Always Be Learning. It’s one of my favorite quotes, though I have no idea who to attribute it to. If no one can claim it then feel free to reference it to me! As a teacher, I work in an environment where learning is the norm and the expectation for the students. The purpose of school is to teach you knowledge and skills, that you do not already possess, that will help you to be successful in the future.

One thing I notice though is that people don’t seem to think that learning continues after formal education is over.

Once you finish your formal education career to get a high school diploma, higher certificate, bachelors, masters or doctoral degree, the learning journey is still not over. There is always more to learn and ways that we can improve personally and in our businesses.

A favorite question I like to ask my students is: “What is one thing you’ve always wanted to learn how to do, or learn more about?”. I get lots of amazing answers!

“Cook my favorite meals”

“Create graphics”

“Build a car”

But then I ask them: “Why haven’t you done it yet?”. And I get silence. Everyone looks around like the answer is obvious and surely someone is going to blurt it out any second now, but no one does. Eventually a brave soul offers something like: “I don’t have enough time” or “I don’t have a way to learn that in school”. It boils down often to “No one told me to go learn that”.

How sad is that? Our youth (and adults) seem to think that learning only happens when it is dictated to them what they are going to learn and how they should learn it. We only learn something if it is in the curriculum or our boss deems that I need to learn a new program or to work a new piece of machinery to do my job better.

As entrepreneurs, you are not going to have someone telling you what you need to do to improve your business or up-skill yourself. You are going to have to make all those calls and it should apply to more than your business. What are the things you want to learn how to do someday out of interest, cost saving, growth, or necessity? What does your business need in terms of skills and knowledge to be able to level up? Can you learn those things or will you need to hire externally to make it happen?

As we get through the holiday period in what has been one of the most challenging times in recent history, and we gear up for a new year, think about what you want to learn this coming year. Now identify when and how it is going to happen?

Some of my favorite learning goals are:

  • Read 10 books each year related to some aspect of business or personal finance.
  • Listen to 5 new podcast creators to see if they have something to teach me.
  • Reach out to leaders in the space in which I am trying to learn and see if I can get a conversation with them and build a relationship.
  • Have conversations with others who are trying to learn the same things I am. See if we can go on the journey together
  • Write blog articles on topics that I don’t consider myself an expert on so that I am forced to do lots of research and improve in those areas.
  • Go to events (post-Covid) to meet business and personal finance leaders and learn from their experiences.

What are your favorite ways to learn?

What are you planning to learn this coming year?

I’d love to hear from you and find out more about your goals. You can share your goals in the comments or send me an email at rob@thesimplestartup.com.

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