The importance of lifelong learning

Lifelong learning as an entrepreneur

This blog post is pulling double duty.

From one side, it’s my thoughts on the importance of continuous learning as an entrepreneur.

On the other, I’m hoping to showcase the kind of information I share in my monthly mail. If you like this resource round-up, you can expect more of the same in my newsletter! Join the list below.

If I could, I would be a student forever.

There’s so much to learn: books to read, art to pour over. I’m often caught in a web of words and photos and paintings and music. One leads to the next and I want to learn each of these creators’ stories. What does their life look like to allow for this creativity/genius/skill?

As an entrepreneur, people hire me for my skill. I make a higher hourly than a comparable in-house employee because I’m expected to know more than a traditional employee. I come prepared with skills and processes and a track record that proves I know what I’m doing. There’s no training period for me. In fact, there’s often training for the clients as they learn my systems.

And that is why lifelong learning is so important. In order to be competitive, we need to be ahead of the curve.

As a digital creative, we need not only to retain a lot of information, but balance the structure of learning with the practice of creativity. But what does that practice look like?

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Something I know: Always save space for your creativity.

Dedicate the time to practice. Yes—creativity takes practice. It’s a learned skill to quiet the shoulds and coulds and woulds in your mind. We think we are supposed to always follow the rules, but creativity? Creativity needs us to break a few of them.

As a creative, sometimes I feel a bit of a talent gap. I know what I want something to look and feel like, but I can’t always make it look and feel that way. At first, it’s discouraging, but then I realize that it just means I have a lot more to experience on the way to where I want to go.

For now, I’ll continue to learn as I can every day. Diversity of perspective gives us insight and awareness that we can’t gain if we only rely on ourselves for inspiration. Don't you think?

Resources from around the web…

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In my monthly mail, I often share resources that I think my email pen pals will love or benefit from. I’ve read/watched/listened to every one of these links and I’m sharing them with you as recommendations. Alongside the resources, I also share a bit of inspiration, features of others doing great things, books to read, music to listen to, and free resources I’ve created. These emails are a play on the balance of encouraging lifelong learning and inspiring creative practice. See how that all ties together now?

Of course, it’s not the same (that’s why you need to sign up!), but here’s a taste of what my mailing list receives on the first weekend(ish) of every month.

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The founder of Fohr has a YouTube series called "A Drink with James." It's directed towards personal brands and influencers, but his chats are informative for anyone starting out or interested in adding influencer marketing to their strategy. In Episode 136, James talks about creating interesting stories for followers without overwhelming them with content; KPIs to track as a brand working with influencers; and being vulnerable on Instagram. Oh ya—and he chats about the trend of fake #sponsored posts. Crazy, right? Watch it here.

A marketing resource: Seth Godin explains why your business needs to be remarkable in this video. The video is old, but still relevant. This is why brand positioning is so important! You need to know what makes you special and why people should care. You need to know how to connect with your audience in a meaningful and authentic way.

Then there's @cathowell, the Facebook guru I just found for the first time a few weeks ago. She's ultimate goals proving that it's possible to find extreme, scalable success with an service-based online business.

Next, I know I've linked to Minna's blog before, but I just can't get enough of her #realtalk. She recently re-shared a blog post that I think clears the muddied waters around "pick your brain" meetings and cold-emailing: 6 Musts when cold-emailing or asking for a coffee meeting.

Jasmine Star is one of my go-to sources for all things Instagram. A recent article brings forward an important mindset shift: "If engagement is low on Instagram, how do I get more followers?"

I recently found Connie Chan of What She Pictures, a flatlay photographer and inspiring 'grammer, whose thoughts align with my own. Her recent post is one of my favourites: "How to make the Instagram algorithm work for you." Hint: there's no one quick fix.

Amy Porterfield's Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast episode #211: 5 Things I Say "Yes" To In The Early Years (But Say "No" To Now) really resonated with me. I think it's a good one for anyone starting out to listen to. It helped me realize just how far I've actually come because I also have the flexibility and experience to say "No" to things now.

Julie Solomon's Influencer Podcast episode 63: Instagram Hacks, Trends, and Secrets for Growing & Monetizing Your Business totally aligns with my own beliefs. Social media is for storytelling. Listen to learn more.

What are you waiting for?

If you like this blog, there’s more where that came from on my mailing list. I’d be thrilled to have you! Sign up below.