Good morning friends! Yesterday we talked about accidental learning, and I gave you some tips on how to be more purposeful about looking for and using the things you learn unexpectedly in your day to day lives. Be aware. Be available. Be amenable. You never know when you'll come across something that will become a stepping stone towards something great!
Speaking of great, how great is the graphic above?! I bet you didn't know that fun fact before now. Aren't you glad you know it now? I mean, seriously, life changing! :) For more fun random facts, check out Dr. Cathie Dunal's website. Her fun little cartoons and random facts are making my day!
Before we get started on today's topic, "Leveraging Who You Know to Increase What You Know", I just want to clarify something. I'm not super crazy about the title of this blog post. The word leverage can have kind of a negative connotation. The poor word gets a bad rap! Webster defines leverage as:
"Influence or power used to achieve a desired result"
This definition might seem to imply that I'm saying you should use your influence and power over others to get what you want. No. Just no. I will never, ever encourage anyone to use power or influence over another. I will always, always encourage people to work together in community to accomplish goals. In the case of this blog post, I'm using the word leverage in a slightly different way. Think of it like a formula:
Their influence and power + my respectful request for information = together achieving a desired result
Boom. Glad we got that settled.
Learning by Association
No one person can know everything, but we all have a unique set of knowledge and skills. Working together, we can boost each other up. Everyone wins!
When you're in that place where you're ready to take that next step and launch out into the unknown, look at the people around you, those in your family, circle of friends, community. Consider what they know. Do they have skills you'd like to learn? Have they had experience that would benefit your new venture in some way? Can they offer lessons and information that would help you avoid any pitfalls and setbacks?
You can learn from these people. You need to learn from these people. But how? It's not as if you can hook up a cable and download information directly from their brain into yours. (Oh my goodness, if someone has figured that out, please let me know. I've got some super smart peeps I'd love to borrow from!) I'm going to give you three tips on how you can get started leveraging that information they have, the influence and power they possess. And yes, they all start with the letter "A". Because alliteration.
I also thought about my professional circles. Were there people I had helped
in the past who might be willing to return the favor? What do they know or
have experience with that might be key for me? Again, write the questions
down. Then get ready for step three.
People respond very favorably to an honest seeker. If they say no, just move on down the line. They may reconsider later. One thing is for certain though - if you don't ask, you will never get a yes.
Don't force yourself to reinvent the wheel when there's someone who's been where you are who can help. You can do this!
Have a great Friday!
We have all heard this phrase before. It looks great on a Pinterest board or a Facebook wall with a scenic photo as a background and a few well-placed, hand drawn leaves and flower embellishments. It rolls easily off the tongue when we're presented with something new or novel that we didn't know before. But is it true? Do we really learn something new every day?
I think we do. I think we can.
I think we must. The dreams and goals for our businesses and personal lives depend on it.
The thought can be intimidating. After all, information flies at us at what seems like warp speed. Our lives are already chock full of busyness. Learning takes time. Learning can be expensive. Learning hurts my brain. I know what you're thinking. Are you kidding me? I cannot possibly add one more thing to my day.
Do not panic. We can do this.
When I took on my first website building project, it was not the only project I had going at the time. I knew there were things I was going to be doing that I didn't yet know how to do. Learning them was going to take an investment of time and physical and mental energy, but I wasn't willing to let this opportunity pass me by. The chance for growth for my business was right in front of me. I was grabbing it and running with it! But there were moments - oh there were moments - when I asked myself, What am I doing?
As I look back on that whole learning process, there were things I could have done better. There were also things I could have done worse. I'm going to share with you what I'll call The Three A's of Leveraging Your Learning. These three keys will help you jump start the learning process by helping you recognize the learning resources and opportunities already available to you. Today we'll talk about
(Sidenote: I'm a huge fan of words. Alliteration makes me happy. So yes, the three keys all start with the letter A. You're welcome.)
The Three A's of Leveraging Your Learning
1. Accidental Learning
We learn new things all the time without even trying. Stumbling upon information that will be valuable to your dreams or business later happens more often than you think. The challenge is recognizing accidental learning when it happens, then putting it into use.
Not sure what I mean by accidental learning? Accidental learning can include anything you come across in your day-to-day that you haven't purposefully sought out. A magazine article at the dentist's office. A radio program you catch while waiting in traffic.
Leverage it. Use it. Take advantage of these free gifts when they come. How?
I had such great intentions of posting the third article in my current blog series on taking risks in business, "Diving Deep: Learning New Skills" by now. See, I even have a catchy title. But you know what? Sometimes life happens, and this week, life has definitely happened.
Here are some of the diversions that have kept me from pounding out the blog. I bet you can relate to some of them:
"Mom, can you braid my hair?"
"Mom, what are we doing today?"
"Mom, are we going anywhere today?"
"Mom, what's for lunch?"
"Mom, where's my softball t-shirt?"
"Mom, do you want to play Lego battles?"
I love them so much. I also cannot hear myself think.
I tried going into another room. They followed me. I tried looking really
busy so they'd know I didn't want to be interrupted. They watched what I was doing over my shoulder. I tried hiding in my room with my laptop. They found me. Welcome to summer, folks.
So those were fun diversions from the norm. Then there were the distractions - the things that you don't necessarily have to deal with right this minute. For me, once the diversions get me off track, the distractions seem a lot more attractive. Things like:
Do you know what I mean? Please tell me I'm not the only one this happens to.
It's not all bad though. Sometimes I think our brains just need a break. We need the comfort of the mundane, the normal, the day-to-day. Last week was super stressful. I can't handle that kind of stress all the time, and my brain knows it.
I'd love to hear what you do to decompress after a rough week, or the ways you get off on a rabbit trail when you need to be focused. Rest assured you're not alone.
Now excuse me while I go clean out my purse . . . .
Hi, I'm Christa, founder of HUB Creative Media, an Iowa-based business specializing in targeted messaging, copywriting, and ghostwriting services. I have one handsome hubby who's my partner in crime (not literally) and two great kids who keep us busy (Track and field! Volleyball! Basketball! All the sports!) Using words to help people promote what they love is my favorite!