By Deborah MacDonald
Becoming a lifelong student means you will always be progressing. Your business will benefit from new strategies and approaches and as your career develops, your home-based business will grow.
If becoming a lifelong learner brings to mind thoughts of full-time classes and time spent struggling through confusing tutorials, think again. There are so many easy ways you can acquire knowledge that will benefit your business, and some you can even do from your own home.
1. Make a List of Areas to Improve In
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Some of us are great at sales and others are better at leading groups. These differences are what make a team work, but stretching and learning new things so you can better understand the things that make your business grow can make you more successful.
Keep a list at your desk where you can jot down things you want to learn more about. These could be things you’re just curious about or they could be areas where you feel like you need to know more in order to take your business to the next level. This exercise will also help you get into a learning mindset.
2. Follow Inspirational and Industry Blogs
One of the easiest ways to become a lifelong learner is to subscribe to some inspirational and industry related blogs. Do some Google searches to find industry experts and blogs that share helpful information, tutorials and the latest news in your niche.
You can use a blog reader, like Feedly, to subscribe to and organize all your favorites. Then, make it a habit to browse through your blog feeds on a daily or weekly basis to catch up and learn from others in your industry.
3. Look for ways to Learn from Others
As you network and meet people who are experts in different areas, look for ways to learn from them. This could be as simple as having lunch together or as in-depth as working together on a project, where you both offer your own skills and resources.
This can be a very valuable way to learn because it allows you to talk to experts on a face-to-face basis and tap into several different areas of expertise. You could learn how to better market your business from a marketing friend or how to improve your business plan from someone who is skilled at strategic planning.
4. Attend Formal Learning Events
Things like conferences, trainings, association lunches and even networking events that host guest speakers are excellent sources of knowledge. Find events that cater to your type of business and make plans to attend some of them.
Get even more out of these by using them to grow your network too. Get to know other participants, hand out your business card and keep in touch with new connections.
5. Take on a Project that Pushes You
Many people learn by doing and sometimes it takes a little push to get to the point where you are actively learning. Taking on a project that involves things you’ve never done before can be a great way to do this.
Updating your website, writing a book, creating marketing videos or taking on any other project that benefits your business while simultaneously forcing you to learn new skills can be extremely beneficial.
As you do this, you will learn what resources are available, meet new people and learn new skills that will benefit your business as you move forward.
6. Develop New Hobbies
Becoming a lifelong student doesn’t end with business-related learning. In fact, by letting loose and doing new activities or picking up new hobbies you can reach new levels of creativity and strike a good work-life balance.
When you play a sport, take on an artistic project or learn a new hobby, your mind becomes creative in new ways. Things like this can also be relaxing, which can help you see your work in a new light, come up with creative solutions to problems and give you renewed energy to make your business more successful.
As a lifelong learner, you can unlock new opportunities and acquire new skills that will help your business be more successful. By taking advantage of learning opportunities, stretching yourself to learn new things and letting your mind be creative, you can be the kind of business owner that is always reaching new levels of success.
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