Monday, January 10, 2011

Continuing Education

During my teaching days, I'd dread inservice days or after school workshops.   Over the weekend I attended an amazing two-day conference organized by the home office of my direct sales company.  They work hard to provide superior training opportunities and it is such a blessing.  I've certainly learned to appreciate educational opportunities much more and the value they offer for me personally and professionally.  Do you take advantage of "continuing education" opportunities?

Why should you?
When I first started my business in 2003 I knew nothing about the industry or what it would take to be successful.  Regardless of what kind of education or experience you have, there is always more to be learned from others.  If you think you know it all than you have the most to learn!

For me trainings:
  • Motivate me to be my best, get outside my comfort zone, not give up, and work harder
  • Teach me about the quality of my product and how to market it effectively
  • Model superior customer service and business etiquette
  • Provide organizational tools and strategies
  • Show me how to make a difference in the lives of others
  • Encourage my faith
  • Recognize me for my accomplishments and cheer me on
  • Excite me about what I'm doing
  • Repurpose and refocus the direction of my business
Amongst my group we use the slogan, "Those Who Train Remain".  Regular updates and rejuvenation are critical to the success and longevity of a business.  You wouldn't take your kids to a pediatrician who hasn't updated his training for 30 years!

Where Do You Find Training Opportunities?
Contact your home office if you are part of a Direct Sales company.  Our home office puts on conferences twice a year- a national event in the summer and regional conferences in the winter.  Check your distributor website for online training videos.   Link up with successful people in your organization to see if they host their own websites.  They may offer local trainings, video trainings, or conference calls.  My area is fortunate to have many leaders who hold monthly local meetings and organize mini conferences in the spring and fall.

If you do not have access to many of these resources, you can self-educate by reading.  I link to books at the bottom of some posts and you can visit my "Book List" page for recommendations.  If you like a particular author, check their website to see if they offer email subscriptions or seminars. 

Join a networking group.  You can learn a lot by talking with successful business owners and most groups host guest speakers.  Other professionals can offer additional information on community resources that can assist you in growing your business.

The internet is teaming with motivational speakers and business gurus who have free email subscriptions and You Tube videos.  Just be sure to find ones recommended by sources you trust.  Be sure the advice you are receiving matches your business ethics and takes your business in the best direction.

How often should you attend?
I've always been told that you should attend at least one event a month.  If you are in a leadership position, helping others to grow a business requires filling yourself up more frequently!


After my experience this weekend, I feel refreshed and lighter.  The burdens of last year are fading and the excitement for the possibilities this year holds is brighter.  Both professionally and personally, I feel replenished. I strongly encourage you to make a commitment to your business to attend regular trainings or seek out a means of "continuing education". 

Wishing many blessings for you, your family, and your business in the New Year!
~Melissa

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