3 Helpful Tips For Small Business Owners Who Want to Learn a New Skill

by / Tuesday, 06 May 2014 / Published in Business Lifestyle

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Running a business requires a wide range of skills and aptitudes, one of which is the ability to keep learning and developing better processes and new talents as you go. Business owners will often find themselves in a s situation where they find that they require additional knowledge in order to keep expanding their business, but one of the challenges associated with the continued management and financing of an enterprise is finding the time needed to improve. In order to gain a new skill, business owners have to make the effort to find time to work on it, and this will usually mean making some changes in your routine. Here are tips for fitting in the learning of a new skill that can open doors for the growth of your small business.

Commuting time is valuable learning time. The time that we spend each day commuting is often regarded as precious moments that are essentially wasted in the name of overall productivity. In reality, taking back the time that you would otherwise waste while commuting is a great supplement for your efforts to learn something new. Depending on your method of travel, various options are open to you. Drivers can listen to books on tape or podcasts, while commuters who stick to the bus or metro can use tablets and other handheld devices such as smartphones. Taking this time to study up on your new skill of choice can also make the time fly by that much faster, which is something else small business owners can appreciate.

You should book up on your skill of choice by seeking real experts. Gaining a beginner’s understanding of a concept is simple, while going deeper becomes progressively harder as the population of qualified experts in any field is relatively smaller than the total size of the group of participants. Still, spending the time it takes to identify who are the leaders in your chosen skill and then consuming their advice will greatly enhance your comprehension of core concepts as well as your ability to think strategically about whatever it is that you are learning. To see an expert at work is a powerful thing, and much the same way that witnessing a tennis champion play can rub off on your swing, so can reading the insights of a business mentor. Expanding your network of influences is a good way to find the information that you are looking for.

Allow yourself time to learn during the day. Something as simple as a ten minute break to look at flash cards can have a significant impact on your ability to quickly memorize and retain information. Reading an article during breakfast, listening to a podcast or lesson during your commute, and then following up when you get home allows you to spread hours of study out over the course of your otherwise full day. While if your endgame is to learn in the absolute shortest amount of time possible, getting some formal instruction is probably in your best interest (and depending on what you are learning, formal certification may be required regardless), there is nonetheless a lot that you can get accomplished by taking what would otherwise be time idly spent and putting it to work.

Photo Credit to NASA on Flickr

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