Growing a successful business can seem difficult and maybe even impossible at times. Solutions can be confusing and overwhelming. Perhaps reconnecting with your ability to learn is a strategy to put you on the right track.
If I asked you to define learning, how would you do that?
We’ve all experienced learning and probably heard a number of definitions, but how do you explain or define the concept of learning? This past weekend I heard maybe the best definition ever in a most unlikely setting. Let me clarify by saying that the setting was the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium in Ruidoso, New Mexico and it was unlikely because I didn’t have any expectations other than to have some fun and enjoy the day’s events.
Craig Cameron known as “The Gentle Horse Trainer”, is a master at working with young horses. You need to know that I use the term“master” very sparingly, but he definitely is one. I worked on a ranch training young horses for a couple of years out of college, so I can appreciate his ability. During the demonstration, he worked with a two year old palomino filly that he had never seen before and had never been saddled or ridden. While working with the filly, he explained his strategies and philosophy which included his definition of learning. Craig Cameron says “Learning is our response to forced growth.”
At first I struggled with this definition, after all, forced growth sounds a bit negative. As I thought about it on the long drive home (about nine hours), the realization hit me that life is a continuous string of forced-growth opportunities; it’s not negative, it’s a fact of life. The more engaged we are the more forced growth we experience. The simple fact that you have a business that you are trying to manage and grow into your definition of a successful business would suggest that you experience forced growth on a daily basis.
Response is the key to how we learn from this forced growth, but what does response mean?
Response is the action we take. Clearly, to respond you have to recognize that forced growth opportunities are present. This sense of forced growth can come from internal or external sources, but we still need to recognize that the dynamic is present. It seems that developing awareness of forced growth is key to being in control of our response, however we choose to do so.
Listening to Craig talk about teaching the young filly got me to thinking about how we recognize these forced-growth moments. There are a number of emotions that can give us a clue and trigger our awareness that forced growth is upon us.
Young horses certainly have fear. They are being asked to do something that is not natural or understood to them. They have to learn to trust the trainer and get past the fear that can control their response in a negative way. As a business owner, fear can affect your response to forced-growth opportunities in marketing and sales.
If your results are not what you want, you can become frustrated and even angry. Life is forcing you to grow by learning and until you develop a new response, you are probably going to get the same results. Generating less than desired revenue can certainly be frustrating and may require you to recognize the forced growth and the fact that a new response is necessary.
You love what you do and the customers or clients that you work with, so, you seek out opportunities to improve professionally at what you do. Your desire to learn how to be better is forced growth waiting for your response.
Sometimes we just know and expect good things to happen. By choosing the appropriate response we learn new ways to hire, train, and retain team members and cash in on forced growth.
The energy and drive to take your business to a new level is a sign that forced growth is a real possibility if you recognize that your response is necessary.
Recognizing forced growth opportunities is to acknowledge that learning opportunities exist
When you have that awareness, you can choose whether to respond or not. After one hour, Craig Cameron was riding the young filly and she is going to be a top notch horse. He taught her how to respond and learn in that forced-growth scenario. Your results may not be as simple or quick, but you do have forced-growth opportunities and the right to choose how you will respond. There’s probably an opportunity to learn waiting on your response right now.