#007: Monday Memo: How to Get Experience That Trumps Knowledge

Imagine you’re on an operating table and you’ve the option of choosing between a medical student with the best technical knowledge money can buy from the best schools or an experienced doctor who’s maybe not as knowledgeable but instead has a good track record on this particular procedure, who would you choose?

In accounting & finance whilst knowledge is important it’s your experience that will help you make an impact. In this episode I discuss some practical steps and questions that will help you gain experience faster and accelerate the impact you can make for your business and careers.

Two ways to seek out experience: Good vs. Bad

So there’s two ways we can leverage & seek out such experience, we can either choose to follow good examples of what to do successfully or avoid bad examples of what not to do. And this is where the mentors on our Strength in the Numbers show come in. They share both real world examples you can’t get in any textbooks of what to do well via their success stories and also of what not to do via their hard won lessons. And earlier in our careers this is a point we easily miss.


Because we’re so used to thinking about gaining knowledge via book & textbook learning as that’s what we’ve been primed to do, we’re asking ourselves: How can I solve this problem? What do I need to do to solve this problem? What model would help solve this problem?

Higher level questions

Instead of the much quicker way to go from knowledge to experience and to accelerate the success you enjoy from your career and making an impact for your businesses, by thinking about our challenges at a higher level by asking:

Who do I need to know who’s already experienced this problem to help me learn?

That’s where mentors either via your own network or our show, Strength in the Numbers, can help. That’s why you should also ask follow up questions and why I ask these of our guest mentors:

  • What did they value about the experience?
  • Why was it important to them?
  • How they overcame it?
  • What simple steps could someone else use to overcome it?
  • What did the final result look like?

Naturally, asking who? As well as these follow up questions is a much faster & less painful way of learning and gaining more valuable real world experience not found in textbooks, but also it’s practical, actionable and valuable because the faster we learn the faster we can build on our book learning, complement it, and start experiencing a more fun, rewarding and enjoyable career as well as improving the positive impact and difference we make for the businesses we serve.

If you enjoyed this episode be sure to share it with others. Also checkout our show website sitnshow.com which has the most up to date information on the latest podcasts, videos, blogs, plus high quality links to show notes with resources to help you keep improving your experience and building on your strength in the numbers. We’re also on:

Also suggest topics or guests to us you feel might be relevant for us to get on to the show. We’d love to hear your ideas for the show, who to interview and share more experiences that benefit our community & profession. At the end of the day we’ll only keep our strength in the numbers if we look out for each.

This Monday Memo was based on a previous blog post (click here).

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