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How to keep learning when you have lots of other things to do?


When you are self employed you are responsible for your learning and your continuing professional development as well as everything else in the business. So it is often difficult to identify learning needs without that need being identified by someone above you in an organisation.

When you first set up in business you may well have carried out a SWOT analysis looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your business idea and used the results to drive your business plan. In terms of your own learning this same approach can help you to focus on what’s important and what is just nice to know…. It helps you to look at the future and the possible things you’ll need to learn now to keep up in the future.


Here some questions to ask yourself when looking to see what your next learning should be.
What can I do well?
What are my best skills and attributes?
Where do I have the greatest talent?
What am I less good at?
What aspects of my work and life need improvement?
Is the improvement needed large or small?
What is currently happening which could give me the opportunity for personal growth?
- For improved performance?
With technical and social changes what new opportunities can I take advantage of?
What changes or forces may affect my current situation or act as a barrier to future development?
What people may get in the way?
How might I sabotage my own development?
Strengths and Weaknesses are within your control (whether you like it or not) so identifying a learning opportunity here requires honesty. Whereas Opportunities and Threats are more about what is happening in the world that could have an impact on you and your business. Blogging, tweeting and networking online was nothing more than a sci fi story line a few years ago……now we need to learn to harness it for business purposes as well as know what we are talking about with friends and neighbours. What do you know about web 3 or cloud computing? Should we learning how to harness that now?

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