As business owners we often don't know what we don't know!
How do we learn anything?
The four stages of learning, initially described as "Four Stages for Learning Any New Skill", was apparently developed at Gordon Training International by Noel Burch in the 1970s. (Wikipedia)
It's a great theory for business owners to understand because often we "don't know what we don't know".
When my business partner and I tried to sell our business we didn't know what we didn't know and we stuffed up the whole process. Fortunately, after 6 very stressful and emotional months we found someone who knew exactly what to do. They took us through a process and we sold the business for 20% more with no stress. It was quick and easy.
Hence one of my mission in life now is to help business owners identify things they don't know around preparing a business for sale, putting a price on the business and selling it OR keeping it! Often when a business is ready for sale, the owner no longer wants or needs to sell.
Back to the fours stages of learning. The theory of the four stages goes like this:
- UNCONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE
We don’t know that we don’t know. Most business owners got in to business by being good at something (a skill or trade) or by having a good idea. It usually doesn't start by studying business or learning business skills first. We learn as we go, but don't know what we need to know.
- CONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE
We know that we don’t know. Here we learn that we are not competent at something that we need to know to grow or exit a business successfully. This often comes as a rude awakening. If we are smart we go off and find an expert or a coach and start learning!
- CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE
We work at what we don’t know. Here we consciously make an effort to learn a new skill. Practice, drill and repetition are at the forefront. This is where most learning takes place. It takes effort and work. Generally we need to use all modalities (auditory, visual and kinesthetic) for learn something and for it to "stick". It takes practice and then we develop ...
- UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE
We don’t have to think about knowing it. Here the skill set happens automatically at an unconscious level. Think of these four stages in relation to how you learned to ride a bike, play a musical instrument or drive a car. You would have gone through all these four stages. So it is in business and learning to create and exit a successful business.
Where are you at in regards to knowing how businesses are valued and what makes them more valuable and saleable?
Download my tips to turn your business into a valuable saleable asset. These tips come in the form of a MindMap to get everything on one page.