31 Jan CPA’s secret to business success…be a lifetime student
Eric Ries, author of The Learn Startup has a fabulous quote about the importance of learning in any new business venture. He states that “You can’t take learning to the bank; you can’t spend it or invest it. You cannot give it to customers and cannot return it to limited partners. Is it any wonder that learning has a bad name in entrepreneurial and managerial circles? Yet if the fundamental goal of entrepreneurship is to engage in organization building under conditions of extreme uncertainty, its most vital function is learning.”
As a Certified Public Accountant, I am required to not only obtain a degree in accounting and past the CPA exam, I am also required to attend 40 hours of continuing education. The AICPA and the North Carolina Board of Certified Public Accountants values education. When we leave college, there are still lots more out there to learn and as an accountant dedicated to the profession, we must continue to update our skills.
Joyce E. A. Russell, a writer for The Washington Post, agrees with Mr. Ries in her article Career Coach: Continual learning: Why it’s more important than ever before. She states that “All around the world, people are going back to school, taking online courses, mastering additional languages, etc. — all in the spirit of growth and continual learning.
With today’s more complex business environment, learning is not just a nice thing to do — it is essential for staying on top of things. Especially during times of recession, it is important for people to learn new skills and enhance their marketability.
None of us can afford to remain stagnant in our knowledge. Organizations need to ensure that individuals keep learning. To do this, they must create a culture of self-directed learners who are excited about learning and incentive to advance knowledge and skills.”
I recently attended the 2014 Women in Business symposium held at Blue Ridge Community College recently. One of the speakers, Sarah Benoit of JB Media Group, spoke on their constantly evolving industry. Sarah specializes in web design, SEO and social media marketing. She noted in her speech that every morning she wakes up knowing that she “knows nothing” and has to reinvent herself. The rate at which social marketing, SEO and web design industry is changing ultimately requires her to be on a constant learning loop. Lucky for her she finds this invigorating and it is a secret to her success. I believe that there are a lot of industries that are evolving at a very rapid rate and that the ones that are successful have a creative team in place that are constantly reinventing themselves and their products.
The million (or billion) dollar question is how does your industry cycle or shift? How often the industry is completely overhauled? What are YOU going to do to keep your company’s service or product relevant in today’s ever changing environment? Steve Jobs was not satisfied with his first IPod or his first market ready computer the Apple IIe. He pushed his company and employees to see his vision of a better tomorrow. Henry Ford took a market ready product, an automobile, and made it affordable to the masses through creating the assembly line system and paying his employees enough money that they too could buy a Ford (naturally elevating demand). So now it is time to do your own personal reflection on your business and see how these concepts might propel you to be the Henry Ford or Steve Jobs of your own industry.
A few quotes to inspire you:
Other Links you may enjoy: