Taking Time to Learn

It’s hard when your business slows down and you wonder where your next customer is coming from. Mine was going at a good clip the first part of this year when July came and suddenly I heard crickets. This was probably due to the rush to get in a vacation before any Covid variant-related lockdowns vs. anything to do with my business. Luckily I found a productive way to use the unexpected free time. I took four classes and four certification exams in four weeks! I am usually much more relaxed about courses I take online. But this was the schedule we were put on when I signed up with a cohort of like-minded students sponsored by the nearby town of Stamford, CT!

I’m on the right in this picture taken at the restaurant where we went to celebrate.

Four Certificates Achieved!

We met virtually and were shown a short presentation about the course and what to expect. Then one night a week we could go online to ask questions. It helped to have a tight schedule of one course and exam per week since otherwise I’m sure I would have put it off. The exams were quite difficult even though we could refer to our notes and review the course if we wanted to. I was happy (and somewhat surprised) to pass all four on my first try!

This may not be the ideal way for some to learn but it worked well for me. I had the down time to fit it in and so took the opportunity to add to my expertise. It should be a help when serving my clients’ needs because I can see how my graphic and web designs can sync with their overall digital marketing strategies.

Have you ever found yourself with some unexpected time off? Did you chooseto learn something? Was it online or in an actual classroom? Was it useful in your business? I’d love to read your comments!

Three Reasons to Learn Something New (Part 3)

In my last two posts I explained the first two reasons to learn something new:

1. It Opens Up New Opportunities
2. Helping Others Helps Us

So now on to reason number three:

3. We Can Make New Friends

When learning web design on my own, besides creating a website for myself to practice, I saw a chance to design one for a non-profit I was interested in. I offered and they gladly allowed me to do a whole new design and keep it updated for them, both really valuable experiences. While I was working with the group I made friends with one of the other volunteers there. She and I had the group in common but it grew from there when we realized other things we both enjoyed things like foreign films and travel. She became my main movie-going buddy and she also took a trip to San Francisco with me to see a friend I had out there when my husband wanted to stay home. The website was a success while the non-profit lasted and our friendship has outlived both!

Wildlife Rescue Groups' website

Design and development of a local wildlife rescue organizations’ website.

Have you thought of other good reasons to learn something new? If so, please talk about it in the comments. Whether it leads to new opportunities, ways to be more helpful or lasting friendships as it has in my case, or none of the above, you still have learned something new!