Industry News

13 time-saving tips for continuous self-education

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

If you enjoy this article, join SmartBrief’s e-mail list for our newsletters on small business and entrepreneurialism.

Q. With such limited time, what resources do you find most effective for continuous self-education?

yec_Corey Blake1. Immerse yourself in new experiences

I'm an experiential learner. I need to dive into environments where there is expert guidance, preferably in an intimate setting and over a period of time. For example, I committed to an 18-month Gestalt Training Program and a 12-month leadership program. Both remove me from my element to completely focus on personal growth. I will travel 17 times in 2015 for these types of experiences. -- Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

yec_Andrew Thomas 22. Hang out with inspiring people

When you surround yourself with inspiring and interesting people, you can't help but learn from them. From sharing ideas to learning more about a specific topic, I learn so much about a variety of things when I spend time with people from different backgrounds and pursuits. It's a real fun way to learn and feed your curiosities. -- Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies Inc.

yec_Christophor Jurin 2 3. Invest in educational apps and resources

There are several key educational resource apps that are available on smart devices. A few examples of these are the Mixergy podcast app and the Udemy and Coursera apps which provide educational courses. These resources allow the user to take advantage of downtime during commuting hours or when traveling. Using technology to take advantage of downtime is a great way to improve yourself. -- Christophor Jurin, Construct-Ed Inc.

yec_Sean Marszalek4. Utilize travel time to stay informed

I utilize the time I spend traveling from one continent to another to read. There are endless business-oriented books, trade publications and websites that help anyone gain additional knowledge and insight. In addition, there are numerous webinars that offer great content to help business executives continue to grow and prosper in their career. -- Sean Marszalek, SDC Nutrition Inc.

Andrew Schrage5. Educate yourself through MIT OpenCourseWare

The MIT OpenCourseWare website has a subsection called the Sloan School of Management, which is a great resource for self-education. It's also free. -- Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

yec_Randy Rayess6. Turn to YouTube

Many people think of YouTube as a place to watch cat and music videos, but there is a lot of amazing content on YouTube in any area or domain that you are interested in. It's a great way to learn and stay updated on new developments. -- Randy Rayess, VenturePact

yec_Brittany Hodak7. Use cardio time as learning time

As a rule, 100% of the time I spend on cardio equipment is spent learning something new. Cardio exercise takes almost no mental effort, so it's a great way to make my time work twice as hard for me. I typically watch business videos or interviews on YouTube or Coursera and occasionally catch up on my favorite Netflix shows. This approach helps me look forward to the gym instead of dreading it. -- Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

yec_Brennan White8. Pick someone's brain over a lunch meeting

You're going to eat lunch anyway. Don't do it alone. Invite employees, other entrepreneurs, investors, or people with no obvious relevance to your life. Take them to lunch. Pick their brain. Immediately, you'll be exposed to new ideas. Long term, you'll have a massive network of people who feel like they at least owe you lunch. -- Brennan White, Cortex

yec_Grant Gordon9. Listen to books on tape during your commute

When I get into my car in the morning, it's all too easy to fire up my favorite iTunes playlist or check the news on the radio. But what's a lot more beneficial is to jump right into a good book on Audible. With even a moderate commute, you'll be surprised at how many books you can get through in a year. And if, like me, you learn by listening, you'll retain more information than from print. -- Grant Gordon, Solomon Consulting Group

yec_kristopher jones10. Make a point to schedule time

A lot of people let continuing education happen when they have extra time or when unique opportunities arise. For me, I find it critical to always be learning and committing to personal and professional development and education on a daily basis. As a result, what I've found most effective is to simply leverage my Google Calendar to schedule no less than one hour per day of continuing education. -- Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com

yec_Cody McLain11. Follow news aggregators

Instead of having to visit a dozen different websites in order to get information on the latest industry trends, when the news is aggregated with summaries, it's possible to choose for yourself which new development you'd like to follow or "stay in the loop" with. News aggregators cancel all the typical noise and sensationalism that squawk is guilty of, and they're accessible. -- Cody McLain, WireFuseMedia LLC

yec_Xenios Thrasyvoulou12. Speak to experts

I find the best way is to meet people and pick their brains. I recently had to get educated fast on a topic that I knew little about. I looked to my network, found four people who are experts at that topic, and offered to take each of them to lunch in return for picking their brains. For over an hour, I got much more than I could spending days reading about it. Nothing beats a one-to-one conversation. -- Xenios Thrasyvoulou, PeoplePerHour

yec_Robert Angulo13. Join a CEO peer group

I joined a CEO peer group last year, and this has been my main source of development over the last year. There are a lot of learning opportunities and resources out there, but I rely on a small, high-quality group of CEOs (or better yet, we lean on each other) to curate and share resources of knowledge and best practices. -- Roberto Angulo, AfterCollege