Saturday, May 12, 2012

Education - Combining Business With Pleasure

Business growth is often dependent on the application of time, effort and education. The application of time and the patience is the part many of us have the most trouble with. Effort is often the easy part! But what about education? Where do we find the right information to help our businesses grow.

Many of us think of education in a limited context. We might take bookkeeping courses, business management courses or even industry specific type workshops and seminars. What we may not consider, is just learning something different. Yes, do something unrelated. Take a course in something that catches your interest that has nothing to do with your business.

This is the best way that I know to challenge ourselves to grow and in the end provides a change of scenery that often gives us inspiration and outside input into what we do. In fact it is the first step to thinking outside the box. Who would even consider that a basket weaving course could help with out printing business, or that joining a running club would give us inspiration for a mortgage business!

Doing something unrelated to your business does three things. It provides us with balance in out lives. It introduces us to new and diverse contacts. And finally it provides a bit of pressure release from the daily grind, gives us something different to think about and concentrate on. All three of these things can grow our business.

Last week I happened past an open door, an opportunity, to take a ski instructors course. I thought, "Why not? I love to ski, I love to teach...maybe this will get me out of the office on the weekend and provide a little balance in my life." And so I took a leap and decided it was time for me to stretch. Three days into the course I experienced the 'what did I do this for?' feeling. And by the end of the fourth day, I was ready to quit. But on the fifth morning, I got up and my muscles felt better, and my brain was finally beginning to put together all the bits an pieces of information that until that point were like unrelated puzzle pieces. My confidence began to grow. And once again I realized, effort, time and commitment could pay off.

These kinds of experiences help to build our confidence and raise our endurance level. It also helps teach us to take risks. We begin to realize that our fears are often unfounded and based on lack of information and understanding. Further benefits include learning to deal with frustrations and forces us to deal with people other than those we may come in contact with every day. We not only learn new tasks and exercises, we learn more about people and people skills.

Next time you are feeling a little uninspired or worn out, consider doing something a little different. Try something new. Have some fun and learn to laugh. Understand that all work and no play can make you a very dull person. You will be surprised at what you learn and how that can help you grow and consequently you can apply some new growth concepts to your business!

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