Brand Builders Part 22: How Can You Be A Lifelong Learner?
One of the biggest things that I think helps people build better brands for their companies is to be lifelong learners. You can’t just assume that your knowledge and the acquisition of that knowledge end when you’re done with school. And even if you’re in an in an industry that requires continuing education, you know, CE credits, that’s not always enough to keep your specific knowledge gaining around branding, and marketing. It’s an industry that changes very often. So, you need to be a lifelong learner. How are you going to do that? Well, there’s a couple of things you can do.
First, you should be reading on a daily basis. Reading business books, reading industry publications, reading for fun, because reading keeps that big muscle between your ears growing. It’s the best workout for your brain that you can do. You also want to attend courses. Ongoing learning is so helpful and it’s so easy now with all the online courses. You can even get apps where you’re taking classes on your phone. So, continue to learn in that way, also. You want to actively seek opportunities to grow.
When we find ways to grow, we can find ways to continue to learn to expand our knowledge base. It just helps us be better managers, better leaders, and often better family members. So, take advantage of that. I see most lifelong learners take really good care of their bodies. They get good exercise, they move on a regular basis, they eat well. They do the things necessary to keep their body just as healthy as their mind. They also have diverse passions. They don’t get so locked into just one thing, they explore different things. They find different outlets to get involved in their community by being passionate about multiple issues and concerns, and that allows them to not just continue to grow for themselves, but to help make the world a better place.
Lifelong learners love making progress. They want to see how it continues to compound, one thing on top of another, one step in front of another. It’s a great way to continue to learn and evolve and grow. Lifelong learners also challenge themselves with specific goals, whether its goals for fitness, goals for eating right, goals for knowledge gained, or goals for business growth. Having a goal, a point out there on the horizon that they’re working towards, is a great way to continue to grow and learn and just be that lifelong learner.
Lifelong learners do not fear change. In fact, they embrace change. They don’t expect things to stay the same all the time. They appreciate that you could never put your foot directly into the same spot and the river twice, because the river is moving, just as the world is constantly changing. So we have to change with it. If we want everything to stay exactly the same, then you’re going to start eventually going backwards very quickly. You can’t plateau, really, in business, you can grow, or you can reverse and you want to keep growing, right?
Lifelong learners believe that it is never too late to start something. A great way to continue to grow is to know that 40, 50, 60, It’s never too late to start (unless you want to be a professional athlete, it might be past your prime for that). But otherwise, you can still just take on new challenges and grow in new ways. Now, part of this I find is that lifelong learners know that their attitude is contagious. Their attitude for growth, their attitude for learning, their attitude for improvement, their attitude for challenge. It’s contagious. And so you can spark this fire in everyone around you. You know, we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. So, make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who also want to grow and evolve and change.
You know, lifelong learners never get settled into a comfort zone. They don’t want to be too comfortable. They don’t want to be too complacent. They want to have a fire and a passion. They want to keep evolving. Mostly, they don’t settle. It’s not good enough. It’s “how can we make it better?”. Now, you shouldn’t drive yourself crazy, but you should look for ways to make improvements. Every month, there’s probably some improvement you can make in your department, in your company, in your community. So, start today, be a lifelong learner. Let that fuel your change in your growth and let that help you build a better brand.