how to find interesting topics
I love learning new things. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m always reading several books at a time. I love knowledge, new perspectives, old ideas, and stories. I find new topics of interest in several ways:
First through blog posts like this one. I follow hundreds of blogs and use google reader to group and manage them. In the blog world are thought leaders, experts, and unique individuals with a variety of interests and perspectives.
Second, I find new topics through my clients. Often a client will ask me to develop a learning program around a specific topic. I consume as much material as I can in blogs, articles, interviews, and of course books. But the real learning happens in the doing – walking a mile in the shoes of the subject matter experts.
Third, I find new things to discover in the old things. Often I’ll re-read books and as I do, I’ll discover something new. The mindset in which I read the information a second or third time is always different. And there are usually recommended or further readings listed. So I explore them!
how to take action in learning
So here’s a first step for you. Here are three books I recommend for all business owners, especially the solo-prenuer working in the service industry.
- Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win More Customers, Clients, and Contracts by Tom Sant. This is a very in depth and powerful book with great examples of both good and bad proposals. It will help you clearly think before you write – very valuable!
- Who’s Got Your Back: The breakthrough Program To Build Deep, Trusting Relationships That Create Success–And Won’t Let You Fail by Keith Ferrazzi. A nine step approach to build ‘lifeline’ relationships. Take what works for you from this…nothing is ideal.
- Get Clients Now! A 28-day Marketing Program for Professionals, Consultants, and Coaches by C.J. Hayden. You will use this book as an ongoing reference. Find what works and do it consistently – and see the results!
Read them. But don’t stop there. The best way for our mature brains to stretch and grow is through experiential learning: through doing!
You can read about networking or proposal writing, or blogging, but until you actually do it – you have not truly learned, you have not acquired that skill. Taking a class is great, but unless you can work on your own material, in the context of your own life of business, it is not learning.
By engaging our minds and bodies and emotions, we make the knowledge known – both in content and context.