The Entrepreneur’s Guide on How to Learn Quickly

Woman at work taking notes
Innovative Thoughts

The Entrepreneur’s Guide on How to Learn Quickly

Overwhelmed!  Do you ever feel like that trying to keep up with how quickly information is thrown at you?  So how can you make this easier?  The key is to learn quickly.  

Even if this doesn’t come natural, we’re going to share some tips on how you can be deliberate and like anything grow your learning “muscle”

Roseanne Tells How it Began for Her

On a recent social media post we talked about green ledger paper.  It’s a throwback to how I captured my work during the start of my public practice days.  Back then, we had multiple clients of all different sizes.  This meant that I was often going out to a different business every 1 or 2 weeks.  And as such I had very little time to familiarize myself with the client and their issues before needing to provide some value to their business.  So, I learned how to learn quickly.  I had to get information quickly and develop the skills to understand what was going on.  And these skills have been critical throughout my career especially as a consultant being asked to quickly evaluate issues and propose solutions.  It has been one of my differentiating factors over the years – being able to absorb information quickly and provide value right away.

Does an Entrepreneur Need to Learn Quickly?

It might be different than a consultant going to a new client every week, however there are always things for an entrepreneur to learn. You wear many hats in your business.  You need to keep on top of serving your customers and providing the best experience possible.  Then, you have to make sure you have a great marketing plan and keep on top of the changing algorithms in social media.  Then there’s the latest technology update to your website and even tax programs that might be available to you. 

Wow, talk about overwhelm.  But you don’t have to be an expert in these areas.  You just need to know enough to run your business and know when to ask for help.  And with limited time available, being able to learn quickly is crucial to your success.

Start With Your Learning Style

Female grad student surrounded by doodles

Understanding how you best learn is your first step.  We talked about this in our blog What Does Learning Mean for Entrepreneurs Today and went through the different learning styles including visual, aural, verbal etc.  Once you understand this you can tailor your learning to the best method for you.

In the article 10 Effective Ways To Make You a Fast Learner this is one of their key points. They also talk about using tools and we think it’s brilliant especially if you really love technology.  Yes there’s a tool for everything, even how to learn quickly.

The Brilliant Method to Learn Quickly

Our method to learn quickly is a combination of Roseanne and Shannon’s experience through numerous consulting engagements and corporate roles. It  is a combined list of powerhouse techniques to make you that superstar people will ask “How do you know so much about that already?”  A phrase both of us heard over our careers.  

Check out Shannon’s reflection:

In my career I have had 13 mini careers with 4 wonderful corporations.  Many of my roles would be considered outside of my core area of expertise. Colleagues often comment on how quickly I learn or how you speak like you have been here forever.  Reflecting on the feedback I narrow it down to being very good at listening and asking great questions.  Although listening and questions seem very basic, the truth is being highly proficient in both allows learning quickly to become your superpower.

We’ve put together this list of tactics that might seem like common sense but that have allowed us to learn quickly:

1. Listen to everything around you all the time 

This can include side conversations in the hallways or groups discussing something.  And even if you don’t think it applies to your role in a company or your business or industry, gaining that knowledge might be more important than you know.  It was often from listening to these types of conversations that Roseanne could see how her role or issue fit into the structure of a business which allowed conclusions or recommendations to be made. 

Group Of Businesspeople Meeting Around Table In Office
2. Write things down

Whether you are listening or reading, taking notes is an important way for many people to “learn”.  That’s why you will always find a notebook as a staple on our desks.  Making notes is second nature and often we can recall information and even what side of the page it has been written on. 

3. Be curious

This is so important.  It’s easy to believe that you only need to know what you have been tasked with or what your business is focusing on today.  But in actual fact as an entrepreneur you need to be thinking about the next thing too.  And when you see something new, maybe as a headline in your newsfeed or see someone mention it in their story, investigate it more.  Ask questions if you can and listen to the explanation because the explanation will give more insight than the answer. 

4. Offer suggestions

By being engaged in the issue to be solved, this helps you learn the process in more depth.  Sometimes your suggestion may not work but your colleagues or employees will provide an explanation that helps you to learn more.  

5. Use resources available to you

In the old days we were limited to encyclopedias and libraries to research topics.  Now research is as easy as how detailed can you make your Google search.  Google is a great place to find information and get perspectives.  Reach out to the groups you belong to like Facebook and search for information, ask questions or just observe the information exchange.  There can be so much to learn in these forums.

6. Put two and two together

Although you don’t want to draw conclusions without information, think about connections.  Many times consulting you would see an issue in a department outside of the area you were dealing with.  But the actual fact was these were all tied together.  And by solving the root cause, not just the symptom, you were able to make things much better overall. So in your business think about the connections.  Not just how the marketing campaign for the holiday season has to be in line with the product timing. But if employees are not as engaged as normal, perhaps there is an issue in your production line that needs to be addressed to make their jobs easier.

So there you have it, The Brilliant Method to Learn Quickly.  Even if this does not come naturally to you, focus on these tactics.   Think about the process, reach out for resources and practice, practice practice.  It will make your ability to learn quickly much easier and help you be better prepared to grow your business.  If you would like more help on growing, make sure to sign up to be the first to know about our newest Brilliant Ideas or reach out to us at info@brilliantlyforward.com.  We love to get mail!!!