As a business owner, it’s essential that you regularly learn new skills to stay ahead of the curve. There is no set “continuing education” curriculum and no co-workers to teach you new skills. When you run your own business, if you don’t make a conscious effort to learn new skills and stay sharp, you’ll likely fall behind.
Today’s markets and technologies evolve very quickly and competition is fierce, my friends. If you aren’t constantly “sharpening the axe” your knowledge and skills will quickly grow dull. Success in business is never a straight line either. If your business (or life) is traveling in a perfectly straight line, and not much is happening, congrats…you’ve just flat-lined. Someone (YOU) needs to “grab the paddles” and shock some life back into your life!
So how do we navigate that squiggly mess above without getting motion sickness? Or getting frustrated and giving up? Or crashing and burning? Here are some tips to help you “armour up.”
==> Read at Least One Book a Month
Get in the habit of reading one book a month. This is all it takes to stay sharp and keep learning long after college. This is actually a lot easier than it sounds. Right now I am groovin on Chris Gillebeau’s new book Born for This. Next on my list is Love Warriors by Glennon Doyle Melton
First, digital devices allow you to carry books no matter where you go. For under $100, you can purchase a Kindle that allows you to carry literally thousands of books in your pocket.
If you don’t want to buy another digital device, you can also try just loading digital books onto your smartphone.
Finally, don’t forget audiobooks. Audiobooks allow you to “read” books anywhere with zero effort. Just hit play when you’re sitting on the bus or walking to the gym and let the information flow into your mind.
==> Pick a Specific Topic and Learn about It
Look around your industry. What’s changing? What do you need to know about that you find yourself uninformed on? Figure out where the holes in your knowledge are, then actively seek out resources to fill that gap.
For example, let’s say you work in the advertising field. You find yourself a little befuddled about mobile advertising. How does it work? How can you help your clients break into this new field?
Look up every book that’s been written on the subject. Purchase the physical, the digital or the audio version(s) of the book and educate yourself on the subject.
Right now I am immersing myself in any info that pertains to growing my email list and monetizing the one that I have. Next on the list…podcasting!
==> Grow Your General Knowledge
What if there isn’t something specific you want to know about? Then upgrade your general knowledge instead. Believe it or not, the www (and business in general) shifts and changes daily. Sha-ZAM! I know, right 😉
I think life is for sure like that too. What was my center of focus in 2015 isn’t necessarily where the path unfolded for me in 2016. Example: I’ve always been an office products nerd. Probably because I spent 30 years as a product rep in that industry. Even though I have been 5 years removed from that scene, I’ve still kept up on the changes in that industry (thanks to sheer curiosity and a mad-love of pens). Recently, I’ve been approached with a stellar opportunity to harness that office products knowledge still rattling around in my head and, DAMN, I am super glad I never let that go!
These are just some of the things you could learn by brushing up on your general business knowledge. If you have down time and want to learn something non-specific, read or listen to a book that can broaden your horizons. It might be about business in general, it might be about personal growth or it might about something completely off the radar.
Keep learning. Grow and never become stagnant. Read at least one book a month, if not more. Keep up this habit and pretty soon your knowledge will give you an edge over your competitors.
==> When You Feel Stuck, Fight Your Way Out
We’ve all been there.
days weeks months continuous block time where we feel “stuck” in our lives and careers. The truly sucky thing is that those days weeks months turn into years. Time has a way of marching on whether we want it or not. You know it’s time for a drastic change when you’ve been spinning in one place so long you feel like you should pitch a tent, put up a mailbox and appoint yourself Mayor of Stuckville.
If you find yourself feeling this way there’s good news: you CAN make a change. As human beings with have the option of stopping in our tracks, blurting out “Hey, this effing SUCKS” and then doing something about it.
You can adjust, shift, enhance, improve and empowering yourself to least take a half-step in a new (better) direction. I am not preaching here but, The Good Lord Above gave ALL humans free will…and lips and legs. All four are handy in reshaping the “this sucks” portions of our lives.
As I type this, I am in the biggest “I am effing STUCK in the GrandDaddy of all Suckfests” when it comes to my personal life. I can’t go into details now, but I can assure you that after 20+ years of being stuck in an incredibly unhealthy and dysfunctional situation, I am slow, but surely, wading OUT of the quagmire towards the light.
More on that another time.
BUT, if you are a person who is stuck in SucksVille…or sucking in Stucksville, when it comes to career, job and income. I want to assure you there ARE other options. I don’t want to sound all woo-woo, but you simply have the believe better is possible and walk towards it.
Sick and tired of your current employment situation? The answer is either going to be #1-change your attitude about the job or #2-change the job. Pick one, and walk towards it with a solid plan in mind. Don’t just get pissed and quit or worse yet, throw up your hands and succumb to the, “I can’t do anything about it” stinkin thinkin. If things are less-than-rosy in your life, fight your way out of it. Acknowledge, form a plan and walk towards the light.
You got this!
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