It depends, where do you want to go? If you are an individual in a fast track career or a small business owner, then the answer is absolutely not. Not only do you have to stay ahead of your competition, but you must continually update your skills, abilities, and education.  Here are six ways for you to keep advancing in these areas:

1) Become financially committed- Allocate a percentage of the income you intend to earn in the next 12 months for your personal development. Devoting approximately 2 to 4% of your anticipated income is a good place to start.

2) Spend time reading- Get your hands on as many of the industry magazines, periodicals or newsletters as you can. Be sure to subject yourself to only recent copies, especially if you are in a continually changing and evolving industry.  Stay on current topics and events if possible, reading things from years ago on your industry can be helpful but you want to stay current.

3) Use the World Wide Web to your advantage - Visit competitors’ and industry leaders’ websites to pick up insider knowledge. Be sure to take notes and jot down ideas through the process, then go back and read over everything.

4) Attend industry conventions or seminars – These will allow you to learn, grow, and find out the latest information and techniques in your industry. These can also be great opportunities to meet business contacts that may be useful now or in the future.

5) Research online articles and blogs - Some individuals put forth the effort to write down their experiences and give advice to those who are willing and motivated enough to listen. Articles written by experts can be a valuable resource tool and can save readers time & money.

6)  Put in the time - Invest 30 minutes each day to learn more about the industry and business you are in. After one month you will have spent over 15 hours educating yourself, which is 15 hours more than your competitors did!

All in all, there are two ways to become an expert at something; Experience and Training. Experience by itself can take a lifetime but with the addition of training (personal development and education) it will compress the amount of time it takes you to become great at what you do. 

Now, if you are the type of individual who is not interested in advancing…you wouldn’t have taken the time to read this article, so I’m not going to even going to touch on those people.

But, for all of you motivated by this article to improve your skill set, start by focusing on the six ideas above and NEVER stop educating yourself!

© 2010 eMarketing 4 Business LLC