Do you like to learn new things? Most entrepreneurs have a lot of curiosity about…well, everything. And they love to learn.
Learning can take the form of reading books, researching on the web, attending seminars and workshops, completing a home study course, listening to audio books and teleseminars, watching webinars and videos, signing up for courses at colleges and other institutions, etc. There is a massive amount of information available that can help you to become more successful or enrich your life in other ways.
The danger in learning is that you can spend all of your time learning and not take the time to apply what you have learned. I know I can be guilty of this. I get excited about something new, dig in to learn all I can about it, then I want to move on to the next thing.
Learning is important, but it is more important to do something with the knowledge you acquire. Here is how you can put your knowledge to work:
Even before you tackle a new topic, ask yourself how you plan to use the information. You may not have a solid, actionable plan when you do not yet grasp the subject, but you should at least have a general idea of how the new knowledge will help you.
Choose your best way to learn. Some people learn best by reading or attending a class. Others like to listen to audio or watch video. And some simply dive in and learn by doing. I use each of these methods at times. My choice may depend on what I am trying to learn, or simply what resources are available to me. Be aware of your learning style so you can get information in the way that is best for you.
Do not wait until you know “everything” to put your new expertise to work. There will always be one more book to read, one more class to take, one more website to explore, etc. As you learn new things, put your knowledge to work right away.
Watch for actionable tips. Many times, the most valuable information I get is in the form of little steps I can take to make a difference. Sometimes these tips take only minutes to implement, but have long-lasting effects on my productivity and profits. When you discover an action you want to take, make a note and put a giant star next to it. Then put it in place as soon as you can.
Reinforce what you learn. Take notes, do a review or whatever works best for you to help you retain what you learned. Many people find that the act of taking notes helps them learn more effectively, because restating the lesson causes them to internalize the information. If you are studying with a buddy, take the time to discuss what you are learning.
Know when to quit. If as you learn you determine that what you are learning is not useful to you, quit. You do not have to finish everything you start. Find something that will work better for you.
When we stop learning, we stop growing. Follow your curiosity to discover ways to make your business and your life better.