“In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” – Albert Einstein
One of the biggest misconceptions that has been foisted upon us from an early age is that ‘knowledge is power’. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Knowledge means nothing if it’s not applied efficiently. In school, tons of irrelevant information is heaped upon us. We are forced to memorize and learn this information because we’ll be tested on them and your grades will supposedly dictate your intelligence.
In reality, most of what you learn in school will never be used in your daily life. You’d have forgotten most of it by the time you’re 20.
Yet, we cling to the belief that having a bunch of trivia and general knowledge cluttering up our brains makes us smarter.
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 are 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…
- It takes time
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 don’t get paid for it
You do NOT get paid to learn. 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 selling, 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?
- You’ll learn by doing
For starters, you must be willing to take a financial haircut during the learning process. Ideally, you should have a job you work at to pay your bills, while you’re learning whatever you need to in order to make your business work.
Secondly, you should ONLY be studying and learning what pertains to your business. Forget the unnecessary reading and so on. You don’t want information overload.
The next most important step is to APPLY what you learn. Do not strive to learn everything all at once before you take action. The Albert Einstein quote at the top of this article makes a very salient point.
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.
- Failure is to be expected
All the learning in the world will not save you from failure. Millions of people can’t cope with failure because, in school, failure was frowned upon. If you didn’t study the subject well and fail, it was assumed that you just weren’t bright enough… or competent enough.
So, later on in life, when people encounter failure, 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. You can’t even copy someone else’s life because everyone has a different question paper.
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.
“The best way of learning about anything is by doing.” – Richard Branson