Early in my life I wrongly assumed that once you had received your training, whether that be college, post-college, trade school, athletic development or otherwise and were released to the world to work your craft that you were done learning. I mean, what’s the point of learning things if you must continuously learn things or be coached all throughout life? Later in life I realize that my thoughts about this were completely wrong. In fact, they were quite the opposite of reality. In order to perform at the highest levels, coaching is not only suggested, it is required.
The examples of coaching and continual personal development
are far and wide. The examples also cross virtually all skillsets, careers and job
types. I knew that things in careers change over time, but I incorrectly
assumed that you just picked up the new stuff on the fly or you changed with
the times purely as a function of doing your job correctly. Take teachers, for
example. My wife has a long career in education (Special Education, to be exact)
and she is required each year to maintain a log of hours that are directly
related to keeping her certification up to date. The State Board requires all
teachers to spend a certain number of hours each year at seminars, conferences
and trainings related to their field. Look at the other end of the spectrum –
highest level, extremely highly paid athletes at the very top of their game. In
golf, Butch Harmon, arguably the greatest golf coach in the world, still
coaches the top players in the game. Athletes that have reached the pinnacle of
their success still pay millions of dollars for the best coaches and caddies to
continually refine their game.
It could be successfully argued that many athletes would not be who they are without the help of a good coach. Would Tom Brady (quarterback for The New England Patriots football team) have achieved the mind-blowing record of six championships without the support of the demonstrably greatest football coach of all time, Bill Belichick? Each would have done well in their own right, I’m sure, but to be the best of the best, Tom needed continual coaching throughout his career to be the best for so long.
The Brady/Belichick example is very technical and sports oriented, but what about pure mindset? Tony Robbins, the long time ‘guru’ of all things positive mental attitude, has a loyal following amidst numerous top athletes and coaches. Pat Riley, Andre Agassi, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Chuck Liddell, Serena Williams and, yes, even Tom Brady. Why would people that are obviously the best in their field continue to pay someone else in order to make themselves better? The answer is quite simple – everyone needs help with refining motivation, purpose and drive in their life. I would also go so far as to say that the higher you go regarding your success whether that be personal, financial, or career, that your need for coaching and training increases.
We have spent over $30,000 in the last year alone on nothing but training courses, groups and coaching in order to further develop our business skills. We realize that we know a lot and have achieved a certain level of success, but we have a long way to go before we could ever say that we are ‘done’. We also realize that there are people out there that have a very good understanding of a single, niche element of business. For example, Facebook advertising is an important strategy for any business nowadays. I could potentially spend a few months learning and implementing strategies on Facebook – fumbling around in the dark and learning as I go, or I could find someone that is exceptionally good at that aspect of advertising and I could pay them to shorten my learning curve significantly. I could stay solitary and struggle with my own self-doubt riding the crazy ups and downs of being an entrepreneur or I could pay to join a community of like-minded individuals with similar goals and purpose so that we can lean on each other when things get difficult. All these examples prove my earlier, incorrect assumptions that you stop learning at a certain point and you just follow your path. Instead, look to experts as often as you can. Find those that have gone before you and learn from their mistakes, accelerate the speed in which you will see success, miss a few of the potholes and shorten the time it takes to reach your goals. Always improve and fight to stay on top.