Keep Learning to Grow

I’m often amazed at how many individuals sit back on whatever knowledge base they have and don’t actively seek opportunities for growth. Maybe they feel that they are doing fine and are perfectly happy just cruising along.

As for me, I can’t imagine not knowing more, not improving my ability to help others, or even change the world (Hey, you never know. It could happen.). While that is true, I also just love to learn.

Untitled design (48)

OK, not this kind of growing… You know what I mean.

Every industry has live conferences and workshops that you can attend. These are great opportunities to learn from session content and from other attendees. I present at 3-5 conferences per year and, if truth be told, I like doing it so I can get to see other presenters and learn from them. These days there are any number of conferences and courses that can be attended online. They are perfect for people that can’t take the time to go to a live one. Often times they can be viewed at your leisure.

Of course, there’s reading.  So far, I’ve read 26 books this year (a combination of audio books and hard copy). 8 of those were novels (because who doesn’t need a little escapism?), but the remaining 18 were non-fiction topics to increase my knowledge in business, build skills to enhance my ability to help my clients, and learn about creativity (just because it fascinates me). You can also check out industry journals and magazines for educational or inspirational material.

Lifetime learning is so important for being able to grow in your business and your life. Don’t sit back and miss out on something that can be so transformative.

Learn and Grow.

Stacking Habits

Having the right habits in place is important to our businesses and our lives. When it comes to breaking old habits or creating new ones, one thing that can help is to use existing habits as cornerstones to change. The idea of stacking habits is when you add a new habit directly after something you already do habitually. “When I do “X”, I will then do “Y”.

To use this you first have to acknowledge those things that you do automatically throughout your day. Say your alarm goes off in the morning, what do you do first? Second? Third? In example, I know I 1) get up, 2) go to the bathroom, 3) make myself a cup of coffee, 4) sit down and read emails, then 5) go through social media, yada, yada… Once you have created a list of your habits, you can start to tack on an additional task in the appropriate place.

Untitled design (20)

Say, you want to start writing a blog. Your evening routine is to eat dinner, clean up the dinner dishes, watch tv until 11pm, brush your teeth, and go to bed. You could stack writing into that schedule. “When I finish cleaning up the dinner dishes, I will sit down and write for 30 minutes before I turn the tv on…” You’ll have to keep reminding yourself for awhile, but this will soon become habit.

That’s to add a new behavior. You can also stack habits to help break or change bad habits. Maybe you come home from work and, before you even change out of your work clothes, immediately snack on chips or some other junk food. You could insert a behavior to help break that one. “As soon as I get home, I will go to the kitchen, take 5 minutes and eat an apple, then change my clothes, and then, if I still want chips, I can have them. The fact is that once you’ve cut your hunger by having an apple, and stalled the routine further by changing your clothes, you will find yourself in more control and be less likely to want the junk food.

By linking a new behavior to something you are already doing (stacking habits), you create an anchor for the new behavior and are much more likely to stick with it then if you just tell yourself to do the new behavior at some random point.

Try it out. I’d love to hear how this works for you.

 

We Specialize In…

I cannot stress enough how important it is to specialize, to find a niche. Yet, this made me laugh. This list is from a personal training studio website. Their specialty is…. well, I don’t know. Did they leave anything off their list? They even specialize in “all sports”.

We specialize in...

For the record, if you “specialize” in everything, you are not a specialist. You are a generalist. The idea of specializing is that you become really good at one or two things and, having achieved this specialty, you market your services to the specific demographic that needs those particular services. Think about this, imagine you are a professional athlete and you find yourself needing shoulder surgery. Are you going to go to an orthopedic surgeon that does shoulders, knees, hips, back, feet, hands, and a little bit of elbow work, or… are you going to go to the doc that only does shoulders and has perfected treating that area? (FYI: I had my shoulder replaced by the top doc in the northeast US. I wasn’t taking any chances.) So, if you were looking at the exhaustive list above to choose a niche from, a great specialty might be golf conditioning. You could even go deeper and say women’s golf conditioning… or deeper still, golf conditioning for women over 50. You may think that that is too limiting, but think about the shoulder specialist. If you are a woman over 50 who wants to train for golf, who are you going to choose, someone that also does golf training, or, someone who only does golf training for women over 50?

Choose your niche and become the best at it. Then, market yourself to the population that needs your unique skills. You will become the go-to trainer for that specialty, not some other trainer that does “everything”.