Day 24: Learners are Earners

by Sarah Devika Sumnauth

Today was a day for some professional development.  I will be the first to admit that I did not pursue Business in University, that the idea actually kind of repelled me.  Instead, I followed my heart and went for a specialized Environmental studies program called Environment and Culture: Philosophy, Arts, Technology and Education.  And, I loved every minute of it. 

In University, I continuously met people who were taking programs at their parents’ behest or who seemed pretty unhappy in their chosen vocations, people who felt stuck and unable to change things themselves.  And, I’ll also admit that I was almost one of those people too. 

My first year was spent in Sociology, and while I LOVE being social, I couldn’t for the life of me stand sitting in boring, dry lectures, week after week.  I just knew that it wasn’t for me.  So when I walked into my first Environmental studies class, which I had taken on a whim for my second semester because I needed another 3 credits, I was startled and happily surprised to love every minute of it.  The class was called Taking Action: Engaging People and The Environment, and it changed the entire course of my life.  Not only was it my kind of people, but more importantly the content of this course REALLY struck a chord within me.  I loved talking about all aspects of nature and people’s interactions with it, how we can learn to work with it and work towards healing our past mistakes by taking action now.  It was meant to be, I guess.

The only thing that I didn’t get out of Environmental Studies, was that there was quite literally no practical application.  I’m not a Conservationist, Urban Planner, or into Environmental Politics so knowing how to go forward with the skills I had was challenging. 

Business and the art of selling was something I had to come to all on my own.  I love talking to people and thankfully have always had the gift of gab, but to know how to apply that in an actual business is frankly, well, frightening.  I have the knowledge and integrity to back up my words but the business savvy and knowhow, the financing of money and structuring, those things are all pretty foreign to me. 

So, today I spent a little time with my favourite online guru, Marie Forleo, a self-made Life coach, online marketing maven and Business Woman extraordinaire.  She has to be one of my biggest business inspirations, and every time I watch a free video she’s made or learn a new technique, I honestly feel better and better about my environmental hippie roots.  She acknowledges that we all have different backgrounds and that we all come to business for the same reasons – to satisfy a need to make a difference in the world – which if you have been following along, totally rings true to my tree hugging, organic loving self.  She allows you to recognize that you have every opportunity to achieve success.  Annnd, I feel as though she actually cares about the community of women entrepreneurs around her. 

Which brings me finally to a little quote that I wanted to share with you.  As Ms. Forleo puts it,

“Learners are Earners”

That’s right people.  If you have the drive and commitment to making yourself a success and you recognize that constant learning and continuing education are essential to making that success a reality than you have everything you will need to get there.  Environmental Studies didn’t exactly translate into big business for me in the beginning either, it just took some time and patience to hone it into a worthwhile dream.  So just know that It doesn't matter where you come from, or what you think you don’t know, because all that truly counts is your ability to take all the resilience you’ve got and to apply that to your business in the smartest ways possible. 

I hope this helps you, it certainly did for me.