There is such a strong pull in our western business culture to ‘have it all figured out.’ But there is a simple, counter-intuitive yet powerful principle that successful business owners know which keeps both them and their businesses growing:
Adults don’t learn unless we’re disoriented.
Think about it. A kindergartner is learning all the time, but adults have it all figured out. Why? Because everything is new all the time to a five year old. They are regularly amazed by how the world works. But adults have it all figured out, even when we don’t. We can’t let anyone know we don’t know something.
Successful business owners aren’t afraid to not know something and the best of them simply “live disoriented”. If we know that we don’t know everything and that life is SUPPOSED to be full of change, healthy instability and new experiences, we are much better prepared to grab hold of the new things that will keep us and our business fresh and growing.
Most business owners are strongly fastened to what they’ve always done, so when something new comes along that would actually push them forward they don’t see it because they aren’t disoriented enough to see the opportunity – they already “know” what works.
When I was in my 30s and had been in business a few years I figured I knew at least 50% of what it meant to be a good business owner. A number of businesses later I was much more certain that I knew less than 25% of what it took to make it work.
Business owners who live disoriented understand that the more they learn, the less they know. Learning just opens up door after door that all provide opportunities for us to continue to grow, adapt, change, and succeed.
When was the last time you were disoriented? Unless you’re disoriented from what you are certain is “true”, you’re not likely to take on any new tools to help you be even more successful.
Bob Parsons (Parsons Technology and GoDaddy) says: “Get out and stay out of your comfort zone.”
Let’s all commit to being five years old again – get disoriented and stay that way. You’ll learn a lot more, be a lot more successful, and make a bigger splash in the world around you.