Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

How Knowledgable are you?

“To be master of any branch of knowledge, you must master those which lie next to it; and thus to know anything you must know all.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ever been stuck in a conversation where the person speaking on a subject knows absolutely nothing about it, yet goes on and on like an authority? Or, when everyone is discussing a topic you are absolutely clueless about. Images of Joey from the sitcom “Friends” comes to mind. To solve this problem Joey went out and bought a volume of an encyclopedia set! It worked to a point, however, it limited him to a single alphabet of subjects which hindered his ability to add value to most conversations. This is a common dilemma faced by many people today. Thirst for diversity of knowledge for the average individual has shrunk dramatically. We remain limited to a select few areas of personal interest, and put very little effort in pursuing knowledge out of that realm. To be honest, I have been guilty of it too. For a while my world drifted around business, entrepreneurship and commerce.

I got absorbed into acquiring as much knowledge as I could in these fields, and it impacted my ability to hold meaningful conversations about anything other than that. When I realized this inadequacy, I made a conscious effort to enlarge the scope of my interests. With the proliferation of the internet, all the information  we could ever need is now readily available to us. We have to use this great resource along with other traditional mediums to continue to expand our horizons. Some things I have added are:

1. News: Prior to re-adjusting my scope for knowledge, news to me meant the latest financial updates from around the world. There was little interest in other topics such as politics, international events and other broader news. This has now changed, and I have become a news buff, with news feeds coming in from different sources throughout the course of the day, on a wide array of topics. Some sites I get live feeds from throughout the day are Google News, Digg, Reuters, Huffington Post, BBC. These are some feeds  I have set up and upon which I now rely to get updated on world happenings on a daily basis.

2. Books: I have become an avid reader now, averaging about a book every 3-4 days. Developing this habit has been pivotal in both the development of my thought processes in business as well as the broadening of my overall scope. Reading provides the ability to look at things more analytically and at the same time, allows more flexibility in thought processes.  Regular and diverse reading helps in being better informed on a myriad of subjects which in turn results in being able to speak on a diverse range of topics confidently. Notice that individuals who are able to carry conversations well are those who are well informed, and know a thing or two about what they are talking.

3. Experience: However, although we read and learn from books and studying,  practical knowledge is often acquired through life experiences. An important distinction to be made here is that experience in isolation is just a series of events that have taken place in the past. Knowledge is what we deduce from those experiences, making them learning experiences. Many individuals go through life having very little to say about their journey. Others have written volumes about it. The difference is our ability to  distill what we learn from these meaningful events.

When it comes to being a good communicator, knowledge is a defining aspect. Without it we can go on talking without actually saying very much. When an individual is knowledgeable, it comes across even when you talk to them, even if it is the most trivial of subjects. Knowledge and the confidence derived thereof  gives them the ability to connect the dots faster, and bring meaning and purpose to what they say. I strongly encourage everyone to make a conscious effort to keep learning and acquiring knowledge at all stages of life. This is an ongoing process which will not only improve the quality of your conversations, it will have a lifelong impact on the quality of your life.

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One Response

  1. […] 1. Knowledge: When it comes to being a good communicator, knowledge is a defining aspect. Without it, we can talk without actually saying very much. When an individual is knowledgeable, it comes across even when you talk to them about the most trivial of subjects. One must constantly keep learning and growing. With the proliferation of information today, there are so many ways we can keep ourselves abreast on current affairs as also increase our knowledge on subjects we are interested in. To learn specific tips on how to increase your knowledge base, please click here. […]

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