Most people quit before something is truly a skill they have in their life. They get lazy and quit before it is mastered.
There are different levels of understanding of anything. The fact that you are reading this likely means you are a high performing entrepreneur that is committed to business growth. You have learned things like sales and marketing tactics, how to create standard procedures that employees can follow, and how to read and report financial statements. You have even ventured into the soft skills like driving culture, creating accountability and building teams.
But in order to have the level of mastery you want in your life, you can’t simply binge it. You can’t take a week off of work and read a hundred books about marketing to make you a master. In fact, while you have an understanding of those marketing skills, you don’t truly know it until you put it into action.
Even then you don’t truly have mastery of it until you have done it so many times it has become ingrained in your body and mind like something as second nature as walking or breathing.
The one step: Repetition
We talk often about it when thinking about getting in shape. How many repetitions does it take for you to accomplish something? 10,000 steps, lift this thing 12 times, count your calories at each meal. It’s methodical and boring, but by doing any one thing with so much repetition
There was a time in your life you didn’t know how to walk. But through repetition you were able to. If you’ll stop acting as though you know something you simply understand, then commit to the repetitions necessary to engrain it into your DNA, you will then become a true master at it.
Entrepreneurship is no different than walking. Shortcuts don’t help- repetition does.
Do you know without a shadow of a doubt how to drive a car? Do you have almost 100% confidence that barring some interfering force that you will be able to get yourself to the grocery store and back? There is a stark difference between understanding something and truly knowing it.
Entrepreneurs are often plagued in their quest for progress and growth by this misnomer of having an understanding of something. Do you understand how to grow your business? Or do you truly know how to do it? Without a shadow of a doubt, do you know how to grow and scale your business? The difference between the two is subtle but there are miles between the results.
A good example would be having an understanding of how the human body works, or a computer, or even a cell phone. But knowing how it works means that you have a full understanding of the cause and effect relationship between the two.
A good litmus test is whether you could pass a test on a subject. If asked whether you know how to grow a business the test is quite simple and the report card is your P&L. A better litmus is whether you can teach it.
If you can grow and scale your own business repeatedly, month after month or year after year, can you teach it to others? What subject do you have such mastery of that you can effectively say you know it vs just understand it?
My first landing in the A-10 was by myself- no one else in the airplane to save my bacon. I had been through weeks of simulator training, academics, “chair flying” (visualization exercises), and emergency procedures training.
But the first time I turned on the engines and smelled the JP-8 coursing through the air I knew that having an “understanding” wasn’t enough to keep my skin and bones in their current arrangement . In a matter of a few short minutes I would push the throttles all the way forward, pull back on the stick and take the flying machine into the air. Then came the test- did I understand how piloting worked or did I know it?
The test would come an hour or so later when I had to put the gear down and hurl my body and the 41,000 pounds of attack machine attached to my back at 150 miles per hour. Learning to fly high performance aircraft is a matter of methodology. In fact, the curriculum that moves you from no familiarity to that of mastery of the subject occurs at a rapid pace.
But there is a stark difference between having an understanding of something and truly knowing it. When you truly know it, the information is stored in your subconscious brain and rooted in your biochemistry.
Here’s a few great examples of things you KNOW:
How to walk
How to drink water
How to ride a bike
How to swim (of course unless you don’t know how to swim)
Were you consciously aware of these levels of knowing at the moment you read this? Of course your brain was consciously thinking about these things until I put them into your mind.
Flying airplanes was no different than driving a car, learning to swim, riding a bike, or walking. Though I haven’t flown an airplane in a couple of years now, I have both understand and I KNOW how to fly an airplane. The muscle movements are ingrained into my physiology and my subconscious mind has stored all the necessary components to get a flying machine in the air.
The answer of how to truly know anything is simply repetition. By doing things enough times you teach your body what it needs to know to be truly successful.
The mastery is in the repetition. Create habits in your life and quickly you’ll discover that your subconscious mind takes over the hard work for you. Share with someone who needs to hear this today.