Many professionals (such as Teachers, Lawyers and Accountants) are required to do some sort of professional development in order to maintain good standing in their associations. But many solopreneurs do not belong to such associations and do not have any requirements placed on them. So why is Professional Development (ProD) important to solopreneurs? Because we must be competitive in order to survive.
- Keep pace with general standards and trends;
- Expand our knowledge base to include the research that is available continually;
- Develop new skills because technology is changing constantly;
- Demonstrate that we are professional in our business approach.
The benefits of ProD are both personal and public. Personally, we get a great boost to our confidence and enthusiasm; while the public receives top-notch service as a result of our expanded skills and knowledge.
Many solopreneurs will respond, “I am way too busy with too many hats to wear as it is, how do I add one more?” Professional solopreneurs need an annual strategy that spells out how and when this activity will take place – all within available resources.
Here’s My Strategy As An Example :
- Make social media activity count. Follow 3 types of webinar presentations
- expands awareness of productivity – Steve Dotto’s DottoTech If you subscribe to his channel, you can choose to receive a notification whenever he posts anything new
- expands knowledge of technology – for mobile skills – Geeks On Tour and for Google tools Teacher Tech
- expands knowledge of marketing trends – Weekly Saturday Morning Marketing Smarties – Note: Roland Takaoka, the moderator of this has passed on)
- Subscribe to 2 newsletters that expand on trends and provide inspiration – Social Media Examiner and Chris Brogan
- Use downtime to read books that expand my knowledge in my own field – One book per month – The Integral Enneagram, E-Myth Mastery Sunday is my day away from the computer.
- Take one course per year that expands on skills – Allocate one specific chunk of time for this – Wealthy Affiliate, 30 Days to a Better YouTube Channel
- Attend one conference per year that will expose you to new trends and leaders in their field – Social Media Camp
How much time do you devote to Professional Development? There are 3 possibilities:
- Not enough/no time at all. This means that your business can fall behind before you know it.
- Some activity weekly. This needs to be planned and specific.
- Way too much time – We get so easily distracted by the volume of stuff coming our way that we need to put in some controls.
Keep it balanced, strategic and confined to specific periods in the week that fit around billable activity!
If this seems a daunting exercise, seek out some help in putting it together. You can find information about my Get Focused -Get To Work session here.
Mindset Monday Challenge
Review your online social media activity over the past week. Does it move in the ProD world? Does it fit into a Pro D Strategy?