Leave Your Peers in the Dust by Accelerating Your Learning

I had a great conversation with an entrepreneurial buddy yesterday. He built and sold his company and has opinions on business. We discussed knowledge gaps and how they affect people’s trajectories. If you don’t know how a space works, it’s hard to excel in it compared to others who do have that knowledge. For example, it’d be hard for me to be a great restaurateur because I know nothing about restaurants. I might have the necessary abilities, but that knowledge gap hinders me until it’s filled.

As we chatted about our journeys, we zeroed in on a trait we share. Throughout our journeys, we both prioritized learning. We realized we were behind (something I was embarrassed about), so we supercharged acquiring knowledge to fill the gaps. We read tons of books, went to seminars, sought out more experienced founders we could learn from, and did a host of other things.

As we expounded on this, we noted that our other successful founder friends had filled their gaps and ultimately accelerated their success by increasing the rate at which they learned. My buddy framed it well: the biggest throttle on your success is how fast you can improve yourself. Said differently, the faster you improve (and learn), the more successful you can become.

Warren Buffet reads 500 pages every day and is one of the most successful investors of all time. Not only did he fill any gaps he had by turbocharging his learning, that knowledge compounded over time and led him to outsize success. He left his peers in the dust.  

Having knowledge gaps isn’t a great starting position, but they don’t mean you can’t be successful. If you want to make up for that disadvantage, improve the rate at which you acquire knowledge and how consistently you do so. It’s something you have complete control over, and anyone can do it. Stick with it long enough and you’ll not only make up ground on your peers, you’ll leave them in the dust.