There are many famous quotes by intellectuals, celebrities and entrepreneurs that encourage the notion of lifelong learning.
“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”
Why is it important to you as a start-up founder, and how does this affect you and your employees? Quite simply, the very reason why you spotted a gap in the market for your product or service indicated an ability to suss out a situation and realise there was a gap to be exploited. The danger, of course, is that you stagnate and very quickly become lunch for the next wide-awake entrepreneur.
The question, of course, is how to inculcate this culture of learning in yourself and in your employees long after you have progressed beyond the start-up phase. Your greatest heritage you can leave for your people would be to cultivate that yearning for knowledge where they can move on to greater things themselves. Your success could then be defined as the number of successful people you develop over time.
But just what is lifelong learning anyway? Going back to college for the rest of my life does not sound practical at all. Or appealing.
There are some simple ways to engage in lifelong learning. Teaching others is a good way to start. Normally, as the teacher, you end up learning plenty yourself, especially if you must impart your knowledge so that it is easily understood.
Make a list and keep it updated of the topics of things you wish to learn more about. The internet has made knowledge a commodity, however, if you do not use it, it will get used by others. The exciting thing with this list is that it could be totally unrelated to your business.
Experiment with new ways of learning. From reading to watching video clips online, to attending night classes-educating yourself with the will and an internet connection. Or simply join a study group of likeminded people. They will keep you motivated and honest in your self-education.
Importantly, make it a priority in your life and for your employees to make daily, weekly, monthly and yearly progress in your chosen topics. Learn all your life – before you become someone else’s lunch.
However, the most important aspect to lifelong learning may be its beneficial effect on your general wellness.