I Want to Pick Your Brain

If you are in any type of business and have had any measure of success, chances are someone has invited you to breakfast, lunch or dinner so they can “pick your brain”.  However, you handle giving information is not what this blog is about.  Instead, I want to explore/ruminate/consider how you find yourself at the place that others want to learn from you and bask in our wisdom.

You arrived at this point because you stuck with it.  You didn’t give up.  You took risks.  You worked harder and smarter than others.  You offered an excellent product or service that others recognized and valued. What you have achieved is experience (and hopefully the success that can come with experience).  There are no shortcuts to gaining experience.  No amount of brain picking, wisdom sharing, or careful planning will take the place of experience and plain old hard work.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, a study of violinists at Berlin’s Elite Academy of Music revealed that to be truly world class you have to put in approximately 10,000 hours of practice. Those violinists that put in this amount of practice had a great deal of experience with playing the violin.  Success comes at a price.  No matter how many successful people you rub shoulders with, at the end of the day, you have to put in those hours that qualify you as experienced.   There is a tangible reward for experience and that is the monetary value that others are willing to invest for your experience.  There are a number of intangible perks associated with experience:

  • Self-confidence
  • The ability to look objectively at a problem in your business
  • Development of a support network
  • An inherent sense of purpose
  • More confident decision making
  • Open to different points of view instead of being threatened by them
  • Less scurrying and frantic planning
  • Developing a mindful, strategic approach to planning

Based on your experience, you could add many more intangibles.  Experience is predicated on time.  It’s wise to seek counsel and learn from successful business professionals but if you want to experience the tangible and intangible benefits of experience, you have to start logging those hours.  Enjoy the journey!