Pop-A-Lock - September 2019

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KEYSTROKE MONTHLY THE

SEPTEMBER 2019 The Greatest Investment You Can Make

How Self-Improvement Leads to Success

D arren Hardy, the former publisher of Success magazine, put a video on his website not too long ago that really stuck with me. It’s a recording from a talk he gave, in which he told his audience that the best investment they can make is in their own personal development. Now, even if you aren’t very familiar with Darren Hardy, almost everyone knows Warren Buffett. When asked that same question about the best investment someone can make, Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors and businessmen in the world, said it isn’t in a certain stock or area of the market – he said the best investment you can make is in yourself. At the same time, author and entrepreneur Brian Tracy once said that 70% of salesmen had not read one book on sales, to their detriment. So, even though some very successful people are all saying the same thing, I think it still bears repeating: Investing in self-improvement will benefit you and your business more than anything. Author and speaker Jim Rohn once said, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” I think he really hit the nail on the head. Self-improvement and success start with self-education. I learned that for myself when I was struggling in my role as the new head basketball coach for the University of Arkansas at Monticello when I was 30 years old. When I stepped into that role, I inherited a team that hadn’t had a winning season in 18 years or even a player who graduated from the school in eight years. To top it off, the department had an insufficient budget devised by a school that didn’t prioritize its sports teams. I didn’t have a lot of support when starting out. All these problems were just dropped into my lap, and I knew I needed help and guidance. I began attending every coaching clinic I could get to, and listening to Zig Ziglar on cassette after someone recommended him to me. Zig’s books and talks encouraged me, and I learned a lot from those coaching seminars. A combination of these two things helped me turn the basketball program around at the University of Arkansas- Monticello.

By the time I moved from coaching to entrepreneurship, I was reading as many books, listening to as many CDs, and attending as many seminars led by prominent businessmen as I possibly could. Learning from them helped me understand all facets of the business world. How do I make sure I’m providing quality service? How do I hire well? What type of marketing program do I implement? For every question I had, I found an answer by educating myself. That self-education led to self-improvement, and that self-improvement led to a successful business. Even though I didn’t know it when I was coaching or when I first started Pop-A-Lock, I agree with Darren Hardy. Self-Improvement really is the best investment you can make, and it starts with self- education. There are thousands of authors and speakers out there worth reading and listening to. I don’t know where my coaching or entrepreneur careers would have gone without educating myself. Where could your business or career go if you start? -Doug Barnes

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