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Your brain works like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

An attitude of continual learning is essential for entrepreneurs who want to reach the highest level. Learning keeps the imagination alive, keeps skills sharp, and helps you avoid falling into the status quo, whether you’re learning a practical skill, satisfying curiosity, or just learning for the sake of it.

Encouraging an attitude of learning is not only important for entrepreneurs themselves, but for their teams as well. An employee who believes their boss is invested in their improvement is more likely to stay, and grows into a more and more valuable member of the team.

These easy and cost-effective tips will help you and your team:

  • Master new technology
  • Acquire and hone business skills
  • Develop as leaders
  • Become better thinkers

Here are three guaranteed avenues for self-improvement.

Online Education

These days, by the time you master the latest technology, it’s obsolete. Sites like Udemy and Khan Academy offer inexpensive or free programs to help you keep up with tech, or just expand your knowledge. You may even discover skills you never knew you needed. Udemy even offers business packages for teams.

“Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” – Brian Tracy

When a team member shows promise and you’re confident they’d take it seriously and thrive, talk to them about what they’d like to learn and offer to sponsor a course. This can be presented as a reward for consistently great work, or an investment in them staying long term. Someone who rises to the challenge will be a perfect candidate for more responsibility and advancement.

Reading is Free

Self-made millionaire, Steve Siebold, conducted a study of 1,200 wealthy and successful people to find out what they all have in common. When it comes to self-improvement, successful entrepreneurs put the end before the means. Instead of degrees and expensive and time-consuming institutional learning, they seek out knowledge and expand their minds by keeping TV to a minimum and reading widely. Not just business books and classics, but biographies and other non-fiction that expand the foundations of their brains.

“All I have learned, I learned from books.” – Abraham Lincoln

Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffett, to name a few, all make extensive daily reading a priority. Buffet advises, indicating a stack of books, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.” While a small business owner may not have time for that much reading a day, making a daily reading habit of any manageable length a priority is key–and FREE!

Reading also has also been shown to have other added benefits:

  • Stress reduction
  • Memory improvement
  • Increased vocabulary
  • Improved concentration and mental stamina
  • Stronger analytical thinking

Check out some of the Lendistry team’s favorite books here.

Don’t Underestimate Local Adult Education Programs

In recent years, adult education has gone beyond the basics of GED programs and literacy. In adult ed programs, you can learn a new language, strengthen your use of your own language, and depending on who is teaching, gain any number of new skills. Learning for learning’s sake is just as valuable in the long term.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

Learning is the avenue to growth, and you don’t need an expensive school or list of degrees to win at it.