Do we really know what we’re doing?

About two months ago I had one of those rare, life changing realizations. I’m talking about one of those experiences that shake your entire being and force you to question certain aspects of your universe. Beliefs I held dear to my heart were exposed to my critical faculties and everything was up for grabs.

The moment happened while I was sitting at my desk at work. I had just finished a conversation with Isaac, a BI and business operations expert who has been helping me from day one in my role as Director of Business Performance at Yotpo. Isaac helped me understand a really cool way of looking at the company’s opportunity pipeline data. This wasn’t the first time Isaac had blown my mind with how to look at data in a meaningful way but this time it was different. The conversation became the catalyst to something much more meaningful.

“I really have no idea how much I don’t know.”

Before I started in my new role as head of the Business Performance Team at Yotpo I was confident in my understanding of BI, data visualization and statistical principles. If I had to put myself on a hypothetical scale I would have confidently placed myself somewhere between 7–8 out of 10 in these areas. Isaac helped me realize that I was actually somewhere between 4–5. This was a great discovery for me because it meant that I had a lot of room for growth and I’ve done my best to climb the expertise ladder. I’ve still got a lot of work a head of me but I’m getting a bit closer to where I want to be every day.

So often in life we assume we know what we are doing. From the most simplistic things like getting a good nights sleep to interviewing for a new job we assume we know the surest path to success and go with the flow without question. In most cases our standard responses and routine behavior is a result of our upbringing and early education. I had a wonderful childhood but how much of what I was taught by my teachers, parents, TV, and friends is outdated or just plain wrong? More importantly, how much of what I think I know will I question?

What Isaac helped me realize is that the surest way to find out where you fall on the spectrum of knowledge and skill in any domain is to spend a lot of time with the people at the top of the spectrum, and more importantly, to question everything.

How much of what you think you know will you question before it’s too late?

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