Ask yourself this question tonight: What did you learn today that you didn’t know yesterday?
If you can come up with an answer, you are on your way to being more successful tomorrow. If, however, you can’t think of a thing, you need to be careful. If you fail to be a continual learner, you lose your edge and risk losing profits tomorrow.
A professional athlete or a famous actor can spend their entire lives sharpening and refining their skills. They know that continually learning is a very crucial part of their success. If they do not dedicate themselves, someone who is more dedicated will take their place at the top of the heap.
To be the best at anything, a person must be willing to commit themselves to a lifetime of learning and practice. This also applies to your business or professional knowledge.
There are many ways that you can continue learning. The variety of resources available range from greatly detailed programs to just taking a few minutes out of each day to check into the forum to see if there is something new posted that you didn’t know.
Of course it is important to learn as much as you possibly can about your industry — new techniques, new products, new ways of reaching customers. But you also need to have a much broader knowledge as a person. Learn something new about your town, your favorite hobby, how to build a website, or any of the other millions of topics that have readily accessible information.
I make it a special point to learn something new each and every day. I do it by subscribing to blogs and newsletters on a variety of subjects, reading books and magazines, clicking on Facebook posts that link to articles that sound interesting, or just talking to people. If something hits the news that I’m curious about or if someone posts a question on the forum that I can’t answer, I take the time to google the subject and learn. As a result, I know a little bit about a lot of things.
I know. I’ve also heard that you have to focus and shouldn’t go running after the latest shiny new object. And that is one thing I have to be careful of. But by planning the future of my business, I know how far to go chasing something new that may be interesting but would only get me sidetracked.
But I’ve also found some great ad headlines and layout ideas in the Wall Street Journal that I can use in my own business. I’ve discovered a topic about those $1 Valentine hearts that hold 4 pieces of chocolate by reading Consumer Reports and used that in the last issue of GiftRetailersConnection magazine. The idea for the article about the One Page Business Plan was triggered by something one of the students in the Small Business Empowerment class happened to say in class. And I picked up some great recipes to help me with my diet on several blogs that I watch.
So what did you learn today that you didn’t know yesterday?