Always be learning

One thing that separates failed entrepreneurs from successful moguls is the habit of keeping up with personal learning goals and improving skills. The challenges you face at the beginning stages of your business will inevitably expand into newer and more complicated challenges as you draw nearer to success. Dealing with this means doing research. Read books by leaders who’ve gone through similar processes and learn from their experiences. When entering new markets or expanding product lines, do market research, learn about the competition and try to stay abreast of current trends. Always remember that innovative thinking depends on up-to-date information. Otherwise you’re back in fantasy-land fighting paper dragons.

The rule, in a nutshell, is Always Be Learning. Don’t fall victim to the Dunning-Kreuger effect, which posits that the less you know about a subject the more of an expert you tend to consider yourself. If you feel like you know all there is to know about something, it’s a good sign that you’re woefully ignorant. If you stride overconfident into a situation you don’t understand, and try to apply strategies that are ill-suited to the task at hand, you’re bound to get a harsh lesson in humility. Instead, watch and learn. Make your move only after you’ve gotten a grip on the complexity of the situation.

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