Taking the time to purposefully improve key skills is never time wasted.
A few weeks ago I discovered that our local library offers free access to Lynda.com, an online resource with hundreds of courses available.
This led me to spend some time taking a few courses that interested me, and were relevant to my current project at work. The experience reminded me of the importance of continually learning.
Being in a startup or other entrepreneurial environment forces us to lots learn in a just-in-time manner; for example – end of year is coming, time to brush up on accounting.
Learning in this way is effective for moving quickly, but it isn’t conducive to going deeper and pursuing a skill beyond good enough. We will never be experts at everything, and having an array of general skills is mandatory for running a business, but that shouldn’t stop us from specializing too.
In my experience, the biggest thing that keeps me from taking the time to learn skills better, and to apply them, is the worry that I will be less productive, even if only for a time. Of course, this is a short term view, but often I’m running so fast it is hard to look further.
My encouragement in all this is to be purposeful about those areas you would like to specialize in, and take the opportunity to learn and grow, even if it may slow you down in the short term, as the work you do will be that much better.
Closed for now ... something new coming soon(ish).