This is the last post in a three-part series on learning new skills to boost your business success.
If you had a dollar for every time someone gave you advice that went in one ear and out the other, you’d probably have enough money to ignore everyone’s advice.
It’s not that you don’t value the suggestions and expertise of others. Far from it. The problem is this: today’s ever-changing world is always generating more stuff you need to know to be successful, competitive, healthy and happy.
Your to-do list can seem like an infinite source of tasks. For each two you cross off the list, four more appear, ready for your attention.
However, the knowledge you absorb through webinars, online courses and e-books won’t mean anything unless you apply it.
Just as a library is meaningless without readers, your knowledge is nothing without action. Your circumstances won’t change, the vision won’t become any clearer until you do something to make it happen.
Take action! There is so much power tied up in just those two words they’re often underestimated.
Taking action is the only way to start to see the rewards for putting in the time to acquire new knowledge.
So, let’s take a look at some ways you can go from knowledge to expertise through action.
We mentioned the tendency for information to go in one ear and out the other. That’s why it’s a good idea to take notes when reading a self-help or DIY book or doing an online course or webinar.
As you’ll probably be consuming several courses and e-books over the lifetime of your business, it’s helpful to have dedicated notebooks that organise your notes by theme. One notebook might be designated for SEO, another for video marketing.
If you want to ditch the paper that’s fine. There are lots of smartphone apps that will let you type in and save the key points from your lessons.
These notes will come in handy as you get ready to put into practice what you’re learning. Break down course information into digestible summaries that fit your business needs.
That way, when the time comes to create an action plan, you won’t have to climb out of an avalanche of information just to get started.
Create lists that create intention
Here’s a hint, if your to-do list is scribbled on a cocktail napkin, you’re probably not going to get very far with those tasks. Putting into practice teachings accumulated from online courses or e-books will take a lot more effort than that.
Creating a list of tasks and slotting them into a calendar sets an intention to actually move on them. The goal is to create a plan of action to systematically deploy the new wisdom you’ve gained.
The sooner you start with a strategy to apply what you’ve learnt, the faster you’ll become an old hand at your new skills.
An easy place to start is with a to-do list, checklist or action plan.
One thing at a time
Most skills aren’t one monolith of expertise. There are really an assembled bundle of know-how and varying competencies.
When you’re learning new skills, it’s often the case that you start to question your ability to actually absorb and implement everything. Instead of trying to apply 10 tips in a compressed time frame, it’s better to tackle one thing at a time.
If we examine speaking on camera, for example. An effective and convincing presentation on camera is a composition of skills, all deployed seamlessly for a captivating on-camera performance.
Voice projection, lively articulation, body language – if you try to master all these traits at the same time, you’re likely to blow a fuse.
Focus on one thing, master it and then move onto the next thing.
What’s also great is applying more of the new information you’ve learnt will build your confidence.
Patience: more than a virtue
It’s rare for anyone to be able to hit the ground running with new, unfamiliar skills. It takes time to learn how to do Facebook ads well, set up a sales funnel or design your website.
When you feel frustration creeping in, step away from what you’re doing at the moment and take a break. It clears the mind of fog generated by frustration. Also, this is where your notes come in handy.
If you hit a wall applying something you’ve learnt to your business, check through your notes to refresh your memory. You may have missed an important step.
The key here is, give yourself a break. Be patient, step back, then go at it again.
Worry about what you’re doing, not other folks
So, you’ve been rigorously applying your new skills to grow your business.
Trouble is, though, you’re second guessing yourself all the time now. Other competitors in your field seem to be getting the jump on you.
On social media, their marketing videos crowd your feed making you feel like a slacker. They’re already more confident on camera talking about their businesses.
You’ve been in your line of business since the Spinx was just a papyrus blueprint. How could someone else be talking your game with such steely swag?
There’s a difference between keeping an eye on your competitors and being obsessed with them.
You may have seen horses fitted with fancy eye accessories called blinders. These animals have peripheral vision and can become easily spooked or sidetracked by what they see behind them or to the side. Blinders keep the horse focused on moving forward, either in a race or just pulling a wagon.
You need to put on your metaphorical blinders. Tune out what others around you are doing. Don’t get side tracked by peripheral goings on.
When you are trying to implement what you learnt, the trick is to be energised, not paralysed by what others are doing in your field. Put on those blinders and concentrate on using your skills to grow your business.
Success is a habit
You’ve probably read that ‘success is a habit’ line somewhere before. It’s certainly true.
While this blog post has already sung the praises of taking action, it is sustained action that will eventually deliver the results you’re going for.
Whether you’re trying to expand your real estate business or develop a new series of online video courses, it’s a good idea to make a habit of taking action towards your goals.
Here’s to new beginnings
There’s just no doubt about it. Every skill you develop, each new trick of the trade you learn is another tool in your tool belt.
This is what helps you accomplish what you’ve set your sights on. You can get there faster and more effectively by merely learning more about the world you are set to conquer.
And there’s more! Filling your head with new skills and applying them has a powerful side effect. It pushes out the doubt that keeps you frozen.
The questions and insecurities that cloud business decisions are vapourised by the ability to make choices based on facts and industry insight. Where does that stuff come from? The very online courses spilling out of your inbox.
Success is never certain, but it’s imminently possible when you’re armed with the right skills.
You’ve come too far to turn back now. There’s too much that lies ahead for you to even consider it!
Read the other blogs in this series
Part One: How to Motivate Yourself to Learn New Skills for Your Business
Part Two: 10 Tips to Finish Those Online Courses You’ve Paid For!