We speak a lot about the adaptive and innovative approaches that the entrepreneur must use to make their way in the business world. By adaptive, we mean always responding to changing situations with the right measures to ensure the business continues to be sustainable and profitable. By innovative, we mean finding new ways, fresh ideas, and prescient actions that always keep your business moving forward in competitive ways.
The other layer to add to these approaches is learning. By this we mean the ongoing experience of being in a venture and what these experiences teach, as well as what we discover from the wealth of knowledge around us. Business is undergirded by a lot of decision making. The more information you have, the more you can apply that information to your current challenges, the more likely you are to build a sustainable and profitable business.
Learning encompasses everything you learn from the material available, your experience in business, and the experiences of others. In the coming weeks, the Enterprise Roundtable (ERT) will be launching its website including sections that are designed to be free learning tools to aid entrepreneurs on their learning journeys. The constant pursuit of learning about how to best start, run, manage, and evolve your business will give anyone a comparative advantage in the marketplace of ideas that is the modern economy.
Learning is constant and necessary, but it must also be with focus. We live in the information age and we are constantly bombarded with huge amounts of data even before we get to information and even before we reach relevant information. The latter form is what most concerns us. For learning to be useful, it must be made narrow. It must move from general to specific. This is how it becomes not only relevant but relatable and applicable to present challenges.
In learning this way, you must begin by setting out the things you want to achieve. What are your goals? What will success look like to you? How do you see the path from your original idea to a sustainable and profitable business? You must think through these questions before learning begins. It will determine what you read, who you seek to listen to and what platforms you will use to help your education. This will all become part of the business plan you formulate as you begin the pursuit of entrepreneurship.
As your business operations start, you will also learn from experiences and refine your original ideas into actionable intelligence. Most of your learning will be in the field of operations, it will be as you deal with the challenges of everyday business and as you evolve through your own entrepreneur’s journey. There is no “how to” of learning except to note that you will learn from everything.