In business, we all need to learn how to do things―whether it’s preparing a financial plan, writing a proposal, or participating in a networking event.
Some people make it a badge of honour that they’ve never asked anyone ever how to do anything (and look where they are now!). That’s for another time.
For the rest of us, if we don’t know how to do something, we find out. Perhaps through a book, watching a Youtube video, or even going on a training course or hiring a mentor.
The interesting question is: how come, despite this learning, people are not as good at some things as they think they should be, or as the trainer or mentor thinks they could be, or as good as other people are?
Now, sometimes it is because the provider―the trainer, the mentor, the author―isn’t actually as good as they’re cracked up to be. The client has no real way of comparing the qualities of competing providers so tends to blame him/herself for not getting it, leaving them without a way forward.
The rest of the time, it is because the provider is good enough at what they do. But something else is going on.
And that something is that the client businessperson is the agent of their own misfortune.
OK. I’m doing what you told me. How come it’s not working?
is answered by the zen proverb,
A person stands in their own shadow and wonders why it is dark.