So you ask, “why should I add anything else to the mix?”
It’s really simple logic: because you can. And because you can, you should.
Spending just a little time on developing your personal and professional skills can have you reaping the rewards well into the future.
Here are 3 easy ways to become a better you this year.
1. Update your professional skills directly related to your job.
You should make it a goal to learn at least one new professional tool every year. It doesn’t have to be an obvious one either. For example, if you’re a graphic designer you might want to take a class in accounting to help expand your freelance work or take a web programming class to expand the kinds of services you can offer to clients.
2. Update your professional skills that have nothing to do with your job.
Getting out of your comfort zone and learning something that is completely unrelated to what you do day to day can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing and maybe even find a surprise talent. A lot of times you’ll find that your new skill can be applied to help you in your current job. For example, I’ve always been fascinated by the Tedconferencetalks that are held every year, but I held back going because it didn’t really make sense for my business. I ended up going one year and having such a blast. What I didn’t anticipate was how beneficial it was going to be to get to network with uber successful people. I ended up keeping in touch with a lot of people I met that week and then landing some of them as corporate clients later on. Going to the conference was one of the best investments I’ve ever made and I enjoyed every minute of it.
3. Learn something purely because it fascinates you
As we get older this is an area that most of us don’t make time for. Who can take up broomball or learn French just because we want to? And yet, learning those new things that are interesting to you just might be the key to becoming more relaxed and creative. This year I took a glass blowing class on Saturday mornings and not only made some awesome paperweights, but got to relax away from my computer and blackberry for a few hours and make some new friends. It got me away from the pressure of my daily life and allowed me to think about things objectively. Look for the hidden values when learning new things too.
Invest in some “me” time this year and see how far it can take you. You might be surprised.
Lea Richards Lea is the founder and owner of Pig of the Month BBQ, a nationwide mail order barbecue company. Founded in 2010 as a bootstrapped venture, she quickly learned how to leverage her marketing and PR savvy to grow her business on the cheap. She now shares this knowledge with other entrepreneurs around the country. She has been mentioned in the New York Times, Food & Wine Magazine, Food Network Magazine, and Good Morning America among others.