I’m a huge fan of self-education! In fact, I think everyone benefits from investing in themselves and their ongoing education…beyond traditional school. This is particularly true with leaders and entrepreneurs. To really grow on a personal and professional level, in my opinion, you always want to be in growth mode and expand your skillsets with new information.
And fortunately, we live in a time where there is an abundant amount of content available from experts in their fields…I feel very grateful for this!
But you might be asking yourself:
Why is Self-Education Important?
If you don’t spend time on your education, you become static and apathetic in life. Not only that, you won’t be as prepared for when things change. Who’s to say your career or business will stay the same? Things change. Things come and go. In order to stay ahead, you should be exposing yourself to new things so your knowledge base and skillsets improve.
It’s also good for your brain to be in learning mode. Think of it like it’s an exercise for your brain. If you don’t use your learning skills, you could lose them. It is also a solid piece of personal development because it keeps you in the growth model. If every day, you self-educate by digesting new audiobooks, video courses, podcasts, etc, it keeps you in growth mode. It is an important part of personal development.
How to Maximize Your Self-Education
As I mentioned earlier, I find it amazing that we live in a day and age where we have so much content at our disposal on all kinds of platforms. Because of self-publishing, the number of books that are being written is at an all-time high. Everyone is sharing their knowledge with podcasts. And courses are going nuts, too.
We live in a great age where experts can share their information with you. If you want to learn, just put in your earbuds and they can teach you what they know. This wasn’t an option years ago and what was available was a lot more expensive. Now, you can get this for free or for the cost of a cheap book.
1. Pick a Platform to Educate Yourself
Like I said, there are any number of practical ways you can get content. Here are a few that I have used:
- Services that summarize books – Blinkist or something else like it.
- Specialty services like TEDx
- Courses that experts put out
2. Decide Who And What To Listen To
Darren Hardy once said the way he does self-education is to pick a person that he really resonates with and consume everything they put out. So, he’ll choose an expert in their industry and listen to every podcast they’ve been on, read their book or blog, watch them on videos, etc.
I haven’t done this tactic, yet. What I have been doing is consuming content that pertains to my goals. Because of my Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind, I had a goal of reading more spiritual content. I wanted to expose myself to that type of content to see what would happen. It’s a path I deliberately want to go down so I chose books that would fulfill that goal.
At this point, I’ve consumed enough information through self-learning that I can usually pick a good book based on the summary and the table of contents. I also choose what I consume based on people that resonate with me. For example, I had an author named Mia Hewett on my podcast. Her message really resonated with me, so I bought her book.
3. Put Your Education Into Action
One thing I want to point out is that you can get trapped in consuming content because it feels good, but you never do anything about it. I have done this plenty of times when doing my own research. If I’m learning something new and working on my personal development and don’t find a way to put it into action, it isn’t helpful.
I think it’s important that you be willing to put into action the advice that someone says when you can. Not everything you hear can be put into action. I listen to some audiobooks from Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Les Brown, Zig Ziglar, and Wayne Dyer that aren’t really actionable. Their lessons soak in and become a part of my identity, thought process, and mindset.
But, there are other books I listen to, like the one from Mia, that I will put into action. This is a book I’ll be taking action on and following what she’s teaching.
4. Start Out Small
If you’re not used to consuming content on a daily basis like this, try and start small. When you want to learn, you don’t have to put the pedal to the metal. Just develop a habit a day of reading 5 pages or listening to 15 minutes of a book and then crank it up until you’re hooked. Think of the compound effect you’ll have after just a few months of feeding your brain new information. You’ll have more confidence when you work hard, knowing that you can put those new skills to good use.
You can find ways to multitask with your learning. Like when you’re driving somewhere, you can listen to Audible. When I’m in the car (unless the kids are begging for us to listen to the radio) I listen to Audible. Think of it as turning your commute into a classroom.
The same can be done when you’re working out. I listen to Audible or podcasts when I’m walking around my neighborhood or riding on the Peloton.
5. Be Selective About How Much You Consume
We live in a day where we have so much education (almost too much). Plus, if you want to exercise those learning skills, you may have so many subjects to dive into that it can be overwhelming. We have to be selective in what we consume. I’ve had times when I thought I was consuming too much content, so I feel like I have had to limit it a little in order to really learn.
Right now, I’m probably consuming an hour or two a day…nowhere compared to what Warren Buffet consumes (5-6 hours), but it’s right for me.
To help limit myself, I’m not listening to podcasts…I’m only listening to MasterClass and Audible. This won’t be a forever change in my education routine, but that’s the point. You have to be fluid based on your goals.
The reason I’m limiting my podcasts is that I want to do more educational-based content. Last year, I was getting wrapped up in entrepreneur motivational information…which was great. But, this year, I want to focus on learning new things. This is where MasterClass and Audible come in. They do deep dives into subjects. That’s my goal right now. To do a deeper dive into subjects.
That doesn’t mean I never listen to podcasts. I do listen to a few, like The Morning Upgrade Podcast, of course. Also, whenever Ed Mylett sends out a new podcast release, I usually listen in. I’m not afraid to change things up as I need to with my routines.
I hope that these tips will help you start to invest in your education. It’s so important to always keep your mind working, learning, and thinking. You’ll be very thankful when you put those new skills to work.
- Pick a platform to consume content.
- Decide who you want to listen to.
- Start small and spend 15 minutes a day on self-education.
- Pick up the pace as this practice becomes a habit.
- Always look for ways to increase your skill set.