Look around you. Think of all the brilliant and successful business owners that you know or look up to. What is the one common thing amongst all? What is it that sets them apart from the rest?
I believe, and I’m sure you’ll agree, that it’s the ‘never stop learning and growing’ attitude that sets successful business owners apart from the rest.
No matter which acclaimed business school you attend, or how big your business is today, if you strive to grow bigger and continue acing you must be willing to, and put in the effort, to keep learning and adapting to newer skills, technology, innovations and trends.
Look at what’s happening around us today. With COVID-19 gripping the world, the businesses that made it through these trying times are the ones that adapted to the situation and put new learnings into action.
From digitalising payment solutions to turning to other digital solutions, and using the power of the internet to continue doing business — these times are all about learning, growing, innovating, staying updated and upskilling.
Staying updated is the first step to success. The second step is to use the knowledge from the latest updates to upskill yourself and your business. Continuing to take these two steps is what will allow you to upscale your business and keep growing.
Let’s break this down and understand what staying updated means for you, how to do it, what steps you need to take to upskill and how to use the power of these two, to upscale your business.
Stay Updated; Keep Learning
Staying updated with the latest trends, news, industry-specific innovations, competitors and global developments in business is an absolute must for anyone who wants to make a mark for themselves and their business.
So how does one stay updated?
There are multiple tools, platforms and channels that can help you stay updated. Subscribing to a global newspaper is the first step. You want to stay updated about not just the world of business but also important events happening around the world. This keeps you and your perception fresh and relevant.
Next would be to subscribe to blogs and newsletters from your competitors, industry-specific bloggers and blogs, keynote speakers and industry experts. This will help you know about events, news or updates within your industry.
Finally, follow and learn from your peers and experts through social media channels. LinkedIn is the hub for professional updates, followed by Twitter. Follow the right people, consume updates, as well as become an industry expert by sharing your experiences and learnings.
That’s for your self-learning, but what about keeping your business and brand updated?
Just like you would follow the right people and subscribe to relevant informational channels to gather learnings for yourself, do the same for your business. See what your competitor brands are doing, understand what your customers are saying and what are their pain points, and re-strategise business goals to stay on top of it all.
Upskill to Grow and Succeed
Once you get into the healthy habit of keeping yourself and your business updated, you will find new paths and ways to upskill yourself.
Is there a new tool that maximises efficiency? Learn how to use it. Is an industry expert hosting a webinar that’s relevant to your business? Sign-up for it. Are there online courses that can take you through the best ways to market your online business? Take the course.
Upskilling comes from a comprehensive understanding of what’s happening around you, your needs and the resources that will help you scale new heights.
Many people jump into taking new courses or attending webinars without really understanding what they are looking to learn from it. The end result — you leave midway or leave without gaining anything.
However, when you stay updated and truly understand the areas you need to learn and strengthen, your upskilling efforts will be more focused, and thus drive better results.
Take the example of numerous fitness instructors, chefs, teachers and other artists who created their online platforms — websites, blogs, social media pages — during COVID-19 to continue doing what they do in an online environment. All this must have taken immense effort, an understanding of their customer’s needs, and the time to upskill to be able to effortlessly provide their services digitally.
Use Your Learnings to Upscale Your Business
Once you’ve started on the (continuous) journey of keeping yourself updated and upskilled, you’ll find ways to upscale your business. It all comes from the knowledge and learnings you collect along the way.
Let’s assume you’re passionate about baking cakes and cookies. You decide to start a homegrown bakery and follow successful pastry chefs to get new ideas and inspirations. Dive a little deeper to see how people are interacting with these successful bakeries to understand the existing demand — this is you updating yourself. Now, the next step could be to take up classes to learn new popular skills in baking, or an online workshop by an expert chef — this is you upskilling. Combine these two, and you’ll have the resources and learnings you need to upscale your homegrown business. You could learn and venture out to build a physical store that sells your products, strengthen your marketing skills, or simply add more products that are high in demand.
It’s the same for every business and every industry. The more you know, the more you learn, and the more you put in the efforts to better your skills — yes, the more your business will flourish.
Apply the Success Formula: Update + Upskill = Upscale
It’s that simple.
Never stop learning and growing — follow that mantra, and you’re sure to succeed. In this fast-paced digital world it’s all about how quickly you can churn out the right solutions, how efficiently can you cater to present-day needs, and how effectively can you keep up with the changes in the demands of your customers and industry.
Stay updated, keep upskilling and upscale.
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