Marketing, and indeed any kind of success is dependent upon this one thing. Without it you will work and work and achieve very little, if you're lucky. This knowledge is thousands of years old and has been applied in personal, spiritual, philosophical development for centuries and is now, more than ever applicable to your business success.
Before highlighting this simple and yet crucial principle think back to a conversation you had recently about your business or a business problem you were attempting to solve.
How well did you present your problem and how well was it received by the person you were speaking with?
Did you find them open and receptive? Did they listen well or did they interrupt often?
And you, were you open and receptive to their comments or did you find yourself desperate to jump into the conversation at any point during their sentences? If they opened your eyes to something you found beneficial or even if they reminded you of things that you already knew, did you find yourself wishing they would move on and get to the more salient points?
This very desire to move things forward quickly when someone is speaking to you is an indication of the degree to which you lack this one thing. The one thing is the ability to be taught.
The principle in Zen is that of being an 'empty cup.' An empty cup can be filled with something new, refreshing and nourishing.
But if you are forever filled up - thinking that "I know this bit already, I wish they would move on and get to the poignant part." Then you are not able to be taught. If you are unable to learn, even if it is the tiniest thing - the very diamond you may be seeking will pass you by.
Know-alls never succeed. Empty cups always succeed. They always know there is more to learn, even about that in which they may be highly experienced.
Do this one experiment to improve your ability to learn from people. Listen without thinking you already know the answer. Be open, receptive and eager to receive all they have to give. Take notes. Notice your feelings. If you are becoming irate because they are "telling me what I already know", calm yourself with some slow deep breathing and be open. Be an empty cup. Let the information fill you up. Then empty yourself again for the next outpouring.
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