Continuous Learning: The Slow and Steady Route

May 23, 2017, Written by Sue Miley

 

Continuous learning is challenging, but important, for business owners.  Sometimes I wish we could just put a chip in our head to know everything about a topic that is pertinent to our life.  Other times that scares me to death because it probably will be possible one day, and then computers and artificial intelligence will take over the world or something.

But today I am particularly frustrated because I can’t learn fast enough.  I want to conceptually know all there is to know about digital marketing because:

  • I know there is so much more we can be doing for our business
  • I know we are under-utilizing the tools we already have invested in
  • I want to share this knowledge on behalf of our clients businesses to make them even more successful
  • If I don’t learn rapidly it will all change and I will have to start over again

Today it is digital marketing.  Some days I wish I knew more about leadership or effective training.

Continuous Learning Takes Time

What about you?  What topics do you wish you knew more about?  Do you try to figure things out on your own, read and listen to videos, or hire help?  Do you ever feel like you make progress or do you feel you are on the hamster wheel and never progress in these areas of learning?

All I can say is that in the past week I have listened to videos from Michael Hyatt’s Platform University, signed up for Ryan Deiss Digital Marketing information and watched a couple of his videos, listened to a James Altucher podcast where I heard about Ryan Deiss, read and watched videos from Infusionsoft, which is the email marketing platform we use at Crossroads.  I also read several blogs and am on many digital marketing and social media email lists.

I have learned a little.  But I am 3 hours into learning this week and the biggest lesson I have learned is how much there is to learn.

It’s funny because that is how I have always felt about my spiritual maturity too!  The more I mature, the more I realize how much farther away I am from being like Jesus.

But just like in our faith walk, we have to keep moving forward consistently.  As a small business owner it is important to keep learning and to keep up to date with technology and trends.  If we don’t, competition will move ahead of us, but more importantly we will not be doing the best work we can.

Continuous Learning Is A Process

Here are several ways we can keep learning, stay relevant, and be efficient as we go:

  1. Adapt a philosophy of continuous learning.  No excuses.
  2. Create your own schedule and habits for learning.  If you know you don’t have the discipline to set aside time and research, read, etc. on your own, then schedule workshops and seminars on the topics several times a year.  On the counselor side of my business, I am required to get 40 CEU’s every two years.  To do that many hours I go to conferences where I can learn a lot and be in a structured environment to do it.  Try to require yourself to get 20 hours of learning for your business on whatever is most important for your development or your business.
  3. Share your learning with others.  You can share what you learn with your clients, your team, or even at home.  When we teach something it actually helps us dig deeper, learn more, and really apply it.
  4. Apply your learning in your own life or business.  We are all different, but even with several degrees, I am more of an interactive learner.  Learning just for knowledge sake is not for me.  I need to be hands on, trying things I have learned, to really embrace it.  I have to actually practice what I have learned before I share it with someone else.  It may just be a symptom of my need for control still hanging around even though I HAVE learned in my Christian walk that I am absolutely not in control, and only One Person is.

Yes, learning takes time.  And now that the internet has brought all of the knowledge of the world to our avail, it still takes a bunch of time to find the right sources for you and your business.  Google, Apple, Amazon, or one of the other technology behemoths will come out with the chip one day….but, I have watched too many movies and personally for me, I will take the slow and steady route to learning!

 

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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