Back in Season 1, I did a bonus episode on 10 Reasons Teachers Make Amazing Entrepreneurs, and of course, one of them is because we’re natural life-long learners! There are lots of skills that translate from the classroom to business, but there’s also a lot to learn, and teachers have the chops to learn it all.
But, is there such a thing as too much learning? Some may argue with me, but I say, yes, there is.
Learning as a form of procrastination
Most beginning entrepreneurs, myself included, are guilty of this. “I just have to learn X, then I can launch.” “I’m not an expert in Y yet, so I can’t put myself out there.”
The truth is we’re scared. And needing to learn 1 more thing is a great excuse to postpone the scary step of doing.
Learning without action is not moving you forward
If I wanted to be a great fisherman (woman, whatever), I could go to Amazon and order every book on fishing ever written. Then I could spend the next several years reading them, taking notes, internalizing… and after all that time I’d still be a crappy fisherman because I spent all my time learning about fishing and none practicing.
On the other hand, I could go to Amazon and find 1 book to read to get started on my fishing journey, read it, and head off to the shore to practice what I’d read. If I master what I learned about, I can choose to learn more, or stick with my current level of knowledge and just put my line in the water. I may not become a master fisherman, but I’ll already be light years ahead of the other me, because I took action!
There’s always something more to learn
Learning is never done. In fact, the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know, and so on…
And, as an aside, I totally support the art of learning for learning’s sake. I love learning new things, facts, trivia, skills… whatever.
There’s a very big difference between learning new things so you’re prepared if you ever get picked up by the Cash Cab and acquiring knowledge instead of experience.
Practice just in time learning
Just in time learning is basically exactly how it sounds. When you need to know something, learn it, practice it, master it. Then move on to the next thing you need to know.
For example, when you’re putting together your business website (a big hangup point for us over-learners), you can learn a bit about your hosting options. Then you pick one. You can learn about the basic elements of a website, then implement them. Learn about SEO, update that.
And so on.
Remember that you can always change your mind
As one of my favorite people to ever walk the planet earth, Maya Angelou, once said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”