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Learn From Others

April 8, 2011

From the SCORE Reading Room

 

Experienced independent professionals know that working solo is not working alone: We have clients, suppliers, support services, and the like. So the ROI (return on investment) we gain by learning from other is incalculable. Here are three ways to extend and strengthen your connections with the many individuals who make important contributions to your work and your life.

 

 

  • Infect your staff with the learning bug. One of the most valuable benefits you can offer your staff is your enthusiasm for lifelong learning. The time, energy, and dollars you invest in employees—whether they’re freelance, part-time, or full-time—to expand their knowledge and skills helps you and your business, too. Set aside time and budget for their training.

 

 

  • Expand your network. The strength of your business is directly related to the depth of your network of advisors, colleagues, and friends. Never stop reaching out and making new connections. Some entrepreneurs set specific targets for contacting potential new sources—say, two a week. Others make a point of accepting invitations to business networking events and then working the room.

 

 

  • Find an approach that best fits your style, then use it. Give as good as you get.  Often we learn the most about ourselves when we’re learning about and helping others: We realize we’re stronger than we thought; we acknowledge that we’re talented and capable; we see how far we’ve come. So be generous in you support of others. You will be repaid many times over.

 

This article provided by Terri Lonier of Working Solo. Lonier is the author of a series of five working solo books for entrepreneurs. This article is excerpted from Smart Strategies for Growing Your Business by Terri Lonier.

 

 

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