On the way to a meeting yesterday, I was listening to the CD that comes in my Success Magazine every month. The publisher, Darren Hardy, was doing an interview with the great Brian Tracy. Brian is one of the foremost experts on personal development and achievement and his books on goal setting are some of the best on the subject.
During the interview Brian stated that 80% of people develop their skills just enough…and do just enough…to not get fired. Then they stop growing! At first I was shocked by that statement, as someone who is passionate about personal growth it was almost beyond my comprehension that people would choose to just stop growing. But as I spoke to the very wise people at my meeting about what I had heard, they all agreed that it was probably a pretty accurate assessment. They all felt it seemed to support the 80/20 rule, 80% of the income is earned by 20% of the people.
My question then was simple. “Doesn’t everyone want to be in the top 20%?”
On the way home I listened to the rest of the interview. Brian suggested that if you want to be in that top 20%, you need to be investing 10% of your income on your personal growth (training, books, CD’s, workshops). Now that made a lot of sense to me! It might seem like a lot, but if that 10% investment could turn into a 100% increase in your income it would be worth it…right? Wall Street would love to see that kind of return and you are a really great risk!
I think too often people look outside of themselves for ways to improve their standard of living and make more money. They are far more likely to invest money in a product or idea that brought other people money and success, rather than investing in growing their own skills and knowledge. People involved in network marketing say they see it all the time. Individuals join the company because they see the opportunity to make significant money, but then 70-80% of them do nothing with the opportunity beyond the initial activity to get started. They are attracted to the opportunity, but when the rubber hits the road, they aren’t willing to do the work. I think that brings to light a distinction here that is important to make.
Everyone wants to be in the top 20% of income earners….but not everyone is willing to take the necessary action to make it happen.
When you take the time to increase your knowledge and skills you are truly investing in your future. Yes, opportunity and timing do play a part in most people’s careers, but what good is a fantastic opportunity if you aren’t ready for it when it comes?
If you are NOT doing something every day to stretch your mind, add a new skill or meet a new challenge, you are actually moving backwards. There is no such thing as coasting because the world around you, especially those willing to do the work to get into the 20%, inches forward every single day. So you are either moving ahead or you are falling behind, take your pick, there is no middle ground.
Great leaders know they are never done learning. Don’t lose any traction on your success, take action today. Read for an hour and expand your mind, listen to an educational CD on your lunch break or on the way home, ask your boss if you can learn something new. I highly recommend subscribing to Success Magazine and reading it cover to cover. I honestly can’t wait until my copy arrives every month so I can devour the great information inside.
I’ve made a commitment to do the same and invest in my growth because I want to be in that top 20%. How about you? I hope to see you there!
Let me hear from you…what are you committing to do today to invest in your success?
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