This article has been translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
The difference between learning and learning, according to various sources, is that learning “means having to acquire knowledge, generally using memory and the relationships between concepts,” while learning “is the cumulative acquisition of skills and knowledge that is often from Experience originates. “And in my experience, the most important part of being a successful entrepreneur is learning for pleasure, not obligation, either for your personal development or because your project needs it.
Company is synonymous with venturing into the unknown and facing the challenges that arise in the meantime. From taking Mandarin courses to talking to a potential supplier to learning the ABCs of government laws that affect your product or service, at some point you will be the one to find knowledge to solve problems. These are three strategies I use every day to keep my brain and skills in constant practice of learning and nutrition.
Eliminate the phrase "waste of time" from your vocabulary
A popular saying goes that "with time and patience, science is acquired". And what better time to exercise patience than spending time in your car, public transit, or Uber on your way to your next meeting (bike and skates not included)? Now imagine that you spend every minute of this tour reading a book or listening to an audio book. In the two and a half hours a day (on average) that I spend walking from one place to another, I read dozens of books and listened to as many. Meter? Read. Automobile? Listen. Do you get dizzy reading Uber? Listen. Don't you like reading on your phone? There are still bookshops. Are the books you are interested in heavy? We have Kindle.
The shape and object you choose to contain the information will depend on the situation or your personal taste. The fact is, there are more ways than excuses to use your everyday life and learn something new every day. I prefer Kindle because I have access to my entire library, in a very light device and the ideal size, all day, anytime, anywhere. For audiobooks, I'd say the best option is Audible. The monthly subscription, which is not expensive, gives you permanent access to the entire collection of books and genres, which sometimes seems infinite.
Take advantage of the infinity of tools available on the internet
As individuals, we are very fortunate to live in a time when all knowledge is at hand. Literally. As entrepreneurs, we couldn't be in a better time and place than today. Just as there are audiobooks for learning languages, there are also websites and organizations dedicated to teaching online courses for all kinds of subject areas. From the United States to Singapore and from Harvard to Tel Aviv University, there are hundreds of institutions and dozen of countries that offer online courses that are open to anyone who wants to take them.
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses, abbreviation for English) are available on different websites and in the same languages and subtitles. One that I've used repeatedly is Coursera. Administration, writing, business, project management, programming, and entrepreneurship are all available to you with reviews, opinions, and even assignments and grades, among other things. Take an hour a day, or a week for those who are really busy, to sit and learn new skills that you will develop as a leader. The best thing about these tools is that the prices are very affordable and sometimes even free. (Tip: some courses are reviewable, meaning you have access to the material without paying for it.)
Invest time in topics and activities that will help you develop
Learning languages is a very fun way to train the brain as a muscle. But sometimes there comes a point where we have to decide whether spending three hours a week in French is more important than preparing the topics for the next meeting, going to the gym, or even resting. At this point, if your company doesn't require you to speak French all the time, sometimes the answer is no. And while this example is about languages, it applies to every other activity. It is important that you manage your time effectively.
At the same time, make sure that the activities you prioritize will otherwise miss the opportunity to develop into topics and areas that require immediate attention. Sleeping early is often more important than daily Netflix and chill time, or calling your best friend can wait compared to finishing the book you've read for two weeks. Take an hour a day to focus only on your personal and professional development. Setting goals for how far you can get, how many pages to read, or how quickly to finish a course can help you be the best supervisor in your daily life.
The brain is a muscle; So is your ability to be humble, understanding, and empathetic. That is the difference between a boss and a leader. And the best way to remind yourself that you don't know everything and that there is always something you can improve personally and professionally is to keep learning.
Follow these paths and train yourself to be the best teacher of your own life as an entrepreneur. Sooner than later, you need to look for people to make a strong team, each with complementary skills to help develop the business. And if you don't know what you're missing by yourself, where will you get the solid foundations to build that team and how will you be the leader your team needs?