How to Put What You Learn to Work
If you have been reading my work for a while you will know that I have written many articles on the need for everyone living today to become lifelong learners. You have heard me say on numerous occasions that we need to strive to learn something new everyday, and you have heard me say that I consider any day that passes when I do not learn something new to be a wasted day of my life. All of that is very true, but learning something new every day is not going to do us any good unless we put that new knowledge to work for us in some way. In this article I want to discuss a few way to do just that.
Have an objective for every book you buy.
How many books have you bought over the years, placed on your bookshelf, and then never read? Building a home library is very important. Some books, like reference book sets are not meant to be read from cover to cover, but they are meant to be used. Books were not meant to be used as trophies to impress others.
How many non-reference books do you have in your library today that you have never read even once? Before you purchase anything new and place it on the shelf, you need to have a specific reason for buying the book. It does not matter what the book is about, you need to have some goals in mind about what you want to learn from the book. You need to have goals about what you want that book to help you accomplish.
- If you are an affiliate marketer, perhaps one of your goals for buying and studying a book would be to learn how to increase your conversion rates.
- If you bought a book on SEO, one of your goals might be to increase your article ranking on the search engines.
- If you are an e Marketer, one of your goals for buying a book on e Marketing might be to learn how to grow your email list.
The lesson here is to not buy or download any new book unless you have a definable reason for doing so.
Always Take Copious Notes.
Always have a notepad or a digital voice recorder with you and use them. It does not make a difference whether you are reading a book, listening to a lecture or podcast, or watching an instructional video, always take plenty of notes. Take plenty of notes and center the notes that you take around your goals.
Transcribe the notes that you took with a digital voice recorder because writing out what you hear will help you remember what you are learning.
Always remember that “free” is not always without cost.
The World Wide Web, the Information Superhighway, contains millions of pages of information, all or most of which is free to access, but all of it is not reliable and may cost you a great deal of time and maybe even money in the long run. Always verify the sources of the information you pull from the Web. Even with all the reliable sources available on the Internet, it is still a good idea to buy, download, and even print out e-Books because they go into more depth on any subject than web pages do.
Another advantage of printing out e-Books and buying print books is that you can underline text, highlight text, and make marginal notes right in the book. Forget what you learned in school about never turning the corner of a page or making marks on the pages. Go ahead, the book is yours. The whole purpose of buying a book is to learn what it has to teach you and underlining, highlighting, and making marginal notes all helps you achieve that goal. Having a book that looks good probably means that you have not learned anything from it, sort of reminds me of that old Star Kist Tuna commercial “Sorry, Charley, Star Kist doesn't want tunas with good taste, they want tunas that taste good.” Just substitute “Looks” for “Tastes” and “Book” for “Tunas.”
Put what you have learned into action.
Everything that we learn may not be applicable to what we do for a living, but we can still put it to work for us by sharing our knowledge with others. Knowledge that we horde is wasted.
Make learning and teaching your #1 New Years Resolution.
If you are retired like me, you can still put everything that you have learned over the years and all the new things that you learn every day to work for you by teaching it to other. Volunteer. No matter what your expertise, there is some volunteer position where they can be used.