I would argue that we learn more after we finish our time at school than when we are actually there. I liked school a lot, I was good at it and I stayed in education for a long time after I finished my obligatory years. What I found however was that I had the ability to learn things and increase my personal development skills in my own way. I could choose the things that I wanted to learn about for self improvement and take in the knowledge at my own pace and put it into practice how I wanted to.
To this day I still do this. I read a hell of a lot. I dive into books and listen to podcasts instead of distracting myself with television and other things. This is my approach to learning and my use of time. I am by no means saying that it is what everybody reading this book should be doing. Logically thinking however, if you are reading this then you are already reading a book so that approach to learning we already share.
I really do believe in the “Invest in Yourself Movement” to increase your personal development skills. I believe that by taking this approach to our own personal development the possibilities are endless.
If you are someone currently looking for work and are then take my advice when I say “Invest in yourself”. This can be in the most literal sense of the word where you make a financial investment into your learning and personal development. It can also be taken not so literally and investing in yourself will refer to allowing yourself to have more time to develop your skills in other ways.
Bar Managers and Owners: Invest in yourself through training. Management and Leadership courses are such great way to learn about the overall approach to your role and a good instructor will be able to show you the benefits of using techniques to get the most out of your teams. The courses you may find on the internet will not always be cheap but think about the return on investment that you will receive if you apply yourself to the teachings. A £1000 three day course may seem expensive, but what is a better approach to management and leadership worth to you? How quickly could you recoup that investment through a better led team whose productivity has been increased dramatically through your new found personal development skills?
Investments in yourself may seem daunting to commit to if there’s a financial cost to them but I would ask you to think about that return on investment when deciding whether or not to undertake a course.
But not all investing in ourselves has to be expensive anyway. Not all of the things we can do to improve ourselves need to cost any money at all.
Let’s have a look at some easy, and in most cases cost free ways that we can improve our personal development skills and more importantly, ourselves.
Read Books to increase your personal development skills
We live in a completely different world when it comes to reading. A lot of people believe that reading books is a dying medium for gaining knowledge. I disagree. I’m the author of a number of books so I would say that I guess.
What’s changed is just people’s approach to reading. People read articles on the internet now where in the past they would have only been able to get that knowledge from a book, magazine or newspaper. The fact is that they are still reading.
Amazon have completely revolutionised reading books. They have revolutionised how books are published and how they are written. It’s so quick, easy and affordable to get hold of books now that I don’t see why people aren’t devouring books on all manner of subjects every day. That’s what I do. I can read six or seven books a week using my Kindle. That’s just me but I relish the fact that all of this knowledge is available to me in such an easy format.
So, back to investing in ourselves through books.
Whatever topic you are looking for there will be a book or two for it. Get the book, read the book, learn the knowledge from it and put it into practice. Find another, repeat the process. You will be surprised just how much you can get from the right book.
Search for personal development tips on YouTube
Let’s look at something that is almost the opposite of what we just talked of in regards to books. Learning from YouTube.
YouTube is quickly becoming the most used search engine in the world. That’s what it is, a search engine. You can find a video on YouTube that will teach and inform you on pretty much any subject that you can think of. People build entire businesses off of uploading content to their channels for people like you and I to watch and get benefit from.
If you want to learn more about cocktail mixing, search for it on YouTube. Watch how the instructors there prepare and mix the drinks. Learn what they have to teach you. It’s FREE. What can be better than that? Your only investment is your time but what you’ll get out of learning something on YouTube instead of watching a show on Netflix is that you have personally gained something from it other than just being entertained for an hour.
Search for videos on customer service, interview techniques, body language, how to speed read or how to memorise things better. Whatever it is that will help you in your personal and professional development it will be there for you to look at whenever you want…and again…IT’S FREE!!
Listen to a Podcast
Just like with the YouTube example, Podcasts are FREE. There are thousands of podcasts out there for you to search out and add to your phone, tablet or other device. People are putting that content out for you to listen to at £0. Find one you like, keep listening to it. Subscribe. Download the back catalogue. Find one you don’t like, then don’t listen to it. Delete it. Don’t download it again. They’re free. What have you got to lose?
I listen to podcasts every single day. I have a number of subscribed to podcasts that just download to my phone without me having to search for them. There’s always something for me to listen to on my commutes or if I’m working around my house.
I listen to podcasts about bartending, management, entrepreneurial, cocktails, leadership…and probably about fifty other topics that I’m just not going to bother listing here. The fact of the matter is that the content is there for you to find…just search.
Read blogs that focus on the personal development skills that you wan’t to learn
Content is king in this day of age. Everybody is marketing through content. All of the examples so far are examples of content (Books, YouTube, Podcasts) and all of them are highly effective as learning tools to increase your personal development skills.
Bloggers have been putting content out there on the internet for years. There are thousands of blogs covering every single topic that you could imagine. Search out bartending blogs, cocktail blogs, management blogs…again, whatever kind of blog that you are looking for it will be there. After I released “Do You Need Help with Running Your Bar” I set up this website and blog (www.yourbarconsultant.com) as a way for people to read and share posts on subjects relating to the bar and hospitality industry. But this blog right here isn’t the only one out there on the internet. Find the ones that have the content you require and learn what they have to teach you.
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Join a Group that talks about your topics for personal development skills
By this I mean a Facebook Group. There are LOADS of Facebook Groups out there for you to search and find. There’s a lot unfortunately that just become blatant advertising and sales platforms…I tend to avoid these ones. What I like to find is a community of like minded people that I can learn from and get advice. Whatever subject you are looking to learn about there will be a Facebook Group for it. Some, you can read the posts and follow the conversations yourself without joining, others, you have to join to read the content. If you’re looking for one in the world of Bars & Hospitality then why not give “Bar, Pub, Nightclub…Let’s Discuss” a try…it’s a community of people in all areas of the Bar and Hospitality industry from staff through to owners.
Linkdin is also a great place to find groups. I won’t pretend to be an expert in Linkdin but it is definitely worth a look if you can’t find the exact group you are looking to join on Facebook.
Find a Coach or Mentor to help you with your personal development skills
When people hear these terms they may think that it is all a bit above their level and that they are not at a point in their life or career where having the need for a coach or a mentor would be needed. I say… these people are most likely wrong.
If having a coach or a mentor helps a person in their personal development then there is no reason why a person has to be at a certain job level or of a certain status. Investing in yourself is about personal development skills and wanting to do and know more to benefit us. So why wouldn’t we want someone to help us to do just that?
First off, let me just clarify the difference between a coach and a mentor. A coach will do just that…coach you towards an outcome by helping you to find the motivation and drive to reach a goal. The coach doesn’t have to have any background in your business or previous experience. It’s all about helping you to reach an end.
Mentors on the other hand help us by allowing the use of their experience and knowledge within a subject or career path in order for them to give advice and guidance to help a person’s progress.
Finding a coach or a mentor doesn’t have to be hard. It comes down a lot to just knowing what it is you are wanting to do or knowing where you want to go.
We offer a coaching and mentoring programme here at Your Bar Consultant. You can contact us here to discuss and book your session.
Remember, it’s all about getting the edge over the competition. We should all be looking for ways every day to learn more, to develop more and to become better. It is such a good time to be alive. Never before have we had this much information so readily available to us through so many mediums. I for one feel privileged to have access to such a wealth of knowledge and until I get told to stop I’m going to keep on mining books, the internet and people for new ways to develop and learn.
We always want to hear of other ways and resources for personal development skills. Share yours in the comment below and as always, share this article with your friends and the people who you think will benefit. It’s all about helping people and the more people we can reach the better.
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