The idea of continual education isn’t something new, but it’s not advice that’s often followed. While it’s possible to see the CEO and possibly the CFO with books sitting on their desks (usually business-related) other employees don’t tend to buy publications that are feeding their brains in their free time.
The path to self-education is sometimes a lonely one. Unless getting into discussion groups or meeting with a book club, you will often find it difficult for your friends to relate who aren’t on the same path. However, there are a few good ways to forge a new path and here are some tips:
Seek out a Mentor
A mentor is usually someone who has direct experience in the area(s) that you wish to learn more about. For an entrepreneur, this should be someone either with an existing business or who recently sold one. If you’re heavily into online business development, then look for a mentor who has demonstrable experience in that arena and not the CEO of a bricks and mortar retailer.
The mentor should be personable and friendly. It’s no good dealing with a negative or overly critical person who will only bring you down. What you’re looking for is someone who’s already been there and done that, and therefore has insights to share. You don’t need to meet them in person and very frequently, but they’re a useful way to confirm you’re heading in the right direction and gives the mentor a way to be useful again.
While business mentorship is not an everyday term yet, Tai Lopez is trying to change all that through his YouTube channel, podcast and frequent live streams covering entrepreneurship, business, leadership and investing topics. He’s quickly gathered an audience of over 1 million people who find his teachings inspirational and useful for their ongoing development.
Learn with TED
The growth of TED talks has been nothing short of spectacular over the last few years. With the advent of faster internet access worldwide and the opening up of TED talk venues, it’s never been easier to learn from a myriad of interesting presentations. Many times, presenters are covering material that they’ve written more expansively about in a recent book which provides an excellent way to delve deeper into the ideas they talked about once the TED talk is over.
For anyone from a non-English speaking nation, many talks are translated with subtitles made available in over 100 languages. There are also regional presenters covering talks in non-English speaking countries speaking about local issues. TED talks are free to listen to on the TED website, and the TED YouTube channel, and there’s also a mobile app to access the latest talks in real-time.
Expect to Change the Plan
As you learn more, you improve your thinking in areas of your life that you’re actively working on. In business, this means original plans should be open to an overhaul when you see holes in them or a better tactical approach into the target market. Clearer thinking leads to seeing new opportunities which usually doesn’t come without taking a step back to appreciate what’s happening and consider better approaches. When you get too caught up in the daily machinations of the business, you lose sight of the bigger picture and strategy suffers accordingly. Make sure that doesn’t happen to you.
Life has become about never-ending learning if one wants to keep up with the latest developments and not get left behind. Even for people in retirement, keeping their minds active is key to living a long, happy life; there’s a lesson there for younger people too.