Why Read This: If you struggle trying to find the balance between learning, reading, taking courses – and taking action – this post will help you focus & clarify. Part of my series on building a business on Maternity Leave.
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The Internet in 2016 is VERY exciting. It is possible to choose yourself, rather than wait for a company to “choose” you. You can build a business off of being yourself; not change yourself to meet someone else’s expectations.
The Internet provides you with all of the information you need to build a business online.
Even while working full time or on maternity leave, you can at the very least build the foundations.
Here I am on my second maternity leave, building the foundations for my business(es) (yes I have a few – go big or go home, right?)
There are a Shit-Ton of Coaches out There:
What you will begin to notice, as soon as you start “liking” coach pages, or communities, or groups, is that there are TOO MANY TEACHERS AND NOT ENOUGH STUDENTS.
It is good money to get into the business of “teaching” others. That is why everybody is some kind of “coach.” And the thing is, anybody can research and develop their own curriculum. I have completely self-taught myself how to build a business using a combination of podcasts, bloggers, facebook groups, pinterest and instagram, in that order. It is also helpful to be a professionally trained coach because I have 2 weapons: Knowledge and the ability to address obstacles.
Knowledge is a big business. People make big money off of collecting knowledge on the internet, reformatting it, and then selling it to you. What I want to write about today though, is the caution you need to exercise.
Do Not Get Caught In The Knowledge Acquisition Trap
Every.Single.Resource you will come across as you build your business is not “free” – because they are trying to create an addiction in you – an addiction to acquiring more and more information. It is so easy to keep reading books, keep learning, and not actually take action and do the hard work. It’s why of 100 people in a course, 20 will actually launch successful businesses, and 80 will not.
I finished my professional coach training 1 year ago and I could have happily continued just “learning” and reading coaching material. But the deepest learning, growth (and progress) happened in DOING IT. Taking action. Forcing myself to jump in and work with clients and have my calls evaluated by an International Coaching Federation professional.
But knowledge acquisition is a super hard habit to kick, especially when EVERYBODY is throwing knowledge at you. Much of it is free (as long as you give them your email, which is a way to get you engaged and create a potential paying customer out of you.)
I Did Take One Online Course… Once….
The only money I have shelled out is a one-time “building an online business” course run by Penelope Trunk. She sold me on it. I loved her blog. I spent $100 (!) I did take information from the course but I also took this: Holy shit: I can do a much better job than this. I also realized that much of the knowledge is either common sense, or intuitive. Most business owners know the information taught in these classes. Most business owners do not take step #2: Put it into practice.
Kick the Learning Addiction with Analysis:
So how do you kick the addiction to learning, the feeling that “I can’t do this until I learn to do that.” “I need to know this before I can start that.” How do you separate and become the 20% of success stories?
You undertake an analysis to understand how much of your “to do list” is LEARNING and how much of your “to do list” is ACTION.
Here you can see an image of the current “To Do” list that is on my mind with my business:
Lots to do, right?
Next, I need to analyze what is going on here.
WHICH are learning items?
WHICH are action items?
**I highlighted the action items in orange.
Once you have done this, you can then address the balance.
LEARNING VERSUS ACTION:
What are action items I can take right now, that will get me closer to my goal?
Which learning items will have the most immediate impact on my business and how much time do I want to allocate to getting things done vs. learning.
Budget your Learning:
I make room for ONE new learning topic per day, to avoid information overwhelm and to avoid getting off track. Today I learnt about using better hashtags on instagram. That’s it. That’s all.
Have an Information & Learning “Dumping Ground:”
If I come across other articles that pique my interest, I keep a “brain dump” board on Pinterest called COACHING where I save articles for later. Learning is my candy – I LOVE IT and it is motivational. But I’m addicted. So I need to partition it out as a reward.
I have future podcasts saved in my overcast app under “to listen.” I have great infographics or web services I can used saved in my pinterest folder. Great quotes or articles saved in Evernote. I extract them from my memory and put them somewhere external, so I can dedicate my willpower and motivation to action items instead of learning.
Willpower is very finite (and quite variable) so every precious drop needs to be conserved for the more challenging aspect – getting shit done.