Books, podcasts, TED Talks, webinars, workshops, articles – the opportunities for learning are endless. So how do you choose, and more importantly, how do you apply what you have learned?
How Do You Learn?
Knowing how you process information is the key to learning. As adults, sitting in a classroom and writing things out endlessly does not work all that well on us. A successful entrepreneur understands the need to continue learning, yet it is imperative we use our time wisely. Start by choosing the medium that will be the most effective for your learning style.
Auditory people learn by listening. Playing a podcast while driving is an easy way for them to absorb content.
Visual people need to see something in order to process and retain it. They do well with reading books and articles. Turning on captions for videos, even on the TV helps the visual person.
A Kinesthetic person learns by doing. They do well when they can participate in an activity. They will do well in a hands-on workshop.
Soooo Many Choices!
Pick any topic that you want to learn more about. There are endless selections and often makes it difficult to choose. Ask colleagues for recommendations. Better yet, join a Book Club or Mastermind group. These groups all read/watch/listen to a media and then discuss it and share what they have learned. Being a part of the group will give you additional insights, and hold you accountable for completing the video or book.
If one Sales book is good, six must be great, right? Not really. You only need the one that makes sense to you, and that you will follow. The same is true for any business topic: Marketing, Leadership, Finance, Management. If something does not make sense to you, or does not ring true, find another source. Watching a video from South Korea will give you an international perspective; however, it may not all be applicable for you.
Apply What You Have Learned
A podcast is easy to listen to, and often has excellent content. But even the greatest podcast won’t do anything for you, unless you take action based on what you have learned. A typical conversation for me starts with me asking a business owner how they are learning in order to grow their business. The proud reply is all that they have listened to or read. My response, “Great, how are you using that information?”
The whole point of learning from experts is to apply what you have learned to improve yourself and your business. Small, continuous changes can have a very big impact over time. Choose one thing at a time to implement and build from there.
Change can be difficult. Share with your team what your plan is, and why. Help them to understand what you have learned and invite them to also read/watch/listen so that everyone can contribute improvements.
I encourage you to be a continuous learner. Listen to a podcast, watch a TED Talk or webinar, attend a workshop. Then take what you have learned and apply it to your business. Choose what actions will help you to grow as a person, business owner, employer, and boss then do them. Choose what actions will improve your business, your team, your processes, then do those. Learning is how we grow. Applying what we have learned is how we grow and how our business grows.
If you have a recommendation of something you have read or watched, please put it in the comments below to share. If you are looking for live learning events check our events. I look forward to seeing you at one of our workshops.
Author: Sandy Merritt, Business Coach in Louisville, KY