Read a book.
Repeat step 1.
Would you hire an architect who hadn’t read about architecture? Or a lawyer who hadn’t studied law – who had just “picked it up they went along” or said they “learnt on the job” or “just had a really good feel for it”?
No, nor would I.
If people spent less time shallow surfing memes and soundbites on social media and spent more time on in-depth learning about their respective fields, and others’, they would all get better at their jobs. The number of people working in advertising, marketing, design, media and ‘digital’ who have NEVER studied their own industry is utterly astounding.
If more people were to read on the bus, train, or tube instead of downloading the last Game of Thrones to keep them entertained, imagine how much smarter they would all be. If we learn stuff we can stop repeating the same routine at work that we did the day before – and, as if my magic, things would start to change; start to get better.
I’ve even come across those who think there’s little left for them to learn. These people frighten me the most. Not only through the breath-taking arrogance of their assumption that they are the unimprovable finished article, but that they go about executing their work responsibilities with the belief that they have the infallibility of the Pope and oblivious of their dereliction of a duty to do better.
When I set out to write my own book, I was warned by a good friend (and one of the cleverest people I have ever met) Antonis Kocheilas: “Remember, your target audience reads on average one business book a decade.” It’s chilling. I’ve known Antonis over ten years and have so far only found one marketing book he hadn’t read, and by now I guarantee that he has.
So, develop a new habit. Get better at what you do: read a book. It’s not hard. Pretty much all of us were taught how to do it at school. JFDI.
Author/Founder at How to Buy a Gorilla