One of the keys to being a successful entrepreneur is the ability and drive to always keep learning. I try to remain as humble as possible despite any successes or failures I encounter. I know I don’t know everything and there’s still a lot for me to learn. This means I’m always looking at ways to learn more about marketing and business.
However, learning is a time consuming process. I’d much rather spent most of my time implementing, experimenting with and applying what I learn than actually sitting down and reading a blog post or watching an instructional video.
A huge chunk of our time spent learning goes into the consumption of new information and knowledge. If we can cut down the time it takes to read a marketing book or watch an insightful seminar, it leaves more time for us to experiment.
The ideal result is that I will learn as much about a new subject as someone else who has spent twice the amount of time learning about the same subject from the same source.
This is why I try to make learning as efficient as possible. I’m going to offer some of my hacks that have worked really well for me when it comes to learning something new or learning more about business and marketing.
These hacks have cut my learning time in half, allowing me to focus more of my time on implementing than consuming new information.
High Quality Book Summaries
The first thing I have begun to do is read detailed and high quality book summaries.
Now before you go and think this is a bad idea, keep your mind open.
Most books are artificially bloated to meeting publisher minimums. Almost, most books, especially business and marketing books, tend to repeat themselves in hopes of reinforcing points.
So while maybe in high school you were told reading the Cliff Notes was cheating, and it never gave you a proper grasp of the book, I’m going to suggest you try it.
I highly recommend and use Blinkist. Blinkist provides highly detailed and comprehensive 15-minute summaries of most new and old business books (plus more are added everyday). Blinkist and their team do a fantastic job or providing the “Blinks” or most important highlights in a book.
As an experiment, I went and read summaries for books I have already read and found Blinkist was spot-on at covering and describing the most important concepts in these books.
It can get addictive reading summary after summary of a hundred books in a day, but what I’d recommend is to go over a few books at a time, and re-read the Blinks and focus on what you think is most important that you implement immediately for your business.
Audiobooks During Downtime
I love audiobooks.
I’ve listened to audiobooks for years and it’s still my favourite way to consume information that can help grow my business. I can listen to them anywhere but more importantly, it’s the best use of my downtime. I don’t need an internet connection or even need to be directly paying attention to what I’m listening to. I can listen to any book on-the-go.
Always make use of your downtime. These are periods of your precious and limited time where you can be learning something new and helping grow your business.
Waiting at the doctor’s office? Audiobook. Stuck in traffic? Audiobook. Doing some boring, mindless work? Audiobook. On an airplane or train? Audiobook.
You get the point!
I highly recommend and use Audible to download and listen to my audiobooks. Never tried an audiobook? Click here to get a free one, on the house for trying Audible.
I recommend The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. This is the audiobook that made me quit my job and become a full-time entrepreneur.
Watch Videos 150% Faster
This is a neat little hack that I use whenever I’m on YouTube trying to learn something new about marketing or if I’m watching a keynote/seminar.
There’s a setting on the YouTube player that allows you to increase (or decrease) the speed of the video playing. Obviously, the default setting is 1x, however, try 1.5x the speed or even 2x. It will sound and look weird at first, but you’ll find you’ll get used to it quickly.
Setting your videos on YouTube to 1.5x the speed turns a 60 minute keynote presentation into a 40 minute presentation, saving you 20 minutes to watch something else or even apply what you’ve just learned!
Some courses (such as ones on Fedora) also allow you to manipulate the speed of their videos. Again, the speed I find to still be the most understandable is 1.5x. Try it out!
The real secret to success is striving to continually learn and constantly improve. Sometimes, we become overwhelmed with all the information and knowledge available to us, that we never get around to reading that one book or finishing up that last podcast episode. By increasing the speed at which you consume new information, it will not only allow you to consume more information in a short timeframe, but it will also, again, give you more time to actually do!