For most business owners, the top priority is keeping their business running. But what about professional development? It might seem impossible to run a business and focus on learning and education, but many entrepreneurs would argue that this is vital for remaining relevant, sustainable, and successful in whatever industry you operate in.
As an entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience, Alex Fortunati is a big believer in embedding education into your daily business practices, both for yourself and your employees. he explains exactly how continued education can benefit you and your business and can help you reach your goals.
Learning at Your Own Pace
When you start learning in school, education becomes a chore. From structured multiple choice to essay questions, formal education can hamper a child’s love for learning. But as an adult, you have an opportunity to learn on your own terms. Whether it is through online courses, in-person seminars, or through reading books and articles, there are endless opportunities to learn that can engage you in whichever learning style you like best.
Alex Fortunati explains that knowledge is invaluable for business owners. When your mind is open, ready to absorb new ideas and perspectives, you are more likely to succeed. It is as important for employees and business owners to embrace a culture of education, growth, and innovation, and continued education is one of the best ways to do that. While it may seem counter-productive to spend your time learning instead of focusing on growth, neither one can exist without the other. One of the greatest strengths that continuing education provides is breeding a culture of innovation.
Learning allows you to be a leader in innovation. No matter what business you work in, being on top of the latest trends, newest developments, and technologies will ensure that you and your company stay competitive. Alex Fortunati explains that continued education has become a baseline for business owners looking to be one step ahead of their competitors, as courses and training can provide you and your business with a greater understanding of the industry as a whole.
Consider your business as a giant “connect-the-dots.” The more dots you are able to connect and the more things you are able to learn, the clearer the picture becomes. From a strategic perspective, this allows you to see things other competitors don’t and put together ideas and initiatives that meet market demand. If you are in the business of marketing, for example, you want to continually educate yourself on the newest platforms, campaigns, techniques, and designs to be able to offer your clients a unique experience that stands out against the crowd. If you do things the way you’ve always done them, you hamper your opportunity for innovation and growth.
One of the greatest benefits of embedding continued education into your personal life and business culture is that you will save money in the long run. Outsourcing or using contract workers to meet your business goals can be expensive, labor intensive, and inefficient. The more you invest in yourself and your employees, the more valuable your business becomes. Alex Fortunati explains that it is very easy to pigeon-hole people into certain positions—and this includes yourself as a business owner as well.
Instead of hiring new people when you do not have the capacity to do so, consider expanding your knowledge base instead. This will not only help you make more well-informed decisions moving forward, but can save you a great deal of money. Continued learning is an investment in the long-term growth of your company, while hiring outside of your capacity is a short-term solution.
Expanding Your Network
In addition to strengthening your company, continued education also serves to expand your network. When you attend seminars, events, and workshops, you are likely to meet other industry professionals with similar interests and goals who you may be able to lean on for advice. Whether you find a business partner, mentor, or just a friend, you never know when these connections could prove useful to your business.
Alex Fortunati’s Bottom Line
Continued education is more accessible today than ever before. From Skillshare to MasterClass and YouTube, there are hundreds of paid and free options for continued education in your company.
As a business owner, it is your job to inspire your team and encourage them to produce the highest quality of work possible and instilling the value of continued education is a great way to do that. If you had to do the same job, with the same set of skills, year after year, you would eventually lose your passion. People feel their most fulfilled when they are learning, growing, and challenging themselves, and so continued learning is not only beneficial, it is a necessity, says Alex Fortunati.
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