As small business owners it’s hard to find the time to keep learning, but it should be an essential part of what we do. Do you make room for learning and developing personal skills in your year?
This time of year is conference season for me. As regular business slows down a bit for the summer holidays I use this time to pack in the knowledge.
In my business, you can’t afford to stand still, everything changes at a breakneck pace. Your industry might not change as fast as mine but I’m sure every business needs to keep up with changes.
Watch below to find out how I keep up to date:
How 5 ways I ensure that I keep learning:
I spend at least an hour a day reading posts and news relating to social media and small business. It’s an integral part of my day and although it tends to put stress on my to-do list I’m aware I just have to do it to stay up to date. I rely heavily on Feedly to subscribe to the blogs and newspapers I enjoy and Google Alerts to see what’s hot.
2. Offline Networking
Events and conferences aren’t always full of good knowledge but you’ll always pick up a few gems, you’ll also make valuable connections that are often more relevant than those you make at broader networking events. And you’ll learn loads from those connections too.
A big part of my job is training. I sometimes think I learn almost as much from the people I train and the challenges I experience as they learn from me!
I’m reading at least one business book a month at the moment and I’ve started a book club for others who want to join me (more on this soon). You can subscribe to my newsletter to find out more about my book of the month.
This is probably the most important one but the one that we tend to ignore. What were you doing a year ago? What were the results of your last project? Evaluating old and historic projects will help you become better. You need to do more than just know a project was successful or not successful you need to know why. So measure, assess and look at how you can make it even more successful next time.
Many professions require that you top up your knowledge every year with CPD (Continuous professional development) and I think this is a good model for small business owners. I think it’s a good idea to set aside a certain number of days a year to dedicate to your own CPD, is there an online course you can do or a conference you can attend?
How do you keep learning? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.