I’ve got a problem with small business education.
No, it’s not that it’s bad or wrong to learn more about how to run a small business.
It’s not that there’s so much of it out there. (That’s awesome, actually.)
It’s not that some of it can be expensive.
It’s not that some of it can be free.
My problem is none of these things.
The problem I have with it is that it can be a major distraction.
Ironic, isn’t it? We often find ourselves spending the bulk of our time absorbing new information on how to run our businesses–only to let our ACTUAL businesses fall by the wayside!
This isn’t intentional, obviously.
But I see it happening all the time.
I, myself am guilty of this very sin.
Let me tell you exactly how you can tell whether or not you’ve been spending too much time on business education instead of on your business.
Step 1: Take a look at your shop and product listings.
Step 2: Note how you feel about them.
If your first initial reaction is “I have a lot of work to do” then your education balance to work ratio is off.
I can tell you this without knowing how much time you are spending on business education because (A) you have learned enough to be able to tell that your shop and products need work, but (B) haven’t spent the time actually making the changes you need to make.
If, instead your reaction is to feel like “My shop is awesome, and my products are all perfect!” then you either (A) haven’t spent enough time learning about small business to know that there is always room for improvement, or (B) are super-human and I am incredibly jealous.
Anyway, my guess is you experienced the first reaction, grimacing slightly as you looked at the face of your small business.
That’s okay. First of all, you’re normal.
But now that we are aware of the problem, we can fix it.
One of the main issues I have with spending time on small business education is that it can FEEL like we’re getting work done.
We spend time reading blog posts, business books, and taking online courses.
We spend time filling out worksheets, setting goals, and feeling super inspired and hyper-motivated.
All the while? Nothing new happens to our shops or product listings. (Or at least, not enough in comparison to all that we are learning and absorbing from our educational materials.)
The key lesson here:
Implementation is everything.
That helpful blog post or enriching e-course is worth nothing to your business if you don’t take action on it.
And I’m all about the grunt work.
To help you implement what you’ve learned from this blog post and any future educational endeavors, I made you a simple worksheet to help you keep track and TAKE ACTION as you go.
Along with jotting down what you’re learning from a segment of educational material, the worksheet asks you to note what steps you are going to take with what you’ve learned, and forces you to set a deadline for each implementation.
It’s all too easy to learn, and learn, and learn.
And that’s awesome. Learning is great.
It’s great for you, and it could be great for your business.
But only if you get busy with the hard stuff: implementation.