Emulate the Amish

I read an interesting post on BrandAutopsy this morning. John Moore reviewed the new business book Success Made Simple – An Inside Look At Why Amish Businesses Thrive.

As John says,”According to a recent study, less than 5% of Amish businesses fail within their first five years. That’s astounding considering 50% of (non-Amish) small businesses fail within their first five years.”

One of my favorite parts of John’s short review is the following statement about what makes the Amish so successful, because it’s something I’ve been harping on you about for months now….

The Amish Maintain a Learner’s Attitude

The Amish businessman is always seeking knowledge. Their learner’s attitude begins early in their business life. The Amish gain hands-on experience in their chosen trade before they start their own business. From there, the Amish will seek out mentor relationships with respected community business leaders to continue their business education. The successful Amish entrepreneur views every learning opportunity, including learning from competitors and customers, as vital sources of business knowledge.

It reminds me a lot of a great quote I read in a book the other day.

The reason why most people are so pathetic is that they will not take the time to develop and refine their skills.” ~ Stuart Wilde

I’ve heard it said in so many other ways…

Someone once remarked,

“How can you call yourself a _____ salesman, if you’ve never read any Zig Ziglar?” (insert any of the following before the word salesman: car, boat, carpet, furniture, ice cream, hot dog, life insurance, etc…)

I’d like to take that a step further.

How can we take your marketing skills seriously, if you’ve never read any Seth Godin?

How could we possibly hire you as our copywriter, to write and create our ads, if you’ve never studied Claude Hopkins, or Gary Halbert, or Dan Kennedy?

How could I possibly hire you as my “life coach” when you’ve never studied the works of Napoleon Hill?

How can you call yourself an investor when you’ve never read anything by Warren Buffet?

What would you add to the list?

I read another book recently where the author said,

“During my first business I read 7 business books and the business failed miserably. During my second business, I read over 700 books and the business was a huge success. It’s not hard to figure out what made the difference.

Be like the Amish and never stop learning. It’s clearly working for them.