Guest Post by the Late Jim Straw
Knowledge is powerful – only when you put it to work!
When you have learned that 2 + 2 = 4, you have gained a useful piece of “information.” – When you have learned that 2 apples + 2 apples = 4 apples, but, that 2 apples + 2 oranges = 2 apples & 2 oranges, or 2 pairs of fruit, or 4 fruits, you have gained all-important “knowledge.”
Information is nice to know. It lets you answer the questions on tests (or when watching TV game shows). But, until you learn to use that information in a practical application, it isn’t knowledge.
Any child of 2 or 3 years of age can tell you that 2 + 2 = 4.
They have heard it repeated, over & over, until they can repeat it themselves. But, when confronted with 4 apples, they are at a loss to apply that information.
The same holds true for older students (and even adults) who can readily tell you that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity can be expressed by the formula, E = M times C squared.
– Until they know what the E, M & C stand for and can use the formula in a practical application, it is only information, not knowledge.
A fine line exists between information and knowledge.
That fine line is nothing more than “use.” — You can memorize bits and pieces of information all day, every day, but, until you actually use that information, it is not knowledge. Once used, information becomes knowledge and, thereby, power.
SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE; whether they be self-employed or wage-earners, executive or common laborer, are seekers after knowledge. They absorb information from every direction.
The information they can use becomes knowledge, while the information they have no apparent use for is simply stored on the chance that someday it may become useful.
UN-SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE, on the other hand, claim to be seekers of knowledge, but, they believe that knowledge itself can be imparted. Because the books they read, the courses they take, and the plans they buy contain only “information.,” they are forever disappointed.
Because it is ONLY INFORMATION (not the “knowledge” they thought they were going to get), they never use the information and, thereby, the knowledge they sought is lost to them forever.
Since I am the author of a great many books, booklets, reports, articles and editorials about success and making & using money (somewhere over 300 so far), those people stick-out like sore-thumbs on my customer lists.
They write me long letters detailing their trials and tribulations and explain to me just why the information won’t work for them.
But, not one ever writes to say “I used the information and it didn’t work.” – Had they ever used the information, that information would have turned into knowledge and they could have reaped the rewards they have coveted for so long.
If there was a way I could “force” those people to use the information they have, I could literally GUARANTEE their success.
And, in those few cases over the years where I have been able to shame or intimidate people into actually using the information I have provided, those people have achieved successes they had only dreamed were possible.
The RULES OF SUCCESS used by successful people & businesses since the beginning of time have never really changed.
Those rules have been written-down for all to read, learn and use, but they appear as “information” only and can only be changed to “knowledge” by use.
If there were a way to “force” every person and every business to “use” those known and proven rules of success, there would be NO UN-successful people or businesses in the world.
Statistically, 90% of small businesses fail, and 90% of people live a life of sustained mediocrity, simply because they will not “use” the information available to them.
In your quest for financial independence you MUST learn to force yourself to use the information you have at your disposal. — No one (but YOU) is going to force you to assume that responsibility.
Of course, some smart aleck reading this is going to say, “Yeah! But, I’m not going to use any bad information.”
Granted, there is bad (counter-productive) information out there. BUT – there is NO WAY of telling good information from bad information, UNTIL YOU TRY IT.
Judging the value of information without using it is like trying to judge the flavor of a pie without ever tasting it.
If you learn nothing else from life, learn that information only becomes knowledge when you use it – and – the information you have used or failed to use in the past is the reason you are where you are today.
YOU can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. No one forces you to be what you are, or do what you do (or don’t do). – What you have today is a direct result of what you did yesterday.
What you will have tomorrow will be a direct result of what you do (or don’t do) today.
It’s up to you!
The Take Home Lesson:
Let me paste this part of the article here again > “… If there were a way to “force” every person and every business to “use” those known and proven rules of success, there would be NO UN-successful people or businesses in the world.”
The one core thing you need to understand about the article above is simple: taking action beats almost everything. It is the act of using the information that you acquire that creates the knowledge that will put you onto the road to success.
Let me say it again – Taking Action Beats Almost Everything.
You have have a great education or a heap of training – we have all met over-educated fools and ne’er-do-wells who NEVER take action or use the information they have acquired (heck, I’m played in that game myself more than a few times).
It took me quite a long time to realize that it was the “using known and proven rules of success” bit that was important.
Taking what I knew (no matter how little) and taking a single step forward, trying it out, experimenting with it and failing and falling down – that is what has gotten me where I am in my business today.
Not all my web knowledge or online skills can make up for simple act of taking that first step forward (and often two steps back and another one to the side).
I keep repeating this process until I have gathered enough information (experiences both good and bad) until I actually KNOW (have the knowledge of) what is the best way to proceed.
And yes, more frequently than I would like, I discover that the way forward on a particular path is totally blocked or is a dead-end and I have to backtrack ALL the way to the beginning and start all over again – in a different direction.
And that’s why taking fast action – Getting out and testing out your information, theories and ideas or prototypes is so important.
If you are going to fail (hit a roadblock or dead end or run into cost overruns) – you want to fail as fast as possible, because this way you can save yourself some time, money and painfully bruising – while still learning from those hard knocks.
But it you want to avoid the hard knocks of setting up an effective online marketing system, I invite you learn more here…> My Small Business Web Services
If you found Jim’s article useful then check out his last book….
“The more things you don’t want to do, the fewer and fewer things you will do … until you are doing as most people do … NOTHING but dreaming! I can teach you “how” to do it but, you won’t get it, until you actually start doing it yourself. “
Excerpt From: J.F. (Jim) Straw’s book > “Mustard Seeds, Shovels, & Mountains”