Forgetting learning was the one huge mistake I did a few years ago. I was just content with the system that was working for me. I was building a travel agency using Google Adwords, and it worked fine for me. I got new customers, albeit for a price. But through repeat purchases the expenses were coming back.
Next came the meltdown of the financs system 2008. I added money to increase the exposire, but the return was shrinking. This bankrupted me almost, before I just stopped advertisements and worked only with the customers I already had. I improved the service and concentrated on the customers who appreciated my work. Business was growing nicely, and with it profitability. But then in 2012, the crisis of the Euro zone flared up, shrinking the activity of my best customers. Now, I had foreseen this and prepared to add another income stream from publishing. Here I could reach the whole world, depending less on the Euro Zone and its problems.
In Two Years Back to the Newbie-Level
But when I returned in 2011 to build a business using the internet as main communication media, I found that not a single one of my old methods and techniques from the time prior to 2008 was still working. I found myself reduced to the position of a newbie. And worse, it tokk me some time to realize this. There were so many new things:
- Government regulations have changed. Today it is in Germany courts even raise questions about the double-opt-in routine. Some judges classify the first email sent after a user requested to join a mailing list through a web formas SPAM. There have also been big changes around the use of testimonials and endorsements.
- Email deliverability and click-through-rates are dramatically down.
- The way search engines evaluate and rank websites has changed dramatically.
- Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are now hugely important.
- Video is in everybody’s reach and absolutely necessary, if you want to build an audience.
- Publishing ebooks and even printed books is now in reach for everybody.
These are huge changes, and all happened just in a few years. This dynamic is full of opportunities. But if you ignore learning and fall into the trap of doing things the way you always did, this fast flow of change is deadly.
How to Embed Learning into the Daily Work Routine
The only way to survive and thrive is to stay on top of the game and adapt constantly. The question is: how to do this without getting paralyzed and overwhelmed?
Here are some of the answers:
- Stay connected to the top people in each field, listen to their discussions and whatch what they are doing.
- Select people with a strong desire to learn to share your working day.
- Join a mastermind group. Share your observations and brainstorm for solutions.
- Observe your customer’s feedback closely. Do not rely only on words, watch their behavior.
- Automate mechanical tasks and processes to avoid being eaten up by daily chores. This allows you to keep learning.
- Consider outsourcing tasks which can be done better and cheaper by specialists.
- Develop several income streams. This allows you to react flexibly on sudden changes.
- Do not allow stress ruling your work experience.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many more possible ways to integrate learning into your day. But I think, the key is to create a working environment fostering an open mind, curiosity and happiness.