There are few things Raman Sehgal, founder and CEO of the award-winning ramarketing, a digital marketing and PR agency, regrets in his life. The one thing he regrets most is not taking the time in his younger years to keep up with his learning. He focused on other things, says Forbes.
“I was starting my business and drinking and doing all the fun things you do in your 20s,” he told me recently in an interview, “My number one advice to people is to never stop learning and growing and progressing.”In Good Company
Sehgal isn’t the only successful entrepreneur who thinks every person should always be learning. Turns out, the richest business leaders in the world share the same philosophy.
Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner Charlie Munger famously said: “Go to bed smarter than when you woke up.”
The famous duo credits reading and “continuous learning” for their amazing success.
“If we hadn’t been continuous learners, the record wouldn’t have been as good,” Munger tells author Michael Eisner in his book Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed.
“And we were so extreme about it that we both spent the better part of our days reading, so we could learn more, which is not a common pattern in business.”What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
It used to be that folks went to school, learned a skill, got a job at a company and retired from said company after 40-plus years. Globalization and technology have changed all that.
Matt Griffel, founder & CEO of One Month, said this in an interview about the changes happening in today’s workplace:
Today, it’s extremely unlikely that a person will remain in their first job for their entire careers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person has 10 jobs by age 40. That number will probably be higher for millennials, many of whom don’t plan to stay in their current jobs for more than three years.What does that mean for business owners and employees? It means that staying on top of your game — taking the time everyday to learn the skills and trends needed to stay competitive — is a “must do,” not merely a “nice to do.”
Here are a few ways you can incorporate continuous learning into your daily routines.Forget Formal
There’s a huge misconception among people that the only way to learn is to get a formal education that involves spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to earn a degree.
Here’s the truth: you don’t have to go back to school to always be learning. In fact, some of the world’s most successful business leaders dropped out of school or never went to college. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson all became billionaires without earning advanced degrees.
Today, technology allows people anywhere in the world to take classes online, listen to podcasts or read columns like this from the comfort of their office or home. You don’t need to sit in a classroom to learn a valuable skill. If you have access to the Internet, you pretty much have access to the world’s biggest school.Know Your Learning Style Successful learners know how they learn best. They’re self-aware, and proactive about communicating their learning needs.
Visual learners, for example, look for learning experiences that incorporate visual aids like charts or YouTube tutorials. Auditory learners might look for podcasts or lecture recordings, or perhaps they read information out loud or discuss what they’ve learned with someone else. Tactile learners seek out hands-on experiences.
Knowing your learning style will help you reach your goals quicker.Make It Easy On Yourself
Use tools that allow you to make notes on the fly. Tools like Evernote allow you to sync your digital devices so you can access information anytime, from your anywhere.
Raman Sehgal listens to podcasts while running. If something catches his attention, he’ll stop and record a voice memo that he can refer to later. He makes it easy on himself. He literally learns “on the run.”Schedule It If it’s not scheduled, it doesn’t exist. Schedule time in your calendar every day to learn, just like you would a meeting or doctor’s appointment. Shift Your Mindset
Don’t say to yourself: I already know that. Instead, ask yourself: what can I learn from this? It will open you up to new perspectives or information you may have overlooked.Apply What You Learn
Finally, apply what you learn. Information is just information if it’s not put into practice.
“I don’t know anyone who’s wise who doesn’t read a lot. But that’s not enough: You have to have a temperament to grab ideas and do sensible things,” Charlie Munger says.
If you want to be successful in business, start by being a successful and continuous learner.