It's been nearly nine years since my mother, Mary Sue Bryan, died.
I constantly think about the many things she taught me over the years. But most recently, one lesson in particular has come to the surface.
It's especially meaningful now that I am nearly 50 years old. She would say, "You have to learn something new every day." Followed by, "You can't go to sleep until you learn something new."
Whether it was through reading or listening or perhaps even watching TV, I'd figure out a new concept then smile and say to mom, "I can go to bed now."
Early on, "learn something new" included day-to-day skills like "using a fork." A skill which Bruce proudly still uses today. Usually.
It's easy to get into a routine. Patterns - good and bad ones both - form before we know it. Before too long they simply become the "way we do things around here". The fastest way to break a routine is to learn new things. As we get older that gets harder to do - not because there is less to learn, but because our approach has been grounded and formed.
New concepts. New forms of media. New ways to message and advertise.
All these options leave us with a basic choice.
Do we keep doing what we've been doing and stay comfortable with the way we've always done business, or do we embrace learning and stretch ourselves? Careful... that's a trick question. You don't really have a choice. You have to adapt and you must embrace learning and the new. Otherwise, you'll be swallowed up and your business left behind. So go ahead and try it. Learn something new.
Then you can go to sleep.