By Jeannie Walters
Itâs sad to me how many people think they canât do it. Whatever it is, they truly believe they cannot do it because they donât have a rule book.
I remember interviewing a young woman who told me, in a job interview, that she could do whatever I outlined for her on a list and trained her carefully to do. âWhat if itâs not on the list?â I asked. Her answer was if it wasnât on the list, she didnât see it as one of her duties.
âIt must be on the list.â
She didnât get the job. Not because she wasnât capable, because I believe she probably was, but because she was scared of the unknown. She was scared of trying new things. She felt she had to be taught every little thing before she would attempt it.
Baptism by fire is not a bad way to learn. Itâs uncomfortable and scary, sure, but if you can survive, you can really make things happen.
There is no degree for customer experience. And yet thatâs the focus of my career. Every day Iâm doing something that scares me a little bit. And why not? Humans are awesomely unpredictable. What worked last time will not necessarily work this time.
How do you learn by doing?
Jump in, the waterâs fine.
Next time you find yourself saying, âBut Iâve never done that beforeâ as an excuse to NOT do it â stop yourself. Rephrasing helps me. âI get to do this for the first time!â
Learn from the masters.
Since the dawn of time, humans have been learning from one another. If youâve never hosted a webinar before, be sure to attend a few to see what works and what doesnât. If youâre scared to start that kickboxing class, go to the gym the day before and scope it out a little. Itâs ok to do research and recon.
Ask for help.
While this seems to be an issue for many of us, itâs a critical part of learning. Ask for support and help, even if itâs just having a few friends there to cheer you on.
The best people I know are perpetual students. With so much information so readily available out there, itâs easy to keep learning. If you are in a role that is about marketing, make sure you read and follow and watch whatâs out there about that role. Do your homework, but donât let that be a crutch, either. Sometimes you have to stop the surfing and get stuff done.
Forgive your missteps.
Have you ever noticed we are often kinder and more forgiving to others than we are to ourselves? Doing things we havenât necessarily been taught how to do means we will learn from our inevitable mistakes. If something doesnât work, examine what didnât work about it so you can improve the next time. Cut yourself some slack. Forgive and move on.
Give it your all.
Creating something from nothing requires brain power, stamina and determination. There will be times you want to give up, mostly because itâs outside your comfort zone. Donât do it. Set a small goal and accomplish it. Then set a loftier one and accomplish that. You can do this.
The world is such a cool place these days. We can connect with like-minded people all over the world and create our very own dream jobs. Donât let a lack of âa listâ prevent you from accomplishing great things. Do it. The learning will happen.