In a recent phone call with a college classmate of mine, we found ourselves reminiscing on our experiences. What we were really doing was reminding ourselves how old we are becoming as the days fly by without permission.
It should come as no surprise that some people surrender to the years, while others keep pressing on with little acknowledgment of the number of candles on their last birthday cake. One 93 year-old friend of his was thinking about having a set of golf clubs custom-made for him while another “fossil” in training was out shopping for a new set of wheels. (Not for his chair.)
Our conversation slowly swung to the importance of ongoing education and how important self-devel0pment is, and will continue to be, for all of us
Let’s get down to specifics. If you have no other reason for self-development, technology is it. Technology is changing constantly, and if you’re not up to date, you’re probably going to be left behind. Even if you choose not to use what is available, you need to be knowledgeable to keep up with your marketing methods, and figure out how to get ahead of those who are already using these technologies.
An important part of being a small business owner is staying connected to other people. You generally need people to work with, and you don’t just need to meet them, you also need them to think you’re knowledgeable and worth working with. Going to classes and seminars not only helps you meet business contacts, but also helps you gain knowledge so you can sound like you know what you’re doing.
If you own your own small travel business, you probably are well aware of the rush you get when you take on a new project or come up with a new opportunity or way to get things done more efficiently. Gradually, however, that initial rush wears off and you sink back into the same old “work-as-usual” daily grind.
Now imagine if you were learning about a cool new destination or idea every few weeks, or even every day. You could keep your energy burst going and going. This is one of the biggest benefits of self-expansion. It keeps you excited about work and wanting to learn more and do more. And in the end, you get more done.
If you’re working on your own, you don’t have a boss to send you off to meetings and conferences in an attempt to expand your horizons. That means you have to find them yourself and make the “right” decision to partake in these learning and career-changing opportunities
There are all kinds of options out there for self-expansion. Here are just a few general categories, but the list goes on:
– Local classes
– Online courses
– Membership in my “Inner Circle”
– My Annual Training Cruise
– My Six-Week Online Sales Course
With all the options available, it may be hard for you to figure out which direction you want to go. There are thousands of programs, newsletters, seminars, ebooks, and products out there to help you expand yourself as well as your business.
Before you try to find ways to develop yourself, you need to figure out what you want. This means setting your priorities and business goals. Do you want to make lots of money? Do you want to help others? Or do you just want to have a career your can balance with your already full life? What you want is the most important thing and should be your starting point.
Once you have a vague direction, talk to other people with the same interests and inquire about their experiences. Starting with things like newsletters and message boards are great because they’ll probably help you find more information for self-improvement. The key to staying successful is to never stop learning.
When I ask audiences to grade themselves on a scale of 1-10 as to their current level of proficiency in building a successful career, they usually grade themselves a 6, 7, and very few 8’s. I then mention that if they gave themselves any more than a five that they are short-changing themselves. We all can be twice as good as we are with a little more attention to detail, practice, and study.
Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive a complimentary invitation send Mike an email with the phrase “AmaWaterways” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.