Last Friday I decided to take a mental health day and a friend and I were going trail riding at a local park. I allowed myself plenty of time to get there. You see, my horse had recently developed a trailer phobia the last couple of times we’ve gone anywhere. She would refuse to get on and since I usually was on a time schedule to be somewhere, I resorted to quick fixes to get her on.
Not this time. I decided I was going to do some training if she refused to go on the trailer and already knew which techniques I was going to employ. What I didn’t count on was spending 40 minutes trying to catch her in the first place! This was the first time she’s ever behaved this bad! She ran at full speed (with the other three horses right beside her) from one corner of the pasture — and it’s a very big pasture — to the other. Each time I got close (walking, not running) all four horses would take off full speed to the far end of the pasture. Finally, they must have tuckered out because I caught my horse and we had to walk the length of the pasture back to the horse trailer. Luckily for her and me, she walked right on the trailer.
And so the events of the pasture catch (and the previous trailer loading issues) got me to thinking. What was going on? Why was my horse testing me? What had changed? I knew the answer, though…and I’d known for a while. It was something I’ve needed to do: training, schooling, exercising…whatever you want to call it. We hadn’t been doing it. I used to train (or exercise) her at least 4 days a week the first few years I had her. However, the last couple of years I hadn’t been. We might ride once or twice a month and other than that, she’s in the pasture. She doesn’t exhibit behavioral issues when we’re riding; she maneuvers pretty darn close to perfect on everything I ask her. Quite frankly, the training had gotten boring. So what’s the plan now? At least once (and hopefully twice) a week, I will be spending some time with training. Perhaps I can learn some new tricks to teach her…and keep her mind thinking about good things instead of tricks she can play to cause me problems!
So how does this relate to entrepreneurs? It’s always important to be continually learning. We should never think we know it all, but should always be looking and reading the latest news related to our industry or of those we serve. We should keep current on the latest programs we use now or want to use in the future. In the online world, everything changes so rapidly. It’s important we stay up-to-date!
Training and educating ourselves will keep our mind sharp and reflexes swift. It’ll keep us from getting bored as new advances will bring new opportunities. Ultimately it’ll keep us from “getting into trouble”.
Sometimes we even need to go back to the basics and re-read a book we’ve already read to remind ourselves of things we should know! If you’re struggling in your business, are you still educating yourself?