The most important thing for any entrepreneur or small business owner to learn is that there is always more to learn. Intentional continuing education is key in every career, no matter your field. You’d be wrong to think your education is complete when you leave school. You should be taking time in every season of life to learn new things and explore different fields and ways of thinking, and you should be providing similar opportunities for any staff you have working under you. This is how you stay on the cutting edge and it’s a wonderful way to keep yourself fresh and always thinking in new and creative ways.
Ongoing training is crucial for running your business as well. Whatever work your employees do, they are going to improve and grow more if given opportunities for ongoing education. Find relevant seminars, programs, and courses for them to take, and, more importantly, give them incentives to attend. If you don’t support your employees’ attempts to find further training, they’re not going to do it.
These pieces of training will bring your employees back ready to do their job even better, but that’s not all they can do. Any sort of conference that brings people in the same field together will send people away with a new sense of best practices for their field and new techniques to try out. If the training or conference is not a close fit to the work they’re doing, then the exposure to something a little different will give their creativity a boost. Take the time to hear from them and really listen when they come back to see what they’ve picked up.
And even without all of these other bonuses, training like these also give employees an opportunity to rest, recharge, build community with other staff members, and come back raring to go. The change of pace and the social bonding will give your workplace a boost all on its own. Ongoing education isn’t something you can afford to ignore if you want you and your staff to keep ahead of the curve.
The Safest Investment
“Enrolling in a school course or training is like investing directly in yourself,” says Paul Michaels, founder, and CEO of National Bartenders. “It’s the safest investment you can make, too. You’re bound to see results.” Stepping away from your work long enough to go back into student and learning mode can be hard for determined entrepreneurs, but it’s essential for success. You should always take advantage of sending your employees to training and then discussing it with them afterward, but that can’t be a substitute for expanding your own horizons as well.
Take advantage of the networking opportunities these trainings present, and learn from the forward-thinking innovators in your field at the same time. You will also gain just as much from the change of pace and the step back as your employees would. It can be hard to justify, or even consider, a vacation when running your business is your heart and soul, but continuing education is the next best thing. Creativity depends on new experiences and ideas, and you can suffocate it by being too focused. You develop tunnel-vision after thinking about nothing but your business and how to move it forward, and you lose a sense of everything else that matters. That’s the quickest way to get stuck in an unproductive, limited perspective of what you and your business can do.