Take time to improve your skills and knowledge. Take at least 1hr a week to learn something new. Read an article or a chapter in a book. Watch a tutorial. Go to a class, seminar, or training program. What ever it might be, take some time to improve your knowledge and gain a new skill. Your business depends on it!

By learning new skills and gaining knowledge it will help improve your life and your business. You might find a better way to do something. Or you might have an idea for a new service or product. Plus staying up with the latest trends and skills will help keep your business ahead of the competition.

But finding time and places to learn can be difficult. Hectic schedules can eat up time and leave you too exhausted by the end of the day. That is why I break up my learning into small 10 to 20 minute sessions per day. Here are a few things I do:

  • On my lunch break I watch video tutorials or educational videos on TED.com, Fora.TV (some free, some paid), or Lynda.com (paid site). It might take me all week to watch a video but that’s ok.
  • To get me going in the morning and wake up my brain I read a chapter or a section in the latest business book I’m reading. It is a little intense sometimes but it works for me. You might find reading before bed might be better.
  • I subscribe to blogs, discussion boards, and newsletters, plus I have a list of sites I go to on a daily or weekly basis. I don’t spend much time on each of the sites. I just skim the latest posts or articles. If something catches my eye I read it real quick. I rarely interact with the discussion that is going on but the point is to get a tidbit of information.
  • Instead of music sometimes I listen to podcasts or videos while doing my work or driving places.

The awesome thing is almost every site and resource I go to is free. That is why the Internet is so awesome. If I don’t know how to do something I just Google it. I can usually find a bunch of resources about the subject, if not a book or two by just asking Google a question. For example, Google “how to install a window”. Right away on the first page I see 5 sites with tutorials and 3 videos on YouTube.com. Each video is less than 5 minutes!

By doing everything I described above I learned countless new things.

  • I’ve increased my knowledge of ColdFusion (my primary web language) to the point where I’m a Senior Developer.
  • I learned a new web language called jQuery in a few weeks and mastered it in 8 months.
  • I learned how to change the starter on my car.
  • I’ve learn new recipes and cooking techniques. Food! Yummy!
  • I’ve learned how to market my business better.
  • and more!

I’m addicted to knowledge thanks to the Internet. But that’s ok. The more that I know, the more I can do and the better I can make my business by providing better services. So I will never stop learning and you shouldn’t either!

Your challenge this week is to find a few sites you can learn from, I would suggest maybe starting at TED.com, Fora.TV, or Lynda.com. Or joining a few Facebook or Linked In groups. Then once you find a few sites, setup a learning schedule. Something small and easy to follow, like 10 minutes a day at 8:50am, watch a video.

If you are having trouble finding places to learn, email me, I’d be glad to help you find a few sites!