The most educated and successful people in the world never stop learning. They may have graduated from school a long time ago, but the learning continues forever. The most educated people are not always successful, but if you couple education with hard work and goal setting, it can create awesome results.
Being successful does not mean you stop learning and educating yourself. When someone sees success they may start to think they know it all and don’t need any more classes or seminars. Some people feel it is a sign of weakness to seek help. I never read self-help books or listened to educational CDs until a couple of years ago. I was guilty of thinking I was too good to learn anything from those books or CDs. The most successful people in the world realize there will always be people they can learn from, they never know everything and they can always get more education.
This article is the sixth article in my series in how attitude can bring success. Check out my article how to be more successful at life and real estate to see the other articles.
Why is education important to help people succeed?
It is imperative we let others help us and educate us about anything in life. It may be possible to learn something ourselves, but why not use thousands of years of human experiments to see what is the best way to do something? For almost every task imaginable, there is a book or article about the best way to do something. The guidance we can get from someone else’s experience is priceless. Even if you want to add your unique style or create a better way to do something, you can build on what others have done. You do not have to start from scratch when there is so much information available.
How can people continue to educate themselves?
When you first think of education and learning we think of school; high school, college, trade school. But there are many ways to learn besides going to school. I attend a couple of real estate conferences a year, and I always learn so much. I don’t just learn from the classes or speakers, but I learn from agents I talk to and companies that attend the conferences. We can learn just as much from people in our business than we can from school. You have to have an open mind when talking to others. You have to listen and be aware that we may not know everything and other people may have a better way to do things. Books, websites and seminars are a great way to learn new information as well. You have to remember not everything you read or see online will be correct.
Why do people hesitate to educate themselves?
I used to think there was something special about doing things myself without help or guidance. I thought being self-taught somehow made what I was doing better than if I had help.
When looking back at why I thought being self-taught was better I was building in excuses if I did not succeed. If someone was better than me at something I could say: “I was self-taught and that person had lessons.” Our egos stop us from seeking help because it might show weakness and that we are not as good or special as we thought. When we are talking about life, the best of the best always have coaches and they always educate themselves constantly.
Is it better to be the best you can be at something with help or just pretty good at something because you were self-taught? When it comes to business, life and being happy, I want to be the best I can, and if it takes help to get there then I am just fine with that.
The best of the best never stop learning
The best professional athletes are not always the most talented. They are the athletes who are the most coach-able and work the hardest. The richest people in the world are not the smartest people with brilliant ideas, they have learned from others and hired the best people to work for them. The richest people may not always have a great formal education, but they have mentors and people who have taught them how to succeed. The most successful people are constantly learning and adapting. They never stop learning and listening to people even when they reach the top of their profession or business.
To learn how to use mindset and attitude to make yourself more successful, check out: How to Change Your Mindset to Achieve Huge Success: Why your attitude and daily habits have more to do with making more money and having more freedom than anything else. A 200 page book available as an eBook or paperback on Amazon.
How can you continue to learn your entire life?
When you first hear that you need to continue to learn your entire life it may seem overwhelming. When do I get to relax and take a break? When you are excited about learning something you love or that is at least interesting, it becomes fun to learn. When you learn how to motivate yourself and look at life as a challenge and not a bunch of problems, you will look at learning the same way.
How has education helped my real estate business?
I started this blog, InvestFourMore in March of 2013. At the time I thought I knew pretty much everything about real estate investing. I had been very successful and learned a lot from my dad about selling real estate and fix and flips. My plan with the blog was to help others learn about investing, not to learn myself.
I did help educate people about real estate investing, but I also learned more about real estate and my business than I thought possible. I learned about direct marketing, better ways to rent houses, better ways to flip houses and much more. I learned how to write better, how to market better and how to create a successful blog. Luckily I was open to learning, and I became more successful by writing this blog.
You have to keep learning to become the best you can be
Our school system is set up for students to go through K-12 and then college. We then have a choice to continue our education with more college and once we are done with college we start working. When we start working many people stop learning, but you must continue to learn maybe even more so than when in school. When you start working you have a job and know exactly what your responsibilities are. You should be researching the best way to complete your work, going to seminars to learn from the best in the business and learning from people you work with. The more you learn, the further you will get in your job and you may see more opportunities in other jobs or you may see the value in working for yourself.
It is important to remember that we never know everything. When you stop learning, you stop advancing and most likely will be passed up by others who aren’t afraid to learn. I constantly read and listen to audio tapes as well as attend conferences and seminars. I know I don’t know everything and I never will. I think rental properties are a great investment and selling real estate is an awesome way to make a living. However I am not going to limit myself to real estate if I see greater opportunities in something else.
Learning and educating yourself is not limited to work
Jim Rhon said we must work harder on ourselves than on our work. When you learn to work harder on yourself than your job, money will take care of itself. I believe this as well. If you are a successful person what you do is not that important. You can make money and be successful doing anything. Being open-minded to self-help books, audio CDs and personal coaching has helped me improve my personal life more than my business. I took personal coaching to make more money and it ended up changing my entire life. It gave me more free time, more confidence, more control and more money. The money seems to come once you are in the right mindset and have the right attitude. Don’t forget to educate yourself about how to make yourself better, not just your work.
How much money should you spend on education?
There is a tricky balance between spending money on education that is worth while and spending all your money on education without taking action. The most educated people in the world may not ever be successful if they never take any action. The truth is if you are serious about education and learning, you will spend a lot of money on education, but the actions you take based off that education should more than make up for the money you spend. The trick to spending your money wisely is making sure you spend your money on things that will help you.
When deciding where to spend your money, watch out for bait and switch techniques. There are many people looking to take advantage of motivated individuals by making big promises with big price tags. If someone lures you in with a free seminar that turns into a $20,000 course to get the real information, it is probably a scam. If you don’t learn anything in the first seminars except that you need to buy more classes to learn more information, be cautious!
Some courses and education, especially personal coaching can be expensive. But real programs won’t try to trick you into buying them, they will tell you the costs and benefits upfront. There is no bait and switch, and you don’t have to keep buying more classes to get the real secrets.
I buy books and audio CDs all the time. I see no problem spending on books because one piece of information could be well worth the price of the book and most likely much more. Self help teachers suggest people spend as much as 10% of their income on personal improvement. I do not spend this much, but I do spend thousands a year on educating myself about personal and business improvements.
Once you get into the mindset of constantly learning and constantly improving anyway you can, life becomes a lot of fun. When life becomes a challenge and not problem after problem, success will come. Don’t be afraid to learn from those who have had success, be the best you can be and get as much from life as possible!