Hint: the world is your classroom.
When you embarked on your entrepreneurial journey, your curiosity, drive and passion were likely what carried you to the present: running a successful business with a capable team at your side.
The daily grind can be just that: grinding. You’re likely running a million miles an hour, day after day. If it’s working, you may feel like the safest bet is to just keep doing what you’ve been doing. The problem with this approach is that one day you’ll look up and realize you’re complacent or – worse – exhausted. And both can affect your productivity and ultimately your bottom line.
So how do you keep that joie de vivre alive in yourself and others to make sure you slow down every once in a while and don’t get stuck in a rut?
1. Read, read, read
You already probably have a list of books a mile long you’re planning to get through. To absorb information with less of a time commitment, get on the e-newsletter list for innovators in your field. This way you can read a curated collection of articles at your leisure.
2. Make the most of your downtime
Find podcasts featuring experts in your field, and then play them while you’re working around the house, during long commutes, or instead of surfing on your phone before bedtime. It’s also important to take care of yourself – like getting good sleep, unplugging from work email in the evening and getting exercise. Encourage employees to do the same, and they will thank you.
3. Mix and mingle
Seek out networking events or workshops in your area and challenge yourself to have at least one conversation with someone who’s like-minded. If you have more time (and money), get out of town for a few days – attend a conference either related to your field of expertise or on a topic that could infuse life into a particular area of your business, like marketing or communications. Spending time with other people face to face is a surefire way to come back to the office feeling refreshed.
4. Go online
Connect with people and follow businesses and innovators in your field on LinkedIn, where you’ll get exposure to articles they post, and follow cutting-edge leaders on social media like Twitter and Instagram to stay inspired.
5. Think outside the (school) box
With massive open online courses (MOOCs), continuing education possibilities abound. Without ever having to step foot in a classroom, you can take a class on anything from business law to SWOT analysis and more. Plus, get access to instructors from some of the top universities in the U.S. – many of them for free or for a small fee.
Want to build trust in your employees and encourage them to be the best they can be? Share this list with them and lead by example. For help budgeting for things like training and conferences, get in touch with your advisor.