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Beware of Experience Alone

Trevor O'Hara
2 min read
Beware of Experience Alone
Photo by Vladislav

A commonly held belief among many of my clients is that their experience is an asset. It seems that the older we get, the more we rely on this mantra.

While it is true that you may have accumulated a wealth of experience in certain areas, this is a dangerous assumption. Experience in what? Younger people may have more experience than you in specific domains. Equally, experience has a tendency to believe in the certainty of things when we shouldn't. This can make us less open to other perspectives, less willing to learn, and less inclined to let go of our beliefs.

We can take a more strategic approach by combining our experiences with other assets, such as skills, abilities, and knowledge. This is our asset reserve, which makes each of us unique and valuable to others. Your asset reserve is something only you (or very few people) can do.

Although people call this set of assets different names, I prefer to use the term "reserve" because it suggests a certain fluidity. Similar to asset management in finance, as assets become deployed, they can depreciate or get used up, requiring replenishment and maintenance.

Equally, we often need to adjust our assets to align ourselves with new projects or changes in the market. High-demand skills that we continuously hone can be seen as appreciating assets, while skills that we don't use or become obsolete depreciate will need to be replaced.

Understanding and using our assets is essential to starting new projects and removing things that don't serve us in our lives. However, the challenge lies in identifying both your concrete and fluid assets.

When we think of assets, we often consider the most obvious ones, such as financial assets, good health, and skills. However, we also have a set of less obvious assets at our disposal, which we could deploy in certain situations. These "fluid" assets may include less obvious skills, networks and relationships, passions, and other less tangible components that could be very powerful in certain situations - if only we can identify them.

As we contemplate new projects and chapters in our lives, integrating and aligning our assets with new opportunities can ensure a smoother and more fulfilling journey. By taking stock of our asset reserve, we're better equipped to make good decisions about lifestyle changes and which projects to pursue or drop.

Our mind often tricks us into believing we're less capable than we really are, but knowing that we have an asset reserve to draw upon can help us approach new challenges with groundedness and confidence. And now that we have a more accurate picture of our assets, we can also identify projects we might have previously discounted as irrelevant or beyond our reach.

And finally, knowing our assets helps us identify potential gaps which we can plug by gaining new skills or experience or forging new connections and collaborations with others to reinforce your offering and create mutually beneficial opportunities.