One thing every business owner can tell you is that they are always learning something new. Speaking from my experience, seeking business education is constant There’s always a better way of doing things or something new to learn.
The problem becomes when people feel like they can’t find the time for business education. For example, their business has taken off, and they feel like they can’t locate the time to take that class or read that book. This starts a downward spiral where first the business begins to stagnate and then possibly gets left behind.
Here are a few of the ways business owners can find the time for education so they can continue to grow and improve their businesses.
Throw down some money.
I’m going to share with you a personal story from my own business as it pertains to finding the time to further my business education.
For much of 2016, I knew that I needed to create some sales funnels to automate the sale of digital classes for my business. Unfortunately, between travel, events and running a business I was having a hard time finding the time to do so.
Because I know how I operate, I knew that if I made a significant financial investment in business education that I would force myself actually to do it. Soon after, I saw that one of my colleagues was hosting a retreat in Puerto Rico where she’d be teaching us about online sales funnels. Not only that, but we’d be leaving the retreat with a sales funnel and a signature program ready to go.
I saw this as an opportunity to get the business education I needed while traveling somewhere I’d never been before, so I threw down the money. This retreat was a couple of weeks ago, and by the end of this month, I will have my sales funnel implemented and running.
Delegate stuff to other people.
One of the easiest ways to find the time for business education is to get stuff off of your plate by delegating to other people. In some ways, this section should be “Throw Down Some Money Part 2”, but delegating merits its section.
Many of us – particularly those that identify as Type A control freaks – are very hands on with our businesses. This is fine – but only to a certain extent. If our being hands on is getting in the way of our business education and therefore furthering our endeavors, then we have a problem.
The best solution to this is to start handing stuff off to other people. To show you that I walk my talk, here’s a recent example from my own business.
I was taking on way too much, and I knew it. In particular, my time was being taken up by things like Pinterest and formatting things for my blog and podcast. While these things are all beneficial to my business, it’s not the best use of my time. As a result, I decided to outsource it to other people so that I’d have more time for my business education.
If you’re afraid to invest the money it takes to hire people, let me tell you from my experience that I never regret doing it. Sure, I go through the emotions involved with taking a risk, but every time I’ve taken a calculated risk to improve my business, it’s paid off. Many of my colleagues will tell you the same thing.
Moreover, you literally can’t afford to keep doing things yourself. As a business owner, your time is the most valuable thing you have. Because of this, you’re better off spending your time finding ways to earn more money. One of the ways to do that is to make sure you’re always furthering your business education.
Take it one step at a time.
I believe one of the biggest struggles people face as it pertains to business education is that we feel like there’s so much to learn all at once. Before we know it, we’ve spent thousands of dollars on classes and courses we haven’t even looked at yet.
The best solution I have found to this is to get crystal clear on the next logical step for your business and focus your education on that. For example, in 2016 I decided I wanted to create more passive income in the form of affiliate sales from my blog. My colleague just so happened to be coming out with a course on this, so I spent the summer taking the course and implementing the steps within it.
Now, as I look toward the next 12 months, I see there are ways to improve my passive income in the form of selling digital courses. That’s when I realized I needed to learn more about online sales funnels which led to attending the business retreat I mentioned earlier.
As you can see, rather than doing everything all at once, I only decided to take things one step at a time. The key is to ask yourself what makes the most sense for your business right now and then take it from there. This helps you avoid overwhelm, keeps you focused and you get something done.
Block out a weekend.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to block out an entire weekend to take a course and just get stuff done. The most recent example was spending a weekend in Puerto Rico with other entrepreneurs as we worked on our sales funnels.
Of course, you don’t have to book a plane ticket to further your business education. I know people who will rent out a hotel room for a weekend every quarter to take a class that furthers their business education. Or, you can decide to do it at home.
The point is you block out some time on the calendar to further your business education and get something done. Sometimes just blocking out a big chunk of time is the only way for us actually to follow through.
It’s important that you are constantly improving your skills through business education. Things are always changing and what once worked for you may not work for you now. Use these tips to help you find the time to focus on your business education and improve your business.