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Category: Brand · 4 min read

If Practice Makes Perfect, Practice More

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on May 16, 2019

author profile photo

on May 16, 2019

Professional men and women sitting at a table

Practice makes perfect, right? If that’s true, then we should always be practicing. And if we want to get better and closer to perfection, then that makes practicing important.  

It’s pretty easy to practice the things we’re good at. Those things come naturally and make us feel good about ourselves. But, to keep our skills fresh, we should also venture into the things we’re maybe not-so-good-at (yet). In order to grow and get better in our line of work, we need to constantly be practicing new things that help us improve. I’m talking about things like time management, leadership skills, presentation skills, and other personal developments. Those things sound a little more intimidating, don’t they? Sometimes an intimidating challenge is exactly what you need to keep yourself growing and humble. Call it humble growth.  

So, here’s why practicing the hard things is important in your day-to-day work life, and how to do it effectively.  

Sometimes an intimidating challenge is exactly what you need to keep yourself growing and humble. Call it humble growth.

1. Build Your Expertise 

Here’s an interesting fact: The most knowledgeable people weren’t born knowing everything. They grew and expanded their knowledge through regular reading, discovery, and practice. They were disciplined. They were dedicated and devoted to improving themselves.  

And you can do that, too. In time, consistent practice can lead to mastery, if you practice long and hard enough. Why is this important? Because practicing and mastering new techniques, programs, or areas helps build your expertise, and can position you as an influential resource to your clients and peers. Even besides benefitting your business, you can benefit yourself. There’s something personally satisfying about learning a new skill or teaching yourself something new. It doesn’t have to be anything life-changing or huge. Maybe it’s reading a book about a new topic, or watching online tutorials to help you learn a new program or software.  

Practicing and mastering new techniques, programs, or areas helps build your expertise, and can position you as an influential resource to your clients and peers.

So, what do you want to specialize in that you aren’t right now? Start there.  

 

2. Set Aside Time to Learn and Practice 

In order to learn something and learn it well, you have to make it a habit. That means intentionally setting aside time to practice. I recommend making it either a daily or weekly habit. That consistent and frequent repetition not only helps you learn something quickly, it also cements a familiar pattern in your brain to practice something.  

It may be difficult to find time to practice, but it can be done. Even insanely busy, successful people do it, like Bill Gates. He’s famous for setting time aside every day to read, learn, and practice. That’s right, every day. Be like Bill Gates. Find the time to dedicate to your own professional and personal development. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time every day. It could be an hour or less. But the goal is to be consistent and scheduled in practicing and focusing on learning new things.  

 

3. Stay on Track 

Once you have a good rhythm and habit going, don’t stop. It can be tempting to take a break after you finish learning something or “mastering” a new skill. But don’t do it. Start right in to something new, instead of breaking your habit. Keep that dedicated time there. When you finish one thing, simply move on to the next thing.  

To help keep you going strong, try setting goals and measuring your progress along the way. That way, you can stay on track and go right after the next goal. Plan your goals out in advance, and make them fairly achievable. They should be able to be completed in around 90 days or less. 

Sometimes it’s okay to take a break. Maybe you’re dangerously close to burnout, and you need to stop practicing for a while. That’s normal. Take the time to recharge every now and then, and come back renewed and ready to tackle new ideas. 

 

Not Perfect 

We are wired to have endings. We like closure and the satisfaction of completing something. But, when it comes to practicing, there’s really no clear end. Sure, you may end a certain practice because you’ve learned all you can, but then you keep practicing something else. We’re never truly “there”. We keep learning and growing and practicing until we can’t anymore. Practice may make perfect, but we’re not perfect while we’re practicing. So, keep practicing and keep developing yourself, in the hope of becoming a better you to your clients, peers, family, and friends.  

 

#19-0292-042920 

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Written By

Mark Williams

President and CEO

Mark Williams is the President/CEO of Brokers International. Over his more than 25 years of financial services experience, Mark has been both a producing independent agent in the field and a home office leader consulting to agencies and field marketing organizations. Currently, Mark is focused on the future of the insurance industry, from the disruptions of InsurTech and robo-advisors to the changing demographics and needs of customers. He also is an avid mentor, helping financial professionals navigate the industry.

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