Hi everybody, it’s Maya here with another episode of the Creativity & Heart podcast. Let’s chat about ways to continue learning as a business owner. You can never know it all, and the world is ever-changing, so it’s so important to make time for increasing your knowledge as an entrepreneur. One of the reasons that I decided to start this podcast is that I love sharing my knowledge, and learning from others.
As we get into these 5 ways to learn that I have to share with you, my guess is that you will respond in one of these two ways:
By saying “Maya, that seems pretty obvious. I already do that!” or by saying, “Maya, I can’t afford that.” Whatever objections you have, I ask that you’ll listen to what I share with an open mind.
There are things that I’ll share that you can do today for free, while other options will require more of an investment. With that said, the reason that I’ve chosen to talk about each of these topics is that they have helped me on my business journey far more than I expected. Alright, let’s get into the episode.
There are so many great books out there. Within the realm of business books, there are books specifically on marketing, audience building, branding, business structure, finances, the list goes on and on.
I’ve found that as a small business owner, my life has an impact on my business, and vice versa. While it’s important to keep learning about marketing and finances, don’t forget about more lifestyle-oriented topics like mindset, routine, and leadership.
I’m including them on the list because you can learn so much from them – and it’s free to listen to them (as long as you have internet access, of course.) I didn’t truly appreciate the value of them until 2019, but there are some great ones out there! I listen to a hodge podge of different ones, mostly big names in the online entrepreneur space.
Truthfully, I never planned on having a podcast of my own. But never say never! It’s such a great way to share knowledge and cultivate community. I’m a shy introvert, but I love getting to hear people’s stories and connecting one on one, so being able to sit at home and share with you all, as well as interview other business owners, has been fun.
Some of the best advice that I’ve ever heard when it comes to investing in courses comes from Kelly & Andra of With Grace & Gold. I took part in a free 5-Day Challenge that they did with Bonnie Bakhtiari, and another designer who also participated in the challenge asked the question, “How should I decide which courses to invest in first?”
I don’t remember if it was Kelly or Andra, but someone replied by saying that when you are just learning in your business, start with valuable courses that will help you build a strong foundation for your business.
Learning Pinterest marketing or how to make an email sequence are helpful, but they won’t be as impactful for your business if you haven’t yet defined more important things like your offer and your audience.
For example, if you are a coach, you could start with a life coaching program that will give you the tools and skills you need to define your client experience. Or, if you are a photographer, maybe you’ll start with a course that helps you to learn new photography techniques.
(In case you ate a fellow designer and are interested, I ended up buying Kelly + Andra’s course, the With Grace & Gold Workshop, and Bonnie’s Brand Strategy School course, at the end of the challenge. Both have been helpful!)
Before I ever bought my first course, I invested in business mentorship. When Maya Palmer Designs first began in 2017, it was a hand lettering shop. Sarah Cummings, who owns The Redheaded Camel, is an alumni of my college.
I admired her thriving business cenetered sound hand lettering and happy art. One day, I got up the courage to ask her to be my mentor. While it was a big investment for me as a new business owner, I learned so much during our sessions, and was able to get knowledge that would have taken me months to piece together on my own through Googling and trial and error.
So, if there’s a leader in your industry that you admire who offers mentoring, consider reaching out to them.
You probably already know about YouTube. But like podcasts, I think people sometimes underestimate just how valuable the free content on YouTube can be. You just have to be wise about who you listen to, and make sure to apply what you learn.
I’ll be honest: I’ve been reluctant to invest in conferences until this year. I’ve been to one in-person conference (which happened in February, before things shut down.) In October, I attended the Creative Founders At-Home Experience. I’ve wanted to attend the Creative Founders Conference for about 2 years, so I decided that this was my year, even if it was through Zoom.
While I have only been to two conferences, I can say based on my experiences that finding a conference type that works for your personality can be so valuable.
The Creative Founders Conference is meant to be small – There were less than 30 of us. As a shy introvert, I appreciated that this allowed me to get to know each attendee more personally. I felt seen and heard, and not like just another number. What I took away from that conference is more than you can put a price on.
If I could go back and talk to my younger self who was on the fence about investing in conferences, I would say just take that leap, it’s worth it.
I’d love to know about a business book or podcast you love, your favorite online course, YouTube channels you subscribe to, or a conference you found valuable. Feel free to DM me on Instagram @mayapalmerdesigns or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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