DEDICATING TIME TO LEARN
I love learning! No, really, I am quite serious! Give me a text book on photography, positive psychology, toss me a business book or show me a video tutorial. Tell me about what you are an expert in and I will be captivated by every word. I have a natural curiosity for the world around me and the people in it.
Learning has so much value! We learn everyday and sometimes are not aware of the lesson learned until later - hindsight is 20-20 after all. Still, it is important to be purposeful in our learning too. Dedicating time to learn allows you to enhance your skills and grow your business. Here are some suggestions for incorporating learning into your routine that can be incredibly beneficial and reduce the chance of burnout.
COMMIT TO LEARNING EVERY WEEK
Does this seem like too much of a commitment? It doesn't have to be. You can incorporate learning into your everyday activities. I am often on the road and take that time to listen to a podcast. Many podcasts offer episodes that are 30-60 minutes in length and are packed full of information and inspiration. I love listening to The Fizzle Show, a podcast for entrepreneurs that is inspiring, informative, and motivating. You could dedicate 30 minutes to reading while taking a bath (Check out some books suggestions below). I would also encourage you to check out a site like Feedly or Mental Floss while you are sipping your morning coffee. You can certainly draw inspiration from sites such as these.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
There are an endless number of new techniques and skills to learn in the fashion industry. Keep a running list of new skills you want to master and dig in! If you work on a skill each month, just imagine what you will accomplish in a year!
And don't be afraid to try something completely unrelated to your business. Go skydiving, explore a new town, or try a new food. While taking a poetry writing class in college, my professor had us try something new - escargot. As we allowed our senses to mull over its unique texture and buttery flavor, we were instructed to write of our experiences in the form of a poem. While the poem was severely underdeveloped it was a great lesson in how our experiences influence our art especially when trying something new.
LEARN WITH OTHERS
There are many benefits to learning with others. Group learning allows you to share knowledge, collaborate, tackle problems with support, enhance your understanding of a concept, and even get questions answered. If you are looking to learn in a group setting look into joining a mastermind group or meetup. AVARI hosts monthly meetups (presently in the Portland, OR area) that are a space to encourage learning from one another through collaboration and sharing our experiences as creatives. If your schedule does not allow for in person group learning you could try an online learning community like fizzle.co (a fantastic business site that we are presently a member of).
TAKE A CLASS
You can take classes online or in person. As a photographer and business owner, I have enjoyed taking online classes through CreativeLive. They offer a number of classes on business development, photography techniques, and more. There are also online classes specifically for photographers such as those offered on Phlearn covering topics such as retouching and lighting.
Taking classes offline is also a great idea! In some areas you can find classes for anything from fashion design to photography. Established photographers sometimes offer workshops and schools such as the Portland Fashion Institute offer a wide array of fashion design classes. Look around in your area and see what is being offered or consider attending a workshop near by; the skills learned are invaluable!
When you make time to learn, don't be surprised if you generate new ideas for your business. Learning ignites creativity! And learning can help you fine tune the skills you already have.
Do you prefer learning through video tutorials, books, collaboration or something else? Let us know in the comments below - we would love to hear about how you most enjoy learning!
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