When Learning Is Pointless

Blog 6 of my mini series…

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At the end of February (feels like a life time ago now) I traveled to Belfast to attend the Only Just media Summit.  This was just as Corona Virus was starting to become a ‘thing’, before Social Distancing had become a ‘thing’ and the week that Northern Ireland had just had their first case.

The event was a full day of speakers, all experts in their fields, talking to a room full of bloggers, Vloggers, content creators and brands.  My plan immediately after the event was to write some blogs on the speakers and my key takeouts.  Life then got in the way, CoronaVirus exploded and took up all my time at work and this idea got left in the notes section of my phone.  Until now.

Today is the blog five of ten where I want to outline my key take outs for the day.

Why?  To be honest it’s probably multipurpose (like that kind of cleaning product you but to clean the kitchen and bathroom if like me you are not a ‘Mrs. Hincher’.  Partly I think it will help me solidify the key points I took away from the day, because although I’ve not written about them here until now I have started to take action.  But also because I think you as the reader could also benefit from these takeouts.  You might not be interested in branding or social media or content creation but some of the ideas I took away could just be useful for your approach to your job or you life in general.

So introductions over today’s blog will focus on the talk given by Creative Director for Ryan Serhant, Adrian Vasquez.

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Adrian talked about brand and his experiences around this, something which I’ve mentioned lots over the last few mini blogs in this series.

Your brand is your reputation. If you can do things differently but also consistently you can help your brand thrive.  Lot’s of ideas were cemented for me.  Yell out your wins, enthusiasm/ passion for your product converts to sales, try things and see how they work out, trust what you are doing even if others don’t understand.  These things allow you to build your reputation (your brand).  These are useful lessons.

My biggest take out from his talk however –

Learning only matters if you put it into action. 

I went to this summit and left planning to write these blogs.  It took me a month to get started.  I left with that take out ringing in my ear and ignored it.

Now to be fair – that’s mainly because as well as Covid-19 creating an immense amount of work for me soon after, I was starting to put into action actual products I wanted to create as a PT.

But the blog posts on this summit I wanted to produce were as part of my Virtual PA role.  they were content that would be useful to that part of my brand.  As much as the products I started to create were useful to my business (and I was acting) they were covering a different aspect of my brand (the fitness element) and I was leaving content for my VA branding hanging.

Coming back to the idea that learning is great but action is what matters has given me the kick up the bum needed to start taking that action.

This meant two things.

Firstly, planning my time better.  I have several roles – fitness roles and Virtual Assistant roles and then roles which merge the two together and overlap.  I know I can’t always focus on both equally – I’ll always need to be more focused on one to move something along but need better planning to know the others to continue ticking over whilst I do that.  This week quite simply I wrote a list of things I need to do for all roles.  Some things will take focus but nothing will be ignored.  I took some action.

Secondly, for me it meant just jumping in and doing things, not waiting for the ideal circumstances and times, being willing to change my overall plans to react to circumstances better and to take advantage of opportunities rather than sticking to plans already in place at the risk of missing opportunities.

In the last few weeks I’ve done a lot of this.  Everything I’m doing is still within my ethos, my brand, but what I thought I’d be working on at the start of Lockdown is not what I’m actually doing now.  I’ll come back to those projects – but there are things that make more sense to do now – both in terms of short term and long term value to me and my business.  From all the education and mentorship I’ve had in recent years I know this, even though I’m someone who doesn’t really like deviating from plans once set – If I don’t act on this knowledge, having attended all those seminars, days of learning etc will have been wasted.

The message that learning means little if you do nothing with the knowledge is universal to all of life.  Putting ideas in practice, being a doer.  Whether it’s your fitness, your job, your business, your relationships you want to apply it to – learning new skills is something we should all try to do but we must look to apply the learning to benefit from it.  That might mean I have to do things right now that feel like a deviation from what I’d planned, and I might be uncomfortable with that but I’m applying what I’ve learnt to my situation right now.

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