A key challenge for many of the business people that I work with is maintaining their professional skills and knowledge; for some it’s imperative, without demonstrating that they have completed a set number of hours training each year they are at risk of losing their professional accreditation yet even they find it hard!
So how can you make time for training and development without feeling guilty that you should be responding to the needs of your clients or without resorting to attending international webinars in the early hours of the morning when everyone else is asleep?
The most successful way I have come across is to commit a small amount of time (one hour can be enough) every week to work on your knowledge (also Continuing Professional Development or CPD). If you also diarise this time you are more likely to do it but think about when you schedule it; don’t plan it as the last thing you do in the day as either it won’t get done or if it does it probably won’t be done well because you’re too tired.
Then you need to know what and why you’re studying, so a CPD plan is a good starting point. You’ll find templates on line or via your profession’s accrediting body but whatever you use set yourself some goals; ie one of mine is to broaden my knowledge to include a formal training qualification in the next 6 months. Whatever the goal make sure it’s an achievable one.
If training makes you feel guilty and that you should be working on your business’ needs remember that for every bit of learning you do you are adding value to what you offer your clients and making yourself a more attractive business proposition.