Learning: More Than a Degree
We’re all learning. Every day. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Some things you seek out because you’re sure it will be helpful on your career path. I have a friend who is working hard to complete her Master of Business Administration (MBA). She works full time, raises her family, travels a ton and still meets with her cohort to complete a degree that she knows will help her succeed.
These programs are intense, and there is certainly plenty to gain from the experience. I think what I like best about the MBA program she’s involved in is the camaraderie among her classmates. They are in it together as they press on to meet the challenges.
Although I haven’t taken the MBA plunge, I do consistently expand my horizons with the latest information. It’s easy to get complacent in any industry, but I say technology, techniques and trends change so quickly that staying current isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity.
There are multiple ways I stay connected to information I need for running my business every day:
- Research: I love information – the more the better. I like to research what the universities are researching and how they are evaluating trends.
- Read: It’s important to stay current with business periodicals that discuss trends and follow the lives of industry professionals. There are also books that speak to various areas and provide valuable insight.
- CEO Networks: Especially for small-business owners, it’s important to have a sounding board for innovative ideas or strategy. Utilizing a team to get a larger perspective is a great way to vet different strategies quickly.
- Coach or Mentor: I meet monthly with a mentor who has run many large businesses, and we track my business’s goals.
- Conferences: It’s great to get away from the office to learn something new. There are many conferences that focus on business or technology. Don’t overlook the partner organizations that also host training sessions for clients. My accounting firm puts on a conference with speakers that give clients valuable insight, especially with tax updates annually.
- Single Class: You may not be ready for your MBA, but a class could still be in order to truly learn an area vital to your success. There are many options available at local colleges and universities that offer a one-class option suitable to preparing for the next big trend.
There’s no limit to what you can achieve, and there isn’t only one way to get there. So, use the educational tools you need to stay on track and continue learning.