At YouTern, we’ve been talking a lot lately about self-learning’s role in professional growth and perpetual career development. So it makes sense that we’d go right to successful entrepreneurs and professionals to learn how they continue to learn.
So the question was asked:
What is your preferred method for continuous personal growth and self-learning? How has it helped you?
Enjoy their helpful answers… and put their advice to good use!
1. Attend Conferences and Network
It’s only a first step, but by connecting with people I admire — people who’ve arrived where I want to be and have gone to places I have yet to even imagine — I gain points of reference I need to clearly access who I am.. It’s through networking and mentorship that I learn where I should go to develop my weaknesses, and best leverage my strengths professionally.
2. Specialize and Explore
As I explored my topic of knowledge and continuously learned everything I could, I’ve seen my professional development gain significant steam. Once I started specializing, I put what I learned into action by putting out thought leadership content around that topic, and worked with my team day in and day out to get better. And it all started with specializing.
3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
When I started working on my second book, I thought it’d be smooth sailing since I was writing about two topics I’m well-versed on (personal branding and digital marketing). But then I realized two chapters would actually require intensive research. I was surprised to find that those are now the chapters I’m most proud of since I grew the most while writing them.
4. Contact a Business Coach
I sharpen my skills by keeping in touch with a business coach. In addition, I find mastermind groups provide tons of great feedback when it comes to reaching professional goals. It’s great to sit and talk about the issues, set goals and find ways to accomplish them. Participating with a mastermind group offers a world of insight into other business owners’ experiences.
I think one of the most effective ways to grow personally, professionally and even learn from yourself is to write. My personal goal is to publish a blog article, guest blog or write-up once a week. Keeping it relevant and pertaining to my expertise also shows off my skills and knowledge. Through consistent writing, I have been seeing great results.
6. Focus on Introspection and Adapt
As a CEO, the most important thing I can do is constantly look at how my role changes with each major company milestone. Continuing your professional development starts by recognizing how your role is changing and then committing to meeting a base level of competency in each of those areas. If you lead an organization, it’s a requirement to make time to adapt.
7. Use Online Education Tools
For me, it’s all about online learning. Online education tools like Lynda help me to continue my professional development. If I have an extra 10 to 20 minutes, I can watch a few sessions on a specific topic and return to it later. Online tools provide the flexibility that’s essential for someone who’s always jumping from one meeting to the next.
8. Read and Take Action
It’s one thing to read a book and say, “Wow, that was a great book,” and another to actually do the work that’s in the book, article or video. I realized I had all of the skills needed to succeed, and reading another article, watching another video, or hearing another interview wasn’t going to give me what I needed. So I stopped listening and started acting.
9. Share Your Skills with Others
I am a firm believer in the idea that job security no longer exists. Everyone in the workforce is in a constant state of competition to be relevant in every aspect. Every day I personally focus on being the most diverse professional I can be. I think the best way to improve yourself is to help improve someone else. Helping someone realize his or her full potential helps me obtain mine.
– Sheldon Michael, Netjumps International
10. Keep Learning
To continue expanding my skills and knowledge, I listen to multiple podcasts and I always have a rotation of books in paperback by my bed or on my Kindle when I’m on-the-go. I also subscribe to industry associations and attend conferences. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, use podcasts and books to know where the trends are going before the masses catch on.
11. Attend Mastermind Groups
Everyone needs advice from trusted peers. I recommend creating a group of three to five similarly focused colleagues and meet with them regularly to talk about every possible topic: strategy, business development, branding, etc. Fellow careerists in the same niche have an insight that no one else does. That insight will grow the better you get to know each other.
12. Attend More Conferences
Pay the money and connect with other quality people. Get outside your industry or specialty and try something new like sales or marketing, or learn how other industry professionals are leading, growing and managing their businesses. Face-to-face relationship building and the ability to really open up to others outside your network is invaluable.
13. Meditate and Be Mindful
Through practicing mindfulness and meditation, I am able to analyze my mental strains and anxieties as well as create a conscious direction of my awareness. Meditation grants me the ability to see firsthand what’s causing my issues and allows me to construct a solution. These two methods combined allow me to achieve truegrowth with a stress-free, healthy mind.
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.