I work with some extremely smart people here at Old Town Media, half the time I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. They toss around terms like FTP, SSL, CSS, gravity forms, cron job, like people are going know what that means. Occasionally, I’d nod my head like I understood when I didn’t. I’m done with that, if I don’t know what you’re telling me neither will most of our clients.
Yesterday Miles was explaining something to me about hosting, after his explanation he gave me a look that said, “Please tell me you get this!” I didn’t, so I gave him a look that said, “Nope, still no ****ing clue!” He continued and eventually it took hold, but had I not been honest I’d still be in the dark.
This happens everywhere, new businesses don’t want to admit that they don’t know something, so they wing it and fail. My 4 year old daughter does this, “I know how to do it” she says, and she obviously has no idea. I tell her “your unwillingness to learn is the main problem here.” That doesn’t ever work, but I tell it to her anyway.
It’s the same in business, if you keep your mind open and you’re honest to yourself about what you know and don’t know, your company will be in much better shape. If you convince yourself that you know how to handle everything, you’re going to learn a lot of lessons the hard way.
Questions are key, if you don’t ask you won’t learn. If I meet with a prospective client and I act like I already know everything about them, they’re going to go with another firm. To find positive solutions I need to know who they are, what they’re about and where they want to go. Ask yourself the same things, then ask yourself who are going to be the best resources to help you get there. You don’t have to do it all yourself, you don’t have to know everything and do everything yourself. Embrace your ignorance on certain subjects, open your mind and listen.
Once you learn something you don’t have to fake it, you’ll know, and knowledge is power. I didn’t make that up myself, I learned it somewhere.