Many of the professionals we work with at Eagle are independent contractors, who are one person incorporated companies. One of the challenges that business owners always face is in personal development and a one person business exacerbates that problem.
If “the business” is taking time out for training, then it is not making money and it is paying for training. This brings up a common question asked by independent contractors: “How do I continue to enhance my skills and still do my day job?” Here are a couple of ideas:
Read! It seems obvious but so few people do it! Take a look at Executive Book Summaries. They are an 8 page (20 minute read) synopsis of some of the greatest business books. A very affordable annual fee lets you download summaries and read them when you have a few minutes. You can also subscribe to periodicals relevant to your specialty which will produce short, very informative, relevant documents that keep you thinking and help you to stay relevant.
Network! It’s almost a sure bet that there are many existing groups near you filled with like-minded professionals looking to meet new people and grow their knowledge. If not, why not start your own networking group?
The Internet! There are online courses in just about everything that will help you improve your skills or get you familiar with that newer technology. It takes discipline, but that’s the price of being great at what you do. Get the search engines working for you! It also doesn’t hurt to scan through articles that speak to the latest trends. Social media is filled with them as long as you’re following the right people, especially on Twitter and LinkedIn. (Tip: a Google search will help you find the best people to follow)
Invest a little in yourself and you differentiate yourself from almost everyone else – that’s a guarantee! Do you invest in yourself and, if so, how often? Do you have any tips for the busy contractor who wants to do more? Leave them in the comments below.