In my pre-solopreneur life, I attended trainings regularly. Since I was in law enforcement positions at the time, this was a must to stay current on legal changes that impacted the way I did my job.
I also went through what I remember as an intense training period when I first started writing. I literally spent 16 hours a day, sitting in front of a little netbook (my neck still bothers me to this day!), learning everything I could about how to create a successful writing business.
Though I believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of continuously boosting my skills, like many other solopreneurs I know, self-growth often gets set aside as other business matters take its place.
For instance, now, if I’m not writing, I’m taking care of other business matters such as updating my spreadsheets to accurately reflect my most recent business expenses or interviewing subjects for an upcoming piece.
Deep down, I know that this is likely hurting me because I do realize that, if you’re not taking actions to make your business grow, you’re actually letting it die. That’s why I’ve decided to make 2019 the year that I change this.
This year, I have made a commitment to engage in at least one type of training each quarter to become a stronger, more successful solopreneur. What types of things are on my list that you may want to put on your list too, regardless of what type of products or services you offer?
Attend Personal and Professional Development Seminars
During the first quarter of 2019, my self-growth will come by way of attending Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within live event. This is a three-and-a-half day seminar and/or workshop that is designed to help individuals break through their self-imposed barriers so they can create a life that will satisfy them to the core. (Doesn’t that sound great?)
In complete transparency, this one was a Christmas gift from my husband. But, in fairness, attending a Tony Robbins training has been on my bucket list for quite some time because this is a guy who has helped transform the lives of some of the top names in the world, some of whom include national leaders, elite athletes like Serena Williams, well-known entertainers such as Pitbull and Usher, and uber-successful entrepreneurs such as casino owner, Steve Wynn.
Admittedly, this isn’t exactly a cheap option as many of Robbins’ seminars cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to attend. And in the beginning stages of solopreneurship, there is no way this would have been in my budget. That’s partially why it has taken so long to cross this one off my list.
So, if this is where you are, I understand. Alternatively, Robbins has authored many books that also provide solid, life and business-changing advice. For example, I’m in the process of reading his book Awaken the Giant Within and it has really made me think about the actions I’m taking—whether they’re helping me (or not), and where I ultimately want to take my business before I hang up my working shoes.
If you’re both willing and able to invest in attending one of his live events, not only do you get the pleasure of seeing Robbins live—which I’ve done before and his energy is contagious—this also enables you to network with others who have similar goals to you.
Another option is to attend seminars offered from reputable personal and professional development companies like Dale Carnegie. With trainings dedicated to helping you improve your leadership, presentation, sales, customer service, and people skills, you’re sure to pick up more than a few new attitudes and behaviors that can help you take yourself and your business to the next level.
Obtain Industry-Specific Certifications
My goal for the second quarter of 2019 is to obtain a certification relevant to my future career goals. For instance, I currently coach individuals who want to write their own books or establish themselves as a freelance writer and I’d like to work on developing this part of my business.
Though I have full faith when offering others advice based on what I’ve learned in my personal journey with writing, I’ve always wanted to obtain my coaching certification to add credibility to this particular service offering. So, that’s what I intend to do between April and June of this year.
What certifications can you obtain to increase your credibility within your industry? Alternatively, are there any trainings available that, upon completion, would put you one step ahead of your competitors? Commit to doing just one of these this year and it can help boost your product or service offerings.
Let me be clear that I’m not a firm believer that you have to have a degree or an education to survive in business. However, I’ve also learned that the more you know about your craft and how to succeed and grow in your particular field, the easier it is to do just that.
Utilize Online Trainings
I didn’t realize that LinkedIn provided this option until my husband told me that he had access to these types of trainings through his work. You can find them under LinkedIn Learning and this platform even offers the option of trying out the courses free for the first month, with a reoccurring rate that starts at $24.99 per month if you want to keep it longer.
Should you take this route, you will have access to more than 13,000 different courses in subjects related to business software and tools, leadership management, software development, and data science.
The part I love most is that LinkedIn will even give you course recommendations that are tailored specifically to you. No more searching for classes that can improve your skills relevant to your industry because it will take you directly to them.
There are also other platforms that offer online trainings as well, some of which are free and others that come at a cost. A few of the highest-ranking ones include Udemy, Class Central, and Open Culture.
This is my goal for the third quarter of 2019, so maybe it could be one of your goals too?
Join a Mastermind
A few years ago, I felt completely stalled in my writing career. It seemed like I couldn’t grow my business no matter how hard I tried, so I was about ready to give up. In a last ditch effort to see if I could truly make self-employment work, I decided that I would join a mastermind first, in the hopes that it would give me the push I needed to become unstuck.
I can’t tell you how much I learned hearing from others who were in my industry. Not only did they teach me about how to value myself enough to command higher prices, but they also shared the tools and tricks that helped propel them to higher levels in their writing careers.
While I ultimately left that mastermind about a year into it, my goal for the final quarter of 2019 is to find another one to help me push past my current self-imposed limitations and achieve higher levels of personal and professional success.
What types of masterminds interest you most? Are there ones who meet locally, giving you the opportunity to network in-person while also improving yourself and your business at the same time? What about ones that exist online, offering the convenience of meeting with others without having to give up too much of your already highly-utilized time?
These are the four strategies I will be using this year to boost my skills as a solopreneur, which will help me boost my writing business as a result. I hope you consider using ones like these too, making 2019 our best year yet.