My son started first grade this week. Whenever I drive him to school, I always think of the fish Marlin in Finding Nemo chanting “we’re off to school to get some knowledge!”
I’m happy to say that, though I haven’t been in school for a long time, I still like getting me some knowledge. Sadly, as an adult, it’s not always so easy. There’s definitely something to be said for doing absolutely nothing but learning (and, in my boys’ case, playing with Legos), but that’s not really in the cards anymore. I sign up for lessons, I read books, I try practical application, but somehow, life always gets in the way. I have a job of course (so I could blame it all on you, gentle reader), and I have two (soon-to-be three) sons and a wife, and I have community responsibilities, and (sadly), I have to sleep. All of these things mean I never get as much time to improve myself as I want. But I always try. My motto is “slow and steady wins the race.”
My experience talking with our partners suggests that many of them are in the same boat. They want to get better at what they do, they want to understand the latest technologies, but sadly, life gets in the way. But seriously, are we going to let life win?
The unfortunate truth is that we need to keep improving, whether it’s at work or in our personal lives. Sometimes, it means making sacrifices. I’ve had to stay up late before, or work during a lunch hour, but I’ve never regretted the fact that I’d gotten better, that I could be more confident in my work. To that end, I’m going to a content marketing conference in a few weeks. It’s hard to get away from my day-to-day activities, but I know it’s worth it.
I hope you’re taking the time to learn and improve. Our motives for doing so may be different (our partner Bob Romney of Romney & Associates says he pushes himself to learn and pass various certifications to prove “he is not too old and is equal to anyone else that offers these services”), but the importance of doing it is the same.
So how do you make learning and growth a priority in your business? Let me know in the comments. I’m dying for some tips.