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1. Read Books
You can read from people who lived thousands of years ago. That’s amazing. There’s more books in the world than you can read in your entire lifetime. That’s both overwhelming and amazing at the same time.
That knowledge is available in the library or just an Amazon Prime click away from being on your doorstep. A lot of it is available for free.
Some of the most successful people in the world attribute their knowledge to reading—we’re talking billionaires here. They’re voracious readers. They’re hungrily consuming, trying to glean wisdom and knowledge from people who have gone before them. Certainly they had different circumstances and challenges, and they also used different tools, but they’re timeless principles you can distill down, and reuse again and again—these are available in books!
2. Listen to Podcasts
Like books, podcasts are a wealth of knowledge. There’s podcasts on virtually every topic you can think of. When you find a good podcast, hold onto it and consume it for all that it’s worth. If you’re enjoying seanwes tv, seanwes tv is actually based on the seanwes podcast.
It’s basically meant to be an entrance point to the vast wealth of knowledge and information we have in the nearly 250 podcast episodes we have. We’ve got longer discussions there usually an hour long, but it’s not rambling. It’s going into course-level depth on things like business and creativity.
Speaking of courses…
3. Take a Course
Like books, courses are the condensation of someone’s knowledge. They’ve distilling everything down to just what you need to know and nothing more. That’s very valuable because the free information you find online, while it may have some good information, there’s a lot of things you don’t need to know and you have to wade through that. Wading through that takes time and time is money.
Courses might be $1,000, $2,000 or more and that seems like a lot of money. It seems expensive and it is expensive if you think of a course as an expense.
If you think of courses as an investment in yourself, they become invaluable.
Does this course allow you to charge higher rates, work with better clients, do better projects, or make better products? If so, it becomes valuable because it’s an investment in yourself that you’ll see a return on.
4. Practice Secondary Passions on Sabbatical
There’s two parts here: You have secondary passions and you have sabbatical.
A sabbatical is a time you take off your normal work to allow yourself a period of rest, projects, traveling, or whatever you want to do. It’s a time to recharge.
If you want to see growth in your business, you need to focus on one thing at a time.
It’s not to say you can’t ever do multiple things in your life, but you need to focus on one at a time if you want to see good results.
Now, the thing is, we’re multifaceted people, right? We have a lot of interests and it can be somewhat frustrating to only do one thing when we enjoy multiple things.
Having sabbaticals gives you a period of time where you can pursue your secondary passions. You can keep those fires alive. You can kind of fan the flame a little bit and enjoy doing things aside from your main pursuit.
The good news is those can eventually become your main pursuit. Your side passions can eventually become your full-time job and they can also recharge you. In many cases, even if it doesn’t become your full-time job, you learn things from those experiences that you’re able to take back and apply to your main pursuit.
5. Ask for Feedback and Critique
You have to actually ask for it. Yes, people will offer feedback and critique, but here’s the problem with it: they’ll give it in the form of a compliment sandwich.
What I mean by a compliment sandwich is they’ll give you a compliment first and say something nice about your work before they tell you how you can improve. Then, out of fear that that might insult you, they finish up with another compliment. This is a safe way to go about giving unsolicited feedback but it’s not the real quick way to improve.
The faster way is to tell people, “I want your critiques. You don’t have to give me a pat on the back, I’m here to improve so cut straight to the chase.” When you do this, people can give you the meat of their critique and you’re going to improve faster.
6. Set a Big Goal and Work Toward It Every Day
What I like about setting a big goal is it keeps your focus far ahead on the path. When you’re focused on the day-to-day and only the day-to-day, hurdles seems like really big mountains, when really you want to focus on a goal that’s much further ahead because then the hurdles in front of you just seem like bumps in the road.
You’re going to do whatever it takes, because you know you want to achieve that big goal. You’re going to learn something new every day. If you come across a tool you’ve never used before, you’re going to figure it out because you have a bigger goal.
When you don’t have a bigger goal and you’re not working toward it every day, these small challenges can seem insurmountable. They can seem really frustrating when you don’t have a big picture. So, set a big goal and do one small step every day to get you closer to that goal.
7. Be Open to Change
If you want to improve yourself, you have to be open to change because improvement itself is change. To improve, you must change yourself.
This may sound obvious but if you haven’t really reflected on this and decided that you are open to change and you’re willing to change, then you’re never going to improve, because to improve, you must change yourself.
8. Get Around an Amazing Community
Obviously, we have the seanwes Community, where you can meet likeminded people, and get real, actionable feedback on your specific situation, but even if it’s not the seanwes Community, get around some form of community.
Get around good people because they’ll ensure you continually improve. If you are considering joining the Community, you can subscribe monthly to get access to the live shows and video broadcasts that we only share with the Community, but you can also register for seanwes conference 2016.
When you register, you get access to the in-person event we’re putting on in Austin, Texas, but you also get a full year of Community membership. You’re not just getting to go to an event, you’re plugging into a great online community, so if you want to check it out, we’d love to have you join us.