nor does it happen overnight. Yes, it’s time-consuming. The more you learn, the more time and energy you’re expending on theory. That’s all well and good… but… there’s something you should know…

*You do NOT get paid for learning

It's true! You don’t get paid for the time you spend learning. You only get paid for the value you bring to the marketplace. That means, you either need to sell a product or a service to make money. It’s imperative that you understand this point. Money is made by offering a value that creates a better quality of life, NOT learning.

* Learning is crucial to success

But there’s a problem here… in order for you to succeed in business, you’ll need to learn the different components of the business. You’ll need to learn selling and all the other intricacies required to make the enterprise generate profit. But you’re not getting paid for learning. So what do you do?

“The best way of learning about anything is by doing.” – Richard Branson

* You’ll learn by doing

For starters, don’t be too quick to quit your job! Contemplate upfront...consider the costs. Take all things into may decide to continue working, while perfecting your craft. This is often referred to as an intrapreneur. An intrapreneur is an employee who utilizes the resources (learnings) and capabilities (experiential knowledge) of an established company, to enhance their level of learning, while not having to take on all the risk of running a business.

For many working a job to pay bills or make ends meet is ideal, as you can still be learning whatever you need to in order to make your business work.

Secondly, prevent read overload rather place a higher FOCUS upon studying and learning what pertains to your business. APPLY what you learn. Do not strive to learn everything all at once before you take action.

Theory and practice are different. You must take the theory that you learn and apply it to practice. In this way, you’ll learn and do at the same time… and learn by doing. Not only will you save time, but you’ll accelerate your progress and be able to deliver value to the marketplace sooner and turn a profit. That’s fantastic.

“The best way of learning about anything is by doing.” – Richard Branson

* Failure is to be expected

All the learning in the world will not save you from failure. Often in life, when people encounter failure of some sort, they believe that it’s because they aren’t smart or capable enough. In reality, life gives you exams on subjects you’re clueless about.

It’s normal to fail and to be expected. The key to succeeding is understanding that you need to learn what you can and apply it by doing. Then when you fail, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t. From there, it’s a matter of iterating and correcting the flaws until you have a plan that works.

Then it’s just a matter of repeated execution of what works until you reap rewards. By now you’ll realize that learning is just the beginning… and not the be-all and end-all of entrepreneurial success.

-Coach Jo

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