Welcome to 2016
Last year, I committed to learning more and getting fitter. Never in my wildest dreams, did I realize that learning was actually the key to getting me up off my butt, and out the door to exercise. Normally on Bringing Business To Retail Tv, we talk about actionable business strategies, that you can implement, to grow your business. Well, this episode is about you, because YOU are your businesses most important asset.
Let me tell you the story of how wanting to learn more, actually taught me how to run
For me, 2015 was about learning. I was determined to enrol in some courses, read loads of books and blog posts and all those newsletters that I subscribe to, then delete, because of email overload.
Here’s what I did.
Starting with the email.
I went and created a separate email address for newsletter subscriptions. This way, I could focus on proper business emails, and when I had some spare time, could flick through and see what I want to read. I know there are a load of programs that can help email overload, like unroll.me, sanebox and boomerang, and at some point this year, I'm sure I’ll get onto that.
What I found though, was I just didn't seem to have big chunks of time to dedicate to learning.
Once Google Reader was relegated to the Google rubbish tip, I couldn't even keep track of blogs. I used to flick through them in the line at the supermarket, or whilst cooking dinner. I never got the hang of feedly which was kind of a Google Reader substitute, so, my blog reading went by the wayside.
I don't even really know how I stumbled onto podcasts. What I do remember, is thinking it was waaay to technologically advanced for me, and I didn't have itunes (android girl here).
At some point, I bit the bullet and downloaded an app that I could listen to podcasts through. I chose podcastaddict (simply because it was the first one that came up) but you can also use Stitcher on Android, or itunes for you apple lovers
This was a massive turning point for me.
All of a sudden, my 20 minute trip to work was filled with all this new information. My head was spinning. So many ideas I could put into practice!
For the first couple of months, it seemed that I was starting every conversation with "I was listening to this podcast and...."
In fact, finding podcasts was one of the key drivers (hah, get it, drivers, because I listen to them when I'm driving) to me achieving another goal, which I was failing miserably at.
Exercising 3 times per week.
All of a sudden, I WANTED to exercise more, so I could have another 45 mins to fit in more learning. I was getting 2 podcasts in a day! I actually started doing 4 walks per week.
All those endorphins and knowledge was making my brain swirl. I couldn't turn it off. I was imagining just how different my business would have been if I'd stumbled across this way of learning earlier.
And it made me realise, that independent retailers, just often don't have the time to work on themselves. They are so busy working in the business, not on the business. We've all heard it before.
So it propelled me to do something.
It’s the reason I launched the Bringing Business to Retail podcast.
My aim of the podcast is to bring business experts, mostly from outside the retail industry, to share their knowledge and wisdom. It sounds a bit counter-intuitive, bringing in outsiders, but I promise, you can learn so much from other people, especially when their situation is removed from yours.
Listening to podcasts introduced me to Natalie Sisson, The Suitcase Entrepreneur. In fact, joining her mastermind, was the catalyst to me selling my retail stores and creating this new business, designed to help you, the small business retailer.
I now have a stable of podcasts that I listen to. At the moment, in addition to the Suitcase Entrepreneur, on high rotation are:
Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income
Amanda Cook’s Wellpreneuronline (I love this, even though I’m not in the wellness industry)
Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy (probably my favourite)
Tim Paige’s Conversion Cast
Soulful PR with Janet Murray
School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
In the second half of 2015, I increased my running goal to 4 sessions per week. I’ve gone from never being able to run, to running around 20 kilometres a week.
Now, that’s not to say that I’m fast, or even great at it. But I do it and I feel healthier for it and I’m learning something new every single time.
So I’d love you think about getting hip with technology, and starting to expand your business learning with podcasts.
If you’re not sure now to do it, I’ve put a little tutorial on my website and I’ll link to it on this episode’s notes.
If you’ve found this information useful, come join the Bringing Business To Retail community. We’re a bunch of retailers chatting all things business. Best of all, it’s free.
Until next week
ps, if you need to know how to get access to a podcast, watch my cool little video. It's not hard, I promise!