I am often asked for advice on how to increase earnings by those thinking about starting a business or trying to take their business to the next level. Nearly every time the majority of the advice I give revolves around one of my favorite quotes.
“A formal education will make you a living, but self-education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn
All too often small business owners and entrepreneurs are so focused on the day-to-day operation of their business that they fail to continually educate themselves. From finances to parenting to spiritual growth, a recipe for disaster in any area of life is to rely solely on formal education to draw from when making decisions.
Formal education is great and I am certainly not proposing that it is unimportant or even unnecessary. The reality, however, is that formal education will help you get a job but it is not designed to take you to the next level. If you stop at formal education you will find yourself hitting a ceiling on your growth and becoming frustrated with your earnings.
Self-education utilizes the base you received with formal education and allows you to see things in a new light. If you are not spending time daily educating yourself beyond what you learned in a formal setting you will never reach the levels that are possible for you. Self-education opens your eyes to new ways of solving problems and gives you access to knowledge passed down from some of the greatest business men and women to live. When you self-educate you can draw from the knowledge that took others a lifetime to gain. If you take self-education serious by taking notes while reading, putting action steps in place from what you learn and making changes in your life or business based on what you have learned you will be amazed at the growth you accomplish.
There are many ways to self-educate in our age of technology. With this said, reading is still my favorite means. I often get excuses from people saying they are not good readers, or they don’t comprehend what they read. If this is you there are other options available such as audiobooks and podcasts that you can download and listen to while driving to and from work, during your exercise routine or at any other time that fits into your schedule. If you find that time is an issue, look into Stitcher Radio, which is an app that you can get for your smart phone that allows you to listen to podcasts at 1, 1.5 and 2 times speed. This lets you listen to a 30 minute podcast in 15 minutes. Other forms of self-education are selecting a mentor to meet with monthly, hiring a coach that is an expert in your area of business or attending seminars that specialize in what you are trying to accomplish. Look into mastermind groups or web forums or find an expert in your field that blogs and follow them. These are just the examples that I thought of quickly and I am sure you have many more ideas already going through your mind.
Make a commitment today to start self-educating! Start with an audio book or stop by Barnes and Noble (I couldn’t resist) and grab a book to read. I guarantee that if you implement just one new strategy from each book you read your earnings will show the results!
What are some of your favorite forms of self-education? What books, blogs and podcasts inspire and challenge you?