By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
How many times have you heard, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? I personally have heard this hundreds of times. Let’s take it a few steps further and say, “Who knows you and where are they now?” Just knowing someone or something is just a small part of the equation. It’s also realizing that the knowledge you have came from someone else.
I remember my dad used to tell me not to give out my knowledge to anyone, because that person would become twice as smart as I was. He reasoned that they would have my knowledge added to their knowledge, therefore it was better for me to listen and learn so I would have the upper hand. Well Dad, I listened and learned quite a bit but somehow I think I could have learned more.
Interaction and sharing knowledge leads to more knowledge that can bring out ideas to possibly lead you down different pathways. If we are open to these new discussions, we will find ourselves exploring more avenues. Surrounded by people with the knowledge we need, we can learn more and share what we have.
A friend of mine called it “co-opertition”, where two or more companies competing in a similar geographic location or trade come together to share ideas and knowledge. Very similar to the associations and buying groups we support today. Which groups do you belong to? What knowledge are you giving and what knowledge are you receiving?
In the last 20+ years, the most important thing I've realized is this: once I finally started to spread the knowledge my dad advised I should keep to myself, I received four times the knowledge back in return. With that added knowledge, I have four times more to share, which will potentially give me that much more knowledge to receive. So don’t just sit in a chair on the sidelines watching and wasting your opportunities to learn. Get up and start sharing!