Learning a new skill can be one of the most satisfying things you can do to grow. Learning a new skill is not just a financially smart decision, but it is also good for your mental health. When you learn new skills, you feel more powerful. New neural connections are formed in your brain when you learn something new. The best way to change your life is to change your mind. And learning new skills is the best way to change your mind, literally.
When the normal routine of life makes your life dull, having entertainment alone is not enough to recharge yourself. Entertainment can be good for a weekend — but if you do not learn anything new for years, you will start hating your work.
The traditional system of education expects us to finish school and college and then work for the rest of our lives. That strategy might have worked 30 years back as the world was slowly moving towards the information age. It is not going to work anymore. To thrive in this day and age, learning has to become a habit and continuous up-gradation of skills is required to stay relevant and competitive.
One of the biggest challenges in learning after school and college is that the learning journey becomes lonely. If you are trying to learn from a book or an online course with a set of video tutorials, your learning can become quite stressful. Students learn best when they are energetic and happy. And the only way to feel energetic and happy during your learning journey is to be part of a community that has the same learning goals as yours.
1. Sign up for a cohort-based online course
Many online courses nowadays are cohort-based, and cohort-based online courses usually have a community around them. Being part of a community can impact your learning journey in very subtle ways that are not obvious. Remember, you are the average of the five people around you.
If you are part of a learning community where you see other students have similar goals such as yours and if you see that they are making progress with their professional journey, you are highly likely to grow along with them. You will have a positive pressure to achieve results.
After the completion of the online course, you can think about becoming part of a mastermind community where the learning journey continues beyond the course duration. A mastermind community is usually led by a mentor, and you will have the best of the best students as part of the community.
Mastermind community memberships usually come at a premium, but it is worth the premium because the ideas that you get from the community for your career and business will be well worth the price.
3. Start blogging about what you’ve learned
To make sure that you do not forget what you learn, take notes and write about what you have learned in your blog. Writing organizes your thought process and it is one of the best ways to remember.
If you write in a public blog, you can also build your brand at the same time and may even start having some subscribers who want to copy your notes. A lot of digital mentors have built their following because they started taking their notes in public.
You also have to make sure that you implement what you learn. Implementation is very important because when you implement your leaningsconcepts
and get results, you are going to have validated learning. Validating what you have learned will make sure that the concepts you are trying to learn will go from information to understanding.
Once you understand something new, you will feel powerful and your perspective will expand. Once your perspective has expanded to new horizons, you will never be able to get back to your original state of thinking.
Also, implementing what you have learned gives you a project in hand. You get hired for what you can do, not what you know. Online course certificates usually prove that the student knows something, but not that they can do something. When you do a project, the project proves that you can do something. And who knows — the project can become a side hustle and may even become a business someday.
5. Become a digital mentor and teach
And finally, start teaching what you have learned to your followers. If you are already blogging and blogging about what you know, you will have an audience. Create a smaller mastermind group where you are the mentor and help your students. This will mostly happen online. You are effectively becoming a digital mentor for your students. Teaching is one of the best ways to learn, because it forces you to simplify the concepts you already have in your mind.
People are tired. Between a global pandemic, economic crisis, social unrest, & political upheaval, the past year has been physically and emotionally draining for just about everyone, and perhaps most for essential workers.
Across industries, workers struggling with pandemic fatigue are facing burnout more than ever. For leaders, keeping these employees engaged and motivated is a challenge in itself. While some leaders are turning to incentives like gift cards and cash to help support employees, others are taking a softer approach, investing in relationships and focusing on workplace communication.
When the pandemic began, the hospitality industry fell off a cliff, says Liz Neumark, founder and CEO of Great Performances, a catering company in New York City. She knew keeping everyone employed would be difficult until her business could find another source of revenue apart from events, which eventually came in the form of preparing meals for essential workers and people unable to quarantine at home. While some of her employees, such as those in sales or event production, saw salary reductions, chefs, kitchen staff, and other employees making food for essential workers kept their full salaries and got help with transportation as well.
The founders of P. Terry’s, an Austin, Texas-based fast-food restaurant chain, give employees gift cards and cash to help pay for groceries and offer them interest-free loans. They also incentivize employees to participate in community and civic causes, including paying hourly wages for volunteer work.
Justin Spannuth, chief operating officer of Unique Snacks, a sixth-generation, family-operated hard pretzel maker in Reading, Pennsylvania, increased hourly wages by $2 for all 85 of his employees. The company also hired additional temporary employees to provide a backup workforce. Spannuth says the move helped persuade employees with possible symptoms to stay at home by easing the guilt that employees can have about not coming in and potentially increasing the workload on their colleagues.
“The last thing we wanted our employees to do was get worn out from working too many hours and then have their immune system compromised because of it,” says Spannuth.
Helping Employees Connect
Andrea Ahern, vice president of Mid Florida Material Handling, a material handling company in Orlando, Florida, says it was difficult to keep morale up when the business was clearly struggling; employees were uncertain about the company’s future, and their own. To help ease the stress, the company held a wide array of picnic-style meals in the company’s parking lot. It was a light distraction that still followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Now, she says, morale has started to rise.
“With the release of the vaccine and the so-called ‘light at the end of the tunnel,’ we’re starting to see the industry get a lift in activity, and associates feel good when they know their jobs aren’t at risk. However, it wasn’t always this way.”
These kinds of events can, of course, also take place virtually. Company leaders across industries are encouraging staff to treat Zoom as a virtual water cooler. But while casual online gatherings after work can help colleagues maintain friendly relationships, they can also contribute to “Zoom fatigue”–the drained feeling that comes after a long day of video calls, which often require more concentration than in-person meetings.
Matt McCambridge, co-founder and CEO of Eden Health, a primary/collaborative care practice based in New York, says while his teams hold regular virtual water coolers, they switch it up. For example, the company hosted an interactive “dueling pianos” virtual event over the holidays, as well as a magic show.
Better Communication From the Top
Communicating support work-life balance at a time when many people are remote and facing trauma is critical. Neumark notes that when her catering company was pivoting and in the process of providing hundreds, if not thousands, of meals, the team was relying mostly on sheer adrenaline. Months later, now that the novelty is gone and fatigue has fully set in, the boundaries she set are crucial.
One rule, for example, is weekends off, unless there’s an urgent, unavoidable request. “The weeks are still so intense, and people need their private time right now,” says Neumark.
It’s essential that leaders understand the issues their employees may be facing and not try to gloss over them, says Dr. Benjamin F. Miller, a psychologist and chief strategy officer of Well Being Trust, a foundation aimed at advancing mental and social health. “When your boss is pretending that everything is OK, it doesn’t create a conducive work environment for someone to talk about having a bad day,” says Miller. That’s one reason virtual water coolers often fail, he notes. While they’re great at getting people together, there’s little benefit if people can’t speak openly and honestly.
It’s also OK to tell employees that you, as a leader, are not having an easy time. Showing vulnerability doesn’t show weakness, Miller adds. You’re setting an example that shows that it’s OK to be honest and acknowledge that not everyone is not having the best time. If you aren’t aware that someone is in a crisis, he says, you may lose the opportunity to reach out to that person and help.
Fiona Agombar – Yoga for Peace and Vitalityhttp://www.fionaagombar.co.uk – November 20, 2020[…] This includes CFS/ME, exhaustion from stress and post-Covid19 fatigue […] are suitable for all abilities including those with fatigue conditions such as CFS/ME and post-Covid19 fatigue […] The live online yoga classes are ideal for people experiencing post-Covid19 fatigue as they provide gentle yoga which works specifically with the breath to support recovery fro […]13
Fit in, or stand out? Serve existing markets, or serve those in untapped markets? As the online marketplace becomes increasingly saturated for entrepreneurs, and the amount of information available to us online leaves us feeling increasingly overwhelmed, we reach a point where we have no choice but to pull back and reassess what is important to us.
What is commonly referred to as the red or blue ocean strategy, business owners can create an offer so unique and differentiated that they can stand out in the market instead of drowning in a blood-stained red ocean.
Here are 3 ways you can stand out in a saturated market online, more so from a humane level rather than a strategic level.
Realize what is true for you, not what is true for others
It is easy for people to follow the cookie-cutter strategies of how things have always been done. But as the world, society, and humans evolve, so does the way we do business.
Many find this challenging because they lack a deep level of awareness and trust in themselves. They’re afraid that if they tapped into their own intuition and deep inner-knowing, it might not bring them the success they see everyone else achieving.
Long-lasting and sustainable success in business comes from doing what feels good to you, every step of the way. While you can achieve success following other strategies, if it doesn’t feel good to you, it will leave you feeling uninspired and unfulfilled.
As humanity evolves into heightened levels of awareness and consciousness, we naturally begin to create a new paradigm of business.
Challenging the status quo is not a common desire amongst leaders. According to Harvard Business Review, 72 percent of leaders say they rarely, or never or rarely challenge their status quo in business.
Leading and serving from the inside out means we learn to know ourselves first and foremost. This can be a fulfilling journey of self-discovery for many, finding their own purpose and truth, which can become largely suppressed when we work in a typical traditional job that isn’t aligned with our highest desires.
To challenge the status quo of business comes with making one fearless and courageous decision at a time.
Gay Hendricks identifies 4 different zones of genius in his book, The Big Leap.
In the “zone of genius,” we can zone in on and capitalize on our innate gifts and abilities that come naturally to us. In this zone, we become in flow and realize what we are uniquely gifted at, often finding ourselves skilled in a specific area more so than others.
In Hendricks’ book, he prompts you to ask yourself what you do you do that doesn’t seem like work, and what brings you ultimate joy, satisfaction, and abundance at the same time.
Ultimately, standing out in a saturated market online is about identifying what comes naturally to you and capitalizing on that unique gift and skill. We often attempt to do things that come naturally to other people, mimicking their steps and strategies while ignoring or denying our truest and inner-most skills and gifts.
To live a whole and fulfilling life, we must enjoy what we do, including how we run our business on a day-to-day basis. By focusing on what feels good to you (and not others), we can ultimately achieve the levels of joy and freedom we are all seeking.
Kelly Wing Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor
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As businesses and entrepreneurs have persevered through 2020, the climate has shifted from business continuity and pivoting to how to recapture business and growth as we enter 2021. Throughout the year, businesses of all sizes and various industries have sought innovative ways to launch new products or services while in this new normal of quarantine, restrictive travel and working from home.
How are entrepreneurs doing this? Social media immediately comes to mind, but more than that, many are using virtual office services, virtual assistants and reimagining what it means to work from home. The proliferation of virtual offices is allowing businesses to have a physical footprint in a market, grow their business and stay connected to their customer base while remaining apart.
A virtual office is typically provided by coworking or flex office providers, although there are some online-only providers. From business address services, phone services, virtual assistants, office space available by the hour or day, coworking and other offerings, a virtual office can be the primary address of a business, used as a satellite office for a business or used for larger businesses looking to reduce their overhead costs. More than a PO Box, businesses are able to use their virtual office to list their business on Google and other online search engines, have physical office space on an ‘as-needed’ basis, utilize telephone services and receive mail or packages.
Why do I need a virtual office?
With the unpredictability of what 2021 may bring, a virtual office provides you with business options and space, whereas previously, the options would have involved investing in a long-term, costly commercial lease. By utilizing a virtual office service, your business has options. You can test a market without large overhead costs, scale slowly in a new market without hiring multiple employees and have the flexibility of canceling a virtual office if unsuccessful. Most virtual office plans are month-to-month and can easily be canceled.
Second, you must show your existing customer base that they are making the right choice by investing in you. People want to buy from businesses that solve their problems and have an upward trajectory for stability and growth. Even incremental investments in new markets demonstrate perseverance and strength, and signal to existing customers that you are a stable choice to assist their business through 2021.
Third, by establishing a strong business relationship with your virtual office provider, you can be a part of a business networking community already established in that location. Typically, the management is in constant communication with other businesses and entrepreneurs that both have physical office space or a virtual office. customerbase
Throughout the past year, most have worked hard at reinventing their business via new networking opportunities, and now have a calendar packed with virtual networking lunch and learns, virtual “happy hours” and other innovative events.
Businesses and entrepreneurs alike are looking to rebound from 2020, and by using a virtual office, most find they can enter new markets, reduce overhead and become more appealing to their customer base. There is only one guarantee about 2021 — just like 2020, expect the unexpected!
In order for any team to survive and thrive, there needs to be a culture of inclusion, collaboration, and respect. As the manager of a remote team, developing and promoting this type of culture is an especially important task. When coworkers aren’t physically in the same place, there are fewer opportunities to foster interpersonal interaction and connection, so it’s important to be proactive and creative. Really, an effective remote team should feel pretty similar to a team with a physical office.
Humans are social creatures who want to feel safe and have a sense of belonging—the key here is relationship building. Creating a positive social vibe will help your team members build relationships with each other. Building strong relationships across your team can lead to an increase in psychological safety, strengthened attachment to the team and organization, and elevated performance outcomes.
You may be asking yourself, “how do I create an inclusive and productive work from home culture?” Let’s check in with Debbie Farese. Debbie is HubSpot’s Director of Global Web Strategy. She’s been leading a 100% remote team for more than two years and wants to share her tips on how to create an inclusive virtual office.
One of the rising tech sectors today is data aggregation with many millennials coming to the forefront of the industry to bundle information and convey it in a summary form.
Aggregating is all around us
To fully understand what data aggregation is, let’s look at this example: Data-collecting companies, like Facebook, gather intelligence such as likes or page-visits users consume. This information is carefully organized to promote ads or document what users see in their feeds. In business using behavior metrics such as the number of transactions, or average age of the consumer, helps the company focus on bestsellers.
Vasiliy Fomin is an excellent example of someone currently cashing in by way of running a data aggregator, bundling information from various sources into a single API, and allowing all types of businesses to power their offerings to consumers. He’s been able to build a thriving business earning millions in revenue by selling aggregated vehicle data, arrest record data, and more to a network of qualified resellers.
For entrepreneurs, research and development are essential in understanding the market behavior so as to provide the best services to their customers. Data aggregators embrace innovations, new ideas and critical questioning by syncing with the industry’s changing trends in various aspects like leading, hiring, retaining and technology.