Learning New Skills
As a home 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. If you aren’t constantly sharpening the axe, your knowledge and skills will quickly grow dull. So how do you stay sharp and continually learn?
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.
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.
Grow Your General Knowledge
What if there isn’t something specific you want to know about? Then upgrade your general knowledge instead.
How was Google built and how do their search engines work behind the scenes? What do all Fortune 500 CEOs have in common? What are the seven habits of highly effective people? What makes companies go from “Good to Great?” What is the “Tipping Point?” Why do some people succeed in social media while others don’t?
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.