Several years ago, when I realised I needed to get serious about sales – not having had a sales background but realising I needed to lift my game, or perhaps to learn the game for the first time – I started taking a bunch of courses, listening to tapes, reading about sales.
One of the things I noticed was that a lot of people who presented themselves as expert salespeople explained and sometimes emphasised that they did not have a ‘college education’ (or as we would say in Australia, a ‘uni’ – i.e. university – education) but that that hadn’t stopped them being great salespeople.
The irritating thing for me was that there was often an underlying anti-intellectualism in the way this bit of information was delivered. Which was reinforced by a lot of the semi-literate, intellectually insipid “literature” I was encouraged to read to learn about business and sales in particular.
Now that may be ok in order to encourage people who have not had a good formal education, so as to help them value the knowledge and skills they have (what in adult education is called ‘recognition of prior learning’, whether that learning comes from formal or informal education or life experience). What I now feel strongly is that I don’t need to go along with this ‘dumbing down’ in order to be successful in business, or in sales.
Part of what this Thinking Home Business blog is about is enabling me to work through the process of integrating the ideas of being successful in sales and business – and specifically home based business – with the idea of leading a constantly enriched, renewed, challenged and stimulated intellectual life, not just because that might make you better at business (it could) but because it’s simply a more enriching, more human, fuller way to live.
Luke Slattery, who if my memory serves me well used to edit or at least write for the Higher Education Supplement in The Australian newspaper, had an excellent piece, Dumb is the new Daggy,in The Australian recently on the rise of intellectual seriousness in common discourse – at least among those who value this sort of thing and enjoy its exercise.