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The Professional Never Stops Learning

Back in April of 2000, Aesop Corporation published one of my books. Aesop, an international publishing company, was then owned by Mark Joyner, often called the “Father of Internet Marketing.”

Amazon was selling just physical books at the time. Kindle only came out in late 2007. So forward-thinking publishers who wanted to go beyond the shelves of brick-and-mortar bookstores started selling something called “ebooks.”

The concept was new and revolutionary at the time.

As part of our agreement, Aesop would sell my book online. They published it, provided the landing page, wrote the copy, and managed the distribution system, which involved affiliate marketing and a huge list of subscribers.

But once the landing page was up, there were a few things I wanted to change. I was itching to make some suggestions on how to improve it, but I was reluctant.

I didn't know how Mark would react.

After all, he had already sold countless bestselling books before me, including those from marketing heavyweights like Jay Conrad Levinson, Brian Tracy, Joe Vitale, David Garfinkel, Ted Nicholas, and a slew of others.

At best, I might offend Mark. At worst, I might lose the entire publishing deal. But I took a chance and, during our next call together, I decided to make some suggestions. With some trepidation, I asked for his permission to share my thoughts and even apologized in advance.

His response was something that would forever inspire me. Without skipping a beat, he said:

“Don't apologize, Michel. I would be a damned fool if I didn't listen to advice that would help us make more money.”

The reason I bring this up is this.

Yesterday, I was on a coaching call with Jonathan Stark, someone I admire and follow. Everything Jonathan teaches is in perfect alignment with the way I coach my own clients. We have the same philosophy when it comes to marketing.

I may be a marketing consultant with 30 years of experience under my belt, but I'm first and foremost a perpetual student.

As the saying goes, it's hard to read the label from inside the jar. It's easy to miss when we're too close. That's why we need others to shine a light on the obvious. It's also why I hired Jonathan because I wanted an outside perspective.

During that call, which went a little over an hour, Jonathan gave me a number of lightbulb moments that I've already started implementing.

It was worth every cent.

Here's the thing.

You're never too old to learn. Don't let arrogance and pride stop you from learning. Have the humility to put your ego aside, ask for help, and allow others to guide you — even if you think you know better.

Lest you be a “damned fool,” too, as Mark would say.

This reminds me of a story.

After receiving a known piece of advice, the amateur responds with, “I already know that,” and the professional says, “thanks for the reminder.”

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Strategic marketing consultant Michel Fortin