Continual Learning Is Part of the Game
No matter how much or how little formal education you have when you start your business…. continual learning is part of business growth. Without the willingness to keep learning, you’ll get swallowed up by those who are willing and open to keep learning.
[bctt tweet=”Change is part of the landscape of business.” username=”VirtuosoPA”]
What was popular yesterday is not popular today. It’s and ever changing landscape. This requires any business owner to keep learning. To keep learning is to stay in business. Regardless of how much you THINK you know.
Continual learning helps you:
* Stay Ahead of Industry Changes – Just look back a couple of years and it’s amazing how much technology has changed the face of business. Who would have ever imagined that social media marketing, email marketing or even content marketing would be as necessary today as they are? It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have today; if you’re not involved with those three types of marketing you’re dead in the water.
* Learn New Skills to Add to Your Services – If you are a service provider, it’s imperative to keep up to date on the new services your audience needs. Think about it in terms of “desktop publishing,” which was popular a few years ago to the point where anyone who had any computer skills at all could make a living in desktop publishing. Today, you need to be more specific and specialised. For instance, you might instead specialise in say Kindle publishing.
* Helps You Create New Products – When you keep learning about your industry and your audience, you’ll be in a better position to create useful products that solve real problems which also equates to saving yourself time and therefore your customers money. Problem solvers keep learning. Problem solvers stay in business a lot longer than those who are too focused on staying the same.
* Develop Better Understanding of Your Audience – The more you learn about your audience, the more you’ll understand which problems they need solved. You’ll also understand how they prefer to solve their problems. For instance, some audiences prefer highly advanced technology, while others do not. You can’t know that if you don’t learn about your audience.
Some people appear to be running their business for themselves for their own benefit; In reality, especially with regards to being a service provider you have to take a back seat and focus your business goals on your clients’ and their businesses. It’s therefore imperative that you understand your audience and what they need/want.
Ways to keep learning are:
* Take a Course – There are numerous places to take courses and learn today. Many business coaches teach others how to start and run successful businesses. A lot of colleges and universities offer courses as well. Those who have succeeded before you offer many learning opportunities that you can and should take advantage of. You’ll see them if you keep your eyes open. If you’re looking for on-line courses take a look at Lynda.com and Udemy
Since starting my business I’ve taken many courses:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Management
- List Building
- Google Analytics; to name a few….
* Attend Events – In-person and online events are fabulous ways to learn something fast. Not only that, you’ll also
make connections that you would not otherwise make. It might feel strange and outside of your comfort zone but events are excellent ways to stay involved in learning new things in your niche.
- I keep up to date with my skills and knowledge by attending at least one webinar a month; when I first started out in business 3 years ago I was attending In-person events every month.
* Follow ‘Movers and Shakers’ – The people in your industry who are very popular, famous or infamous, have a lot to teach you. It doesn’t matter how much of an expert you are, or think you are; you can always learn something from someone else. Use social media to locate these movers and shakers and follow them, join their groups; be apart of their circle. Read what they write and read what they recommend. You’ll definitely learn something new. I often offer help and advice as a #Mentor for fellow Virtual Assistants who are looking for advice. I also seek the advice from those I look on as my industry leaders… I never copy what they are doing within their groups; I ask for advice and respect their guidance.
Once you realise that continual, lifelong learning is something that you’re going to be involved in forever as a business owner, you’ll come to love it, as I do. Nothing beats the buzz of learning a new skill and nothing kills it faster than an ‘I know it all’
Continual learning of new skills will keep your business fresh, your clients’ and audience happy, and it will keep you from either being bored or becoming extinct. Remember, we don’t use an abacus for maths any-more, and you don’t know everything 😉
Don’t get left behind.
If as a Sole Trader or Small Business owner you have no inclination to learn new trends, contact me; I’m sure I can help, it’s my job to keep up to date with the non profitable, back office tasks.