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Learn. Unlearn. Relearn.

Too many of us think that once we learn something, we own it forever. It’s just not true, it’s not “one and done.” Here’s the process: We learn. We unlearn. We relearn. When we concentrate on it and use it, we keep it. When we focus on other things and get out of the habit, we lose it. Use it or lose it, nothing lasts forever.

In my youth, I was an exceptional fundamental salesman. My career developed—I did other things from sales manager to speaker to business owner. When I had to get back to direct sales because my company needed it, I realized how far I had strayed from the basics. Not doing it every day had caused me to unlearn some critical steps in the process.

I needed to re-study to re-learn how to sell properly. Certainly, not everything from scratch, but having concentrated on different responsibilities, the habits I had developed as a young salesperson had diminished through lack of use. It didn’t take long to relearn, but it took time, focus, and concentration. It’s easy to get complacent and think, “Oh, I’ve got this down,” only to find out later those skills you counted on had lessened or disappeared.

Don’t be mislead. The process that we all go through in life is: We learn. We unlearn. We relearn. Remember it, and protect yourself from the fallacy: “I know it and I’ve got it forever.”

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