Wow, it was a busy summer that seemed to fly by and here we are now in October. Time is moving so fast, but with a business and family that seems to be how it rolls for me. I feel like I am always learning how to better manage my time between being a business owner, wife, and mom.
A big part of how I learn to grow my business and have a personal life is through continuing education.
For me, this is currently in the form of a mastermind. I don’t know if you all know my story (which I will be diving into next month) but my business was never “planned.” And when I started on this path, I knew I needed to learn more. I had never worked online, I always had a traditional office job. I felt like I was trying to find my way in a dark room, not easy to do.
The point I want to make is about learning. This last year has been the biggest time of transition and learning for me, both in my business and personal life. I feel both business and personal life always go together. At least when you are an entrepreneur working from home, they can’t help but be intertwined. As I mentioned, my learning in my business comes in the form of a mastermind. In fact, the leader of our mastermind has been mentoring me since 2012. I feel that I am where I am in business because of her knowledge and willingness to be transparent in what has and has not worked for her.
A couple weeks ago I joined her and 27 other women for an amazing conference & retreat in Mexico.
The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live. ~Mortimer Adler
I feel we should always be learning.
That could be in the form of a mastermind, a book, a friend, a podcast, you name it. There are so many ways to learn, both free and paid. I know at times I need to learn things for my business, and other times I need to learn about things that will help me in my personal life and relationships.
I want to stop for a minute and check in with you on the following:
- What type of learning are you currently participating in?
- What difference has that learning made in your business?
- If you are not, what is holding you back?
- I would love for you to hit reply and let me know what your answers are!
I do want to warn you that some people go to the extreme and spend SO much time learning, they never implement. Implementing what you are learning is critical for the change to be made. This will often require you to say no to some things along the way, and that might feel scary. It did for me. And when you decide to be really focused, you WILL be tested!
Recently, I decided to get even more focused on my business.
I felt pulled in too many directions and I wasn’t giving my best at the things I was doing. This meant I needed to say no, and even though it was uncomfortable to say no, I knew it was necessary to accomplish what I wanted.
Here are a few things I’ve done to increase my focus:
- I dropped a long time client. We had been working together for 3 years but it was time to move on and it was a friendly parting.
- I have taken away my strategy service (for now).
- I’m not taking on any 1-1 clients for long term work because I am only working a certain number of hours per week.
I knew I needed to make these changes to free up space so I can focus on my Virtual Assistant Training. This program is VERY important to me, but I haven’t had enough time to give it the attention it needs. The day after I made all these choices I received an email from a potential client, they sought me out! It was a total fit, and would have been a good chunk of money. BUT it would mean no time to work on the Virtual Assistant training. So I had my assistant send a response explaining I was currently full and that I could put them on my waiting list in case a spot opened up. This was hard for me, I’ve never turned someone down like that before.
My point of telling you this story is sometimes you need to make a hard decision to get the results you want in your business, you will be tested but the results are so worth it!
Here’s a pic we took while having some down time visiting the Mayan ruins.
Here are my main takeaways that I would love you to learn from:
Before doing any free or paid training, decide the direction of your business and what one thing would help you to reach that which you desire? Then pick 1 training and stick to it. I wasted money on many courses that were not going to move me forward. This is because I didn’t know where I was headed, feared that having a niche would mean earning less money, and that is so not true!
There needs to be accountability involved in learning. This can mean you have an accountability partner, a coach or mentor if it’s a paid program you are doing. Or maybe just setting up goals in your project management system is enough to keep you on track. But, you need some way of making sure you do what you say you will and that you can measure your progress over time.
You CANNOT and SHOULD not try to do or learn everything. What does that mean? In the first couple years of my business, I thought that if I could learn it then I should do it. For me, that meant if I could learn a new skill then I should offer that service. I ended up stressed, spending money on all kinds of training because I wanted to be great at everything, and not loving what I was doing for my clients.
The bottom line is FOCUS on what’s important to you and do what you love. Carefully select training that will help you meet your short-term and long-term goals and be sure you implement what you learned. Just remember you can’t do everything and you will have to say no sometimes. By focusing on your goals you will achieve greater success both in your personal and professional life.
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