person sitting on a stack of books with her feet on a stack of books

Always keep learning… but make sure it’s for the right reasons

One of my personal mottos is “always keep learning.”

Learning keeps my brain fresh and active. Learning keeps me current with the ever changing online landscape so I can better serve my clients. Even better, it sparks my creativity. 

But endless learning can be a trap if you aren’t doing it for the right reasons.

Schitt's Creek Teaching moment gif

In my recent posts, I’ve really focused on helping y’all dream, plan, automate, and prioritize.

That’s because we feel like there’s always more to do. More content to create, more courses to develop, more clients to help… and more to learn.

And because things change fast in the online space, it’s so important to always keep learning. Further, it’s healthy to expose yourself to new ideas or new points of view. Learning breathes life into routine, gets your creative juices flowing, and gets you excited about helping your clients in a deeper way.

But there’s a difference between learning to stay ahead of the curve – or for the pure joy if it – and learning because you don’t feel like you are quite enough yet.

I recently met with a client who is an expert in her field and who gets great results for her clients.. She has effective systems and processes in place to support her clients and her team. 

However, she was ready to spend hours going through more courses just to make sure she’s doing things the right way.  

Which really made no sense because each system she uses is already validated.

How do I know that? She has happy clients and a happy team. She gets great results for her clients every day. 

Another client planned to invest time in developing an entirely new skill set because her clients might need it… someday.

Is that skill set related to the work she does with her clients? Sure. But before she invests the time, money, and energy into learning, it makes more sense for her to step back and think about the following… 

First, do her clients really need and want this new service? 

She could start by having conversations with her clients around this topic instead of assuming it’s something they might need.

Second, even if it’s something her clients need, does it make sense for her to be the one who learns this new skill set?

Maybe it’s something she should hire out. Or she could add a contractor with this skill set to her team. Perhaps she could buy the course and have an existing team member do the learning.

What’s really going here?

Both of my clients were avoiding marketing their existing expertise because they felt like they weren’t enough yet. And as soon as I called them on it, they saw it, agreed, and refocused.

So how do you know when to dive in and learn more?

The questions to ask yourself before you buy that shiny new course

1. Will this course help me improve or streamline my business? Will it improve my profitability?

If it’s really a difference maker for your current business, then do it!

2. Do I need this course to better serve my clients right now… to supplement my expertise (as opposed to validating it)?

If you identify a true gap in the way you support your clients due to a change in the marketplace, then jump in.

For instance, if you run Facebook ads for your clients, you need to stay up to speed on all the Facebook updates that happen on the regular. The changes required by Apple’s iOS 14 are just one example where learning is critical. There’s more on that here here in case you are interested.

3. Am I learning simply to avoid the uncomfortable things like getting visible and actively marketing my business?

I’m raising my hand here. I know I’m inclined this way.

That’s exactly why I came up with this list of questions. So I don’t just ask my clients these questions. I also ask me.

Finally, remember you aren’t serving anyone by keeping your gifts hidden.

There are people out there right now who need exactly what you have to offer. If you don’t show up and tell them you are there to help, they’ll either keep spinning their wheels by trying to figure it out on their own OR they’ll hire someone else to do it.

So keep learning, of course! But before you invest the time and money in learning, make sure you are clear on why you are doing it. 

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