Being a small business owner as well as the parent of a 10 year old son, I recently drew a parallel between his world and mine.
Every day he is being pushed to learn and absorb more and more information and often times this means homework assignments to be completed at home. The tricky part is that this must be completed in the hours after he arrives home from school and before bedtime…there is never a perfect time…he wants to relax a bit right after school, then it’s dinner time, then a little bit of family time either playing or watching a tv show together and if there is a specific event going on outside the home it seems impossible to squeeze it in. You can just see the let down when he knows it’s time to get the homework out and dig in. He truly does love learning, however having to dig in to a project when you have other things on your priority list makes it a constant struggle.
Now for where I drew the similarity in my situation and his. Each day those of us in business no matter what capacity, have this list of tasks that must be performed and then there are those tasks that you would like to get to that you never seem to find the time to do. You know which ones I am talking about right? I love learning new things but where do you find the time to devote quality time to this? I don’t claim to have the answers for that just yet…if you know the secret for getting it all done in a reasonable amount of hours please share your secret….but what I do know is….you have to find the time and devote yourself to learning. Furthering your knowledge of your business, your customers, their wants, needs, goals and where you fit in to that is very critical.
Our industry (Marketing, Communications and Print) for example is changing constantly and has in a dramatic way over the last few years. In order to stay viable in the marketplace we have to allow time for continued education and do the homework that is necessary to continue providing a great product or service to our clients and also making sure that we properly educate our clients on what it is that we do and why. Today there are so many ways to go about marketing yourself and there is no crystal ball on what works and what doesn’t.
We find that devoting the time to do our “homework” makes the ups and downs in business a less scary roller coaster ride than if we decided to regularly skip the homework and just go out and play!