I was visiting an office development recently when I noticed a pile of stuff awaiting collection in one of the public areas. It looked like the last stages of an office having been vacated. Now there are many reasons why that might happen; moving to bigger or better premises, expansion etc. When I commented I was told that this particular business had ceased trading.
The failure rate for businesses is startling and particularly for new businesses. Now I don’t know much about the circumstances behind this specific example. I don’t even know the business but what stopped me in my tracks was what was among the pile of stuff that was lying there. There must have been between 6 and 10 business books. Many of which would be on my recommended reading list for small businesses. Books like “The E Myth” by Michael Gerber and “The Unstoppables” by Bill Schley. The books didn’t appear to have been read. They certainly weren’t dog eared or marked. I felt desperately sad at the sight and wondered if, just maybe, those books contained some level of wisdom or knowledge that properly applied may have resulted in different outcomes.
One of my coaches famously said to me “What you don’t know is more important than what you do know Ian because what you don’t know is what costs you money.” I may be seeing more than there is to see but I wonder whenever a business fails, ‘what didn’t that person know?’ or ‘what didn’t that person do?’ Books are an easy and cheap way of learning and learning can lead to doing. Why not take advantage of other people’s experience; other people’s experience; other people’s knowledge?
Jim Rohn said “The only thing worse than not reading a book in the last ninety days is not reading a book in the last ninety days and thinking that it doesn’t matter.” I wonder what is the cost of a lesson not learned, a belief not challenged or a book not read?
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