When I was a working musician, I always looked for opportunities to soak up a lesson or some words of wisdom from musicians whose talent just blew me away. It did not take me long to figure out that the one thing that separates the good musicians from the great ones is that great musicians never stop practicing. They know that they can always get better and that there is always something they can learn. They know that the day they stop being creative is the day some young hotshot passes them by.

Now that I own a Denver, Colorado public relations firm, I know that the same rule applies for PR pros. If you ever get to that point where you think you are smart enough, that is the time to get out of the business. There is always something you can learn to help you provide better service to your clients.

These days technology is changing so fast that it is hard to keep up. It is not just learning how to use new media tools like social marketing, SEO, podcasts or blogs. It is researching which tools are most relevant for your clients and learning how to use them to communicate in a relevant way to the audiences you are trying to reach.

Whether it is new media, old media, business basics or economic fundamentals, the best way to keep learning is to surround yourself with people who know something that you do not. We can all use a mentor. That person could be someone with more experience or an intern who looks at the world with a fresh perspective that opens your eyes. It could be someone in your immediate network or someone you meet by joining a new social or business networking community. It could even be the person you are mentoring yourself, who just might be able to teach you as much as you are trying to teach them.

Now some people do not like to practice, they just want to play the game. Remember when basketball star Allen Iverson famously defended himself after he was fined for missing practice?
Practice? We are talking about practice?
But basically, it boils down to this. No matter what business you are in, there is always something to learn. And whenever you think you know it all you are about to learn a valuable lesson. The rest is just practice.

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