Everyone knows entrepreneurs are learners. They are constantly trying new things and learning. Here are 5 ways to learn new things that you can use in 2020.
1. Read a Book
This is the most basic of the ways to learn in 2020. You of course can expand this to include things like blogs, videos, and podcasts. But I have to tell you there are no more cost-effective, information-dense media than books. They are incredible values.
If you think about the cost of many other methods of learning – college, courses, tutors, trainers, etc – and compare them to the under $30 price point of a book and you see quickly the value. A book will have 50 to 100,000 words of information in it. Something that would take hours and hours of listening or watching to go through.
There are drawbacks to books.
It often takes a particular kind of discipline to use them. You have to make time to sit down with the book and read it. It isn’t as passive as a YouTube video or audio podcast is. This lack of passivity also means it is really deep work, the kind of focused effort that puts you in the zone and separates you from the pack of wannabes.
There is also the physical form of books. If you get them on paper,
you have to have light to use them, keep them dry, they are heavy to carry around in number.
Even in ebook form, you have to carry a reader, which generally needs to be kind of large. That has to stay dry, though the newer ones are water-resistant.
Personally, I use my iPad to do all my reading these days. I’ll link to the one I use and to some of the water-resistant readers in the description below.
But probably the biggest problem is just making time to read a book. Which brings us to another way to learn.
2. Start a Habit
In the goal-setting series, I talked about Habits and Streaks. How you can have a goal to accomplish something and then create habits that will make it happen automatically.
I have a goal to read 40 books in 2020? But my only action step for that is to ready at least 30 minutes a day.
Creating a habit is a great way to learn something new. For skills, you have to practice. You have to do it over and over again.
But even for knowledge-based learning, if you create a habit to do something for a particular amount of time on a regular basis, you will learn. Learning is hard to avoid if you have the proper habit.
After reading a book, or starting a habit, you can
3. Do an experiment
Another way to learn, especially to learn if something works or not, is to do an experiment. Want to learn to copywrite? Create an experiment where you write some copy, send traffic to it, and check the results.
Here’s my method for a learning experiment.
- Define what you want to learn.
- Determine one thing in that skill you can do and test.
- Design a test of that one thing, isolating the variables as much as possible.
- Do the thing you are trying to learn.
- Perform the test on the thing.
- Analyze the results.
- Repeat, modifying as needed.
This is a very high-level overview and I’m not going to take time to dig down into it right now. If you’d like to know more leave a comment below and maybe I’ll do a video on just this process.
Alright, we’ve talked about reading a book, starting a habit, do some experiments. Now let’s try doing a trial.
4. Do a Trial
Sometimes we aren’t sure if we really want to commit to learning a new thing. Do I really want to become a long-distance runner? Learn to sew? Write a novel?
The best way to figure this out is to run a trial. A trial is different than just trying something.
The biggest mistake people make when trying new things is they only do it once. If you’ve never run and you decide to go run for 5 miles, you will determine you hate running and it isn’t something you ever want to do.
But you didn’t “really try” it.
What you need to do is run a trial. Pick a number of repetitions or period of time, and commit to doing something related to the things you want to learn.
For instance, you might decide for 30 days you will write a piece of short fiction every day. At the end of the 30 days, you will know a lot more about writing. You’ll get past the initial suck phase, and develop a real feel for the process and what would be involved in really learning it.
Ok, I’ve covered reading a book, starting a habit, do an experiment, or a trial, now for the quickest way to learn something.
5. Get a Guide
The last way to learn a new skill is to get a guide. Depending on what you want to learn this guide might be called a coach, a trainer, a teacher, or a mentor. They are someone who knows the thing you want to learn and knows the best way to go about learning it.
They also know the pitfalls that new people often fall into. They can give you immediate knowledgeable feedback on what you are doing so you get better fast. They can also advise you on how to do the other things in this list, what books to read, what experiments to run, what trials to do.
A guide can take you to the next level.
Alright, there are five ways to learn something new in 2020.
Question of the Day: What New Things Will you Learn in 2020?
Leave your answer in the comments below.