Anyone who owns and operates a business knows first hand how much there is to learn especially in the beginning. To be a successful entrepreneur the need for constant and never ending learning is something you must accept wholeheartedly.
But what happens when you have a hard time learning new things?
When I started conducting the majority of my business online, to say that I was frustrated with all the new things I had to learn is an understatement. I felt completely lost, off my game and ignorant about everything.
I’ve always been a “hands-on-get things-done” type of girl, so when I made the decision to transition to a more location independent lifestyle, that would allow me to work from just about anywhere in the world, that decision can with me having to learn a whole slew of new skills; online marketing, copywriting, opt-ins, sales funnels, maximizing my social media efforts, you name it, I had to learn it … the entire process felt like learning a foreign language to me.
In the beginning, as soon as I would feel frustration coming on, I would find myself wanting to throw in the towel (which is not like me at all), I some how convinced myself It was too hard, which led me to look for someone with more expertise and experience to pawn whatever I was working on off to, but I slowly started to realize the importance of knowing how to do almost everything in my business myself.
I’m not saying that you have to do everything but you should, at least, know how to do everything.
What I came to realize about myself concerning my ability to learn a new skill or concept that was not innately interesting to me (especially most things technical ) is that I can become easily frustrated.
I wanted to understand why this was, so I did a little research.
Here’s what I learned … There are four phases of learning
- Unconscious Incompetence – when you don’t know, what you don’t know
- Conscious Incompetence – when you are aware of what you don’t know
- Conscious competence – when you are aware of what you can do
- Unconscious competence – when you’re so good you take your skills for granted
What I also found out is that creative people ( like myself ) tend to retain less information when learning something new than perhaps other people with different learning styles. The creative mind is constantly racing, which makes learning and retention a challenge. Since not learning new things will never be an option for me I had to figure out a way to reduce the frustration and curb the learning curve.
Here are a few quick tips that have helped me to learn and retain information a whole lot better:
Be patient with yourself – Rome wasn’t built in a day, you can’t learn a newly acquired skill in 24 hours
Start Slow – It’s not a race … slow and steady wins
Breakdown whatever you’re trying to learn into smaller digestible pieces –Learn one piece of a new skill at a time … try learning the hardest part first
Set a Timer – The Pomodoro technique helps tremendously, working with focused attention for 25 – 30 minutes and then taking a break to do something no related helps you to release dopamine which helps to release stress and improve the entire learning experience.
Practice – Makes perfect … it takes about 20 hours to get good at just about anything. 20 hours is about 45 minutes a day for a month or about 2 hours a day for fifteen days.
Always remember some things can be difficult as first but eventually they get easier.
Becoming aware of how you learn is a powerful thing. If you’ve ever experienced extreme frustration take a few minutes as I did to figure out why. Determine what learning stage your in and also your learning style. True mastery of all things starts with mastering thyself.
Do you ever get overwhelmed or really frustrated, what do you do to cope … share with me in the comments below I would love to hear from you.