"You are not a finished product. If you don't keep evolving, you start dying." - Reid Hoffman, Founder of Linkedin
Success has been known to slow learning. For some, once you're an "expert" on something you stop seeking knowledge. That's what makes learning so valuable, you must seek it or at least be open to the idea learning. It's the difference between someone who is content and someone who is striving; it's integral to being an entrepreneur.
They say if you're not getting smarter you're getting dumber. Your competition knows this, which is why they are constantly learning. It's what leads to stagnant companies - success goes to their head and they stop looking for new ways to innovate. We have thought of a few ways, as educators, to help continue learning even outside of the classroom.
Fiction, non-fiction, news or blog posts; always be reading. Even fiction will expand your mind as well as your vocabulary - lessons from the books can be taught and there are even problems and riddles to be solved. The more you read the more you'll understand the world, human nature and culture - it's the most important thing you can do to keep sharp.
Talk with People
One of the reasons many large companies and some of the most innovative companies are in cities is that they want to be surrounded by people. Interacting with people is incredibly important when it comes to learning new things. A good way to keep your mind sharp is to find groups of people, specifically groups you know either nothing about or actually oppose, and talk with them. This will not only force you to explain your thoughts or reasoning but also learn from others as to why they believe a certain way. You don't have to talk to experts or even be an expert, just learn to understand other people and hear their thoughts.
Few things help you learn better than teaching. The process of breaking down what you know and building it up in someone else's mind will truly help you learn yourself. In addition, much like talking with people, you'll begin understanding the way other people think, and you'll have to find new ways of explaining yourself and your skill.
Find a Mentor
It might be hard to ask for help but it is one of the smartest things you might do. Having a mentor to help you through both business or your personal life (these two intertwine more than you think) is helpful in getting outside views and understanding. How better to truly learn things than from someone who has lived these things in the past. One part of mentorship to get past is the word "mentor", look at your friends, family and business connections - odds are you might already have a mentor that you were just calling a friend.
To learn is to grow and as business owners, it's important that we continue growing ourselves in order to grow our companies.
What do you do to continue growing and learning?