Most business people pay lip service to education and training. If you are a business man and know your business well you still need to learn about money. You need to be updated about HR. What about logistics? – really the works.

Ask a group of business people if they’d be willing to attend a seminar on learning business finance and personal finance at least half of the people in the room say yes. Give them a specific date and time, and only a handful will actually sign up! And surely I have found that it is not about price. I have done finance seminars priced from Rs. 30000 per person per day down to ZERO – and found the response pretty similar!

It used to surprise me when I heard that 50% of all businesses fail in their first three years. Now that I teach finance – personal and business, I am surprised that the rate is so low! Many people I have met have no clue as to why they are earning, what will they do with money, how to save / invest or oh I could just go on and on! Many business men have very poor grip on marginal costing, budgeting, opportunity costs, break even, pricing, – too much of it is “intutive” – and that hurts.

One thing I’ve learned is that most successful professionals embrace a “culture of learning.” This is especially true during difficult financial times.

Personal and professional self-development is a journey which has to be enjoyed —not a destination which can be reached. The most amazing learning person I have met is Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Kanchi. When a journalist asked him “how can you call yourself a Jagadguru when all you do is lead a small bunch of people in South India, he said “You interpret Jagad(world) guru(teacher) differently from me. You think I am the guru of the world, my interpretation is “the Jagad(world) is my guru”. I learn from every person, animal, book, event – so now you see why I am called ‘Jagadguru’!!

Benjamin Franklin once said, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the highest return.”

With that in mind, here’s an action item for this week. Look at your financials (e.g. cheque book, credit card statements) for the last year. Have you spent anything on some type of on-going business education? Worse still is all your financials well organized (if not visit and buy the software NOW). Learn how to organize your financials. Use Intuit, Yahoo finance, or simple good old excel sheets or Tally.
If you aren’t “emptying some of your purse into your head,” take a few minutes to think about what you want to learn to help you build your business—and sign up for something this week! Don’t put it off any longer.

If you want to earn more, you need to learn more! Oh, and reading these articles from time to time won’t hurt either.

See the page on PFP workshop – it keeps happening from time to time. Doing one in March, 2010 @ Mumbai..drop me a mail for more details.

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