With experience comes comfort. That’s not always good. When we get complacent in our business, our job or our relationships, we start to disengage. That’s when quality suffers. To prevent this, I tell business leaders and franchisees to “live every day like’s it’s your first.”
The first time we do something, we’re focused. We’re careful. We take nothing for granted. That’s a useful perspetive. We learn the most with wide eyes and open minds.
There’s a term for this in Zen Buddhism– shoshin. This translates to “beginner’s mind.” That doesn’t mean ignorance or naïveté. It means being excited, open and free of pre-conceived notions. It means remaining curious. A beginner’s mind approaches life with wonder rather than certainty. That’s good for business.
Experience is an important part of growth, but we can’t rely on it for an understanding of how the world works. The world is constantly changing. Trusting too much of what you’ve learned in the past just might trap you there. As Zen master Shunryu Suzuki once wrote, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”
How Business Leaders and Franchisees Can Maintain a Beginner’s Mind:
1. Remain in a constant state of learning. Experts know everything about how to succeed yesterday. Seek new ideas to ensure you’re prepared to succeed tomorrow.
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Experts know everything about how to succeed yesterday. Seek new ideas to ensure you’re prepared to succeed tomorrow.[/tweet_box]
2. Remain in a constant state of unlearning. To make room for new ideas, let go of old, outdated ones. Yesterday’s truth may no longer apply. Constantly challenge old assumptions.
3. Resist judgment. Fully understand an idea and consider all possibilities before deciding if it’s good or bad.
4. Seek ideas from others. If you’re open to ideas that aren’t your own, you’ll be exposed to a lot more of them.
5. Listen. We learn nothing while talking. Take in as much as you can from those around you.
6. Lose the ego. Instead of trying to prove yourself, work to improve yourself.
Top franchisees and business leaders maintain a beginner’s mindset, and so should you. Live each day as a student of everything. It’s the only way to become a master of anything.
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Live each day as a student of everything. It’s the only way to become a master of anything.[/tweet_box]