movies While watching some of the Oscar broadcast last night I had a thought that recurs often.  No matter what you think of Hollywood, actors, or motion pictures in general, the film industry is one that advances more quickly than most.  Everyone involved must constantly update their skills or fall to the side.

An example is the best director award went to Ang Lee for a film that was more technology based than live action in front of a camera.  My point is this, what have you done over the past few months to advance your professional skills?

Because others in your industry are moving forward, you stay behind when standing still.  There is no need to be frenetic chasing the latest promise of a ‘silver bullet’ or ‘revolutionary software’, however, you do need to learn what you do not know about using new media, new management requirements, regulations, industry changes, and anything else that can help you succeed.

I met a fellow recently who says learning how to better use a telephone when speaking with prospective customers who call has helped him increases his business revenue.  He is a plumber.  Another contact mentioned how learning Facebook and other social media is getting him bigger commissions.  He rents commercial real estate space.  An attorney specializing on sexual harassment tells me business is booming over last year after taking a class teaching how to speak to an audience, inform, and entertain.  A retail manager messaged me to say losing 15 pounds enhances her self-esteem and believes customers relate to her better because of a new energy level experienced after weight loss.

Think about what you do not know and invest in your success.  Many of the classes I mention above are available at local adult education schools for less than a dinner out.  Looking at a local adult school brochure received this week I see several valuable business skill classes offered online.

If you want to invest more time and money check out the online courses offered by leading colleges and universities worldwide. Alternatively, contact a local college for extended education classes.

Lifelong learning is necessary to achieving life goals.  Along with developing new skills and brushing up on what you already know, you will meet many interesting people who often bring more value to your life.  I use classmate conversations for congeniality and some market research.

Never forget, “What you know gets you started, and what you do not know causes failure.”

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