5 Easy, Inexpensive Ways to Learn New Business Skills

BlogHer Original Post

Keeping your skills sharp is crucial for anyone who runs a business. Without the perk of company sponsored training, you have to do-it-yourself. Even if you attend formal conferences or hire mentors, there is still always more to learn. I believe in spending some time learning something new each and every day. You don't have to spend hours at a time. Simply 15-30 minutes a day will reap huge rewards.

Easy ways to learn new things

Image: x1klima via Flickr

Here are some of my favorite ways to keep your mind and skills sharp. They are free (or very low cost) and widely available wherever you may be.

Teleclasses and Webinars

The amount of free stuff on the web is overwhelming. The quality ranges the gamut from crap to brilliant. Your best bet is to find an expert in the field you are seeking to learn from and take a free class. Test drive the person doing the teaching. What you're looking for is a content-rich instructor where you know you will learn something new. Likely the person giving it will pitch a paid service or product at the end. That is expected. The goal is to choose someone committed to providing a content-rich experience first vs. an hour long sales pitch. You can often find free or low-cost classes or webinars from some of your existing service providers (email marketing company, merchant account, professional organizations, vendors, etc.).

eCourses

A well constructed eCourse can guide you to significant learning in small chunks. Consider it the slow-drip method of learning. Once again, look for a trusted guide by doing some pre-screening of the teacher via their website. The nice thing with an eCourse is that if it isn't delivering what you want, you simply unsubscribe and be done with it.

Lynda.com

I have been a big fan on lynda.com since the mid-1990's when we were still discussing web-safe colors. Now, it is a veritable compendium of web-based learning. Whether you need to learn business skills, a new piece of software, or tech skills, you'll find something here. I have personally used it on-demand for freshening up my skills and staying on top of things I would never attend an actual in-person class. The different course authors have differing styles, but as a whole I have found it high quality. At $25/month, if you learn one thing that saves you time, you've reaped a return on your investment exponentially.

Read a Book

Sounds like a novel ideal in today's electronic everything, but I am a big fan of holding an actual book in your hands and reading it. There are thought-provoking books on every topic you could imagine. If you're worried about over-buying or maxing out your shelf space, try the library. I love the library - free business learning right down the street. If you're not near a library, try something like Paperback Swap. If you must read the electronic way, you can surely find what you need in the electronic bookstores and have it in your hands faster than instantly.

Listen to Books and Lectures

I went to Car University when I used to commute to work. I listened to everything I could. I am certain I have at least the equivalent of several masters level program hours of listening under my belt. Whether you borrow them from the library, hit the iTunes store, subscribe to Audible, or download from the Internet, you can learn on-the-go.

How do you build your skills and keep your learning fresh? Would love to hear from you in the comments.


Paula Gregorowicz plucks women business owners off the hamster wheel of overwhelm, struggle, and self-doubt and guides them to a purposeful path of building authentic and successful businesses using a unique blend of practical action and inner awareness called Intuitive Intelligence®.
Download the Free Recording: Price with Confidence & Get Paid What You're Worth at http://www.thepaulagcompany.com.

 

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