My boss Dave used to say "When they say they have 20 years of sales experience it's really just 1 year repeated 20 times".
He was referring to the way most people stop growing after they feel like they've "gotten the hang of things".
Now, I don't think he meant it literally. It's nearly impossible to rinse and repeat a single year 20 times over. I think what he was getting at was that salespeople (people in general) are resistant to change and therefore don't grow. And it's not unique to salespeople nor is it really that surprising. People like what they know. They like familiarity. They like routine. They don't like surprises. And they don't like change. Growth means change. Change is hard.
But growth and change can easily separate the boys from the men.
But I know far too many people regardless of profession that stagnate and repeat 1 year of experience 20 times over...
Of course as time passes and you generate revenue with the "routines" it's hard to break tradition and reinvent yourself. Sometimes reinventing yourself can feel like you're reinventing the wheel especially when you have a recipe for current success. Then you start asking yourself, "If it ain't broke why fix it?" And though it may be increasingly difficult to find time throughout the day to teach yourself a new trick, it's paramount to continuous success.
For example, I've been trying to learn FCP7 (Final Cut Pro 7) for a while now and it's difficult to set aside any time to just learn. Things aren't the same anymore. Definitely not like when I was learning Photoshop where 1) I could just spend days at a time on the computer and 2) upload my newbie-unpolished (but unscrutinuzed) crap out there for people to see. But I still feel that adding this skill-set to my repertoire is important so it's still on my to-learn list. Ultimately I feel it makes me a better photographer and definitely provides me a rekindled source of inspiration. The point is I understand how hard it is as a working pro to set aside time to "reinvent yourself".
But I am constantly evaluating and re-evaluating my game plan. Who knows when RED will shoot 20MP at 1/1000th shutter speeds and high ISO :)