As an entrepreneur you are often required to wear many hats, especially when you start your business. All of a sudden you are a bookkeeper, a marketer, a sales person, a production worker etc. You look after all facets of your business.

Self-development and self-care is very important, not only for the mind and body but also for your business. As an entrepreneur you should always be looking to learn, to soak up knowledge so that you grow and your business grows with you.

YOU have to grow in order for your business to grow ~ Brad Sugars

So what can you do to grow and learn and why should you keep learning?

1. Read books

Books are a fantastic low cost (or free from the library) option to learn. I love and recommend reading books by people who have successfully built and grown their business. Books that describe how these successful entrepreneurs made their success. Think of people like Richard Branson, Natalie MacNeil, Ariana Huffington etc.

If there are topics or tasks in your business that you are not skilled or knowledgeable in, you could outsource, or you could learn. Pick up a book about sales, learn how to look after your own finances, grab a quick guide to business planning. There are plenty of books to teach you what you don’t know and help you become more knowledgeable.

2. Read industry and business related magazines

If your industry has a magazine, you might want to subscribe. Industry magazines will keep you in the loop of what is happening and current in your industry. Magazines such as Renegade Collective and Dumbo Feather are inspiring and full of entrepreneurial genius.

3. Attend networking events and conferences

This might or might not be for you. Not everyone likes the thought of a networking event, but they are still around and for good reason. People that speak at conferences and networking events are often well ahead of the game and you could learn a lot from them. On top of that, if you’re brave enough, you could ask them questions that apply directly to your business. You might even ask them to mentor you or collaborate on a project. Be armed with your notepad and a handful of questions and let the next stage of your business begin.

4. Join online groups/associations/meetups

The internet is a wonderful place to make new friends, start collaborations and find mentors. Join an online group, association or meetup. Online groups, associations and meetups are generally setup with a purpose in mind and often have a specific focus or topic. There are groups and meetups for WordPress developers, creative women, women in business, entrepreneurs etc. and if you can’t find a suitable meetup in your area, you can start your own.

5. Hire a coach

Self-education is highly recommended, but having a coach often takes your business to a whole new level and often much faster. All successful entrepreneurs have mentors, they learn from those who have walked the path before them and often contribute having success to having a good mentor. Look at people such as Richard Branson, Marie Forleo, etc. They have all had mentors and continue to surround themselves with inspiring and knowledgeable mentors.

6. Enroll in a course

Courses are a great way to learn and you can do it either online or offline. It doesn’t have to be a university degree, there are plenty of courses that will teach you a specific skill that’s applicable to your needs. Online courses are great because you can go at your own pace and are not required to attend classes at a specific time or location. Offline courses are great because you do get out of the house and you get to interact with others. See what works for you, the comfort of doing it from home or the fun and interaction in a classroom.

7. Surround yourself with entrepreneurs

Similar to having a coach, sharing your journey with other entrepreneurs will bring you new relationships, friendships and possible collaboration. On top of that, you will be able to relate to each other as nobody understands your journey as well as another entrepreneur. Surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs will be a great way to learn from each other, to help each other out and to hold each other accountable.

8. Join a mastermind

What is a mastermind you might wonder?

The concept of mastermind was invented by Napoleon Hill. He described the notion of a mastermind in his book ‘Think and grow rich’. He wrote:

“The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

“No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind].”

A mastermind related to business is a group of people who come together, share common goals and work together to achieve these goals. They hold each other accountable, harness the power of the group and gain considerably more momentum than they would on their own.

People in the mastermind are invested in each other’s success and give as much as they take by supporting each other, offering advice, promoting each other’s businesses and assisting with leads and opportunities. A mastermind is invaluable as you are part of a group which means that you have more than one person to learn from and a good mastermind is led by one of more coaches that have successful businesses. The better mastermind groups generally include group coaching, one-on-one coaching, structured learning, social activities to encourage group interaction and a discussion and inspiration forum.

This article was originally published in Sprout Magazine


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