I am the first to admit that in this era of information overload, it can be a good idea to limit how much information we consume. It can even feel like a small act of protest against the tidal wave of data hitting us day after day. And who doesn’t like being a rebel?
But if you are going to rebel, be a rebel WITH a cause. That means being selective about the information you let in, and choosing to consume only the information that will help you and your business grow, NOT ignoring everything.
Some of what you need to know and learn will be engaging and enlightening (like these articles!), and some of it will be tedious and boring. That’s just the way it is. But if you want to build a business and thrive, you have to be a smart consumer of information and a committed life-long learner about your industry. Again, that’s just the way it is.
So, how can you keep learning? Here are some easy tips:
- Create a small circle of friend-preneurs (or join our Membership program!) where you share ideas, best practices, and knowledge on a regular basis. I have a few WhatsApp groups, for example, where we check in semi-regularly, sometimes daily, and these groups have helped me with everything from saving £10,000s in taxes to giving me suggestions for the best website platform to use. Starting and growing a business is hard… don’t do it alone!
- Find a coach or a mentor who is a few steps ahead of you and pay them for their time and expertise. A good coach will help you wade through industry-specific noise (or just the “noise” inside your own head), and keep you focused and improving. Find your Ivan Lendl and get ready for the Grand Slams.
- Subscribe to and read magazines, listen to podcasts, read books (we’ve got lots of great ideas in our Resources section!). Just don’t read everything cover to cover. FOCUS on the articles or episodes that are relevant to your industry and your business. You’ll be amazed at the practical insights and inspiration you’ll get and the ideas you will generate as a result.
- Go to events, meetings, and workshops where you can meet other people doing what you’re doing and learn from each other, ask questions, and share knowledge. Your peers are a great source of knowledge and expertise, so don’t ignore them. And if you’re not a people-person or hate leaving the house, no problem. There are tons of virtual options out there for you so you can “network” in your pyjamas.
- Do all of the above and then do your own due diligence. As with everything in your business, the buck stops with you, so cross-check new things you’ve learned or heard so you’re not overly-reliant on just one source of knowledge or information and then take informed action.
Learning doesn’t have to be a chore, it doesn’t have to be stressful, it doesn’t even have to be tedious. It just has to happen.
So what are you going to learn? What magazine or podcast will you subscribe to? What action will you take to make sure you never stop learning?