The Value of Experience

I have been told that Oak trees have a long life span and only began producing acorns when they are much older.  In fact, according to one website, “oak trees can start producing acorns when they are 20 years old, but sometimes can go all the way to 50 years for the first production.  By the time the tree is 70 to 80 years old it will produce thousands of acorns (”

In other words, the older an oak tree becomes the more it produces and the more abundantly it produces.  There are some things in life only gained by experience.  Experience equals value and more experience equals more value.  I was recently listening to the so called sports pundits wondering who the next football coach may be for a certain university.  During the discussion they routinely downplayed candidates who may be too old.  Too old meaning in one case 61 years old!   Are you kidding me?  They were dismissing candidates who at their level of experience would be ideal for a head coaching position.  How about the success of Bill Synder, 73, at Kansas State?   Ronald Reagan was almost 70 when he became president.  Did he have any value to offer?

Experience is a master teacher if used appropriately throughout the years, and the lessons gained are unique and valuable.  I mention just two as follows:

  • Knowledge of a particular craft or profession– Learning through educational programs, books, and other avenues of formal education is a must and quite valuable.  But it is only through application of real world experience that knowledge is tested.  Successes and failures are great teachers.  What works and what doesn’t work can only be gained through years of experience and keen observation.
  •  People skills– There is a reason why those with experience are usually the ones placed in a position of authority over others.  They have superior people skills and know how to treat people to motivate them to give their best effort.  Most of us can recall many instances back over the years, when dealing with people, how we would have handled a situation differently now that we have so much more people experiences from which to draw wisdom.

One of the great values of our firm is the tremendous depth and diversity of experience each of our partners has in their background.   When a business owner engages one of our partners they are gaining access to thousands of years of diversified, combined experience.

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