Relax? You are running a startup. You are an entrepreneur and you live a busy life. However, when you're not busy working on your business you know you need to work on improving yourself and that includes brushing up on your business skills and personal development.
It's not big news that entrepreneurs need to constantly learn about their industry to succeed in business management, marketing, entrepreneurship, as well as plan for the future. Learning the skills necessary to start and run a business can be expensive and time consuming, and sometimes you have to do it on your down time. After spending the day working to make your business viable the last thing you want to do is to drain your energy even more by learning. However, many of us feel guilty about taking the time to relax and recharge. Kill two birds with one stone and learn while relaxing. Here are six ways you can kick back, relax, and still keep learning and growing.
1.) iTunes U and Online Classes
It's pretty well known that a huge number of famous entrepreneurs stopped short of finishing a college education and found success anyway. Even if you are a college dropout yourself, further education isn't elusive. With iTunes U, you can listen to audio and video recordings of lectures from leading academics at Stanford, Oxford and other schools. It features public lectures, teaching materials and interviews so you can learn at your own pace.
OpenCulture.com collects and shares free resources too. You'll find over 150 courses online from leading universities that can deepen your professional education with topics in finance, technology, entrepreneurship and more.
2.) Online Communities
You cannot be completely passive and expect to learn. You might want to consider actively engaging in some kind of online search. Many communities exist that can aid you in discovering the information you need to become better at business or any other pursuit. One popular way for entrepreneurs to learn is from the knowledge of other entrepreneurs on sites like Quora. The site lets you increase your knowledge by searching for questions you want to know the answers to. Sites like Reddit, with its thousands of subreddits, also provide seemingly endless opportunities for new learning, as visitors become part of communities which help them learn.
The podcast medium is a popular way for entrepreneurs to learn during their commute, workout or down time. Entrepreneur on Fire has a community of thousands of listeners per episode that tune in to hear the wisdom of successful entrepreneurs. Business podcasts are an easy way to hear about up-to-date information and strategies in an entertaining way. Use iTunes or Stitcher Radio to subscribe to your favorite podcasts.
4.) Narrated Blog Content
Many people actually find it draining to go to their favorite web sites and look up the latest posts on business trends after several hours coding or doing emails. Umano.me removes much of the eye strain and lets you listen to a large collection of blog posts, narrated by real people, in all sorts of categories, from entrepreneurial topics to entertainment or sports. Their mobile app lets you listen to stories on the go, one after another, without having to push a button, even while driving a car or taking a walk .
5.) (Audio) Books
Learning can be as simple as picking up a book--or plugging in your earbuds. Reading is a great technique to relax. However, if you spend your day reading words on a computer screen, you might experience eye fatigue. Try listening to an audiobook instead. Learn from the best business book authors. Audible.com is a popular option for listening to your favorite books read out by narrators on your smartphone or tablet.
Re-charge after a long day by watching cat videos, or even learn something useful through YouTube. Learn about fascinating ideas and trends with TED talks or "learn how to create a business and life you love" by watching Marie Forleo's interviews with experts as well as weekly Q&A videos. Youtube offers videos on just about any topic. All you have to do is search a little and then let the videos automatically play. Be prepared to skip through the commercials after a few seconds though, if you are given the chance.
Whether you like learning by audio, video, or text, relaxing is a luxury many people can actually afford now. Technology has made it much easier to take a break, and pick up new information without having to break your back or pay large sums of money. Sit back, relax, and feel yourself getting smarter by the minute.