My guest on this week’s PPMP Podcast episode is perfect proof of why business owners should never stop learning. It was a pleasure speaking with Shae Rodgers – Certified Practising Speech Pathologist and Founding Director of Small Talk Speech Therapy in New South Wales.
Sure, we’ve all heard it before. “Never stop learning because life never stops teaching.” “You learn something new every day.” Even Michelangelo famously said “I am still learning” at the ripe age of 87.
But it is just so beautifully true. We really do never stop learning. And for business owners, understanding the importance of that is where the motivation lies.
Learning is what drives us through life. What drives us to want to get better at everything we do. As a leader, wanting to be better at leading is not only going to benefit yourself, but perhaps even more so your business and your team.
As I always say, your business is only as good as you are. And what better way to grow and get your business where you want it to be than to learn as much as you can every single day?
In the episode you’ll hear Shae discuss her many side passion projects, her visions for the next five years in terms of her business and the NDIS, as well as managing while she was on maternity leave and how podcasts have become a huge part of her life. (Get your pens out because she’s got some fantastic recommendations).
Let’s see how our convversation topics link into this theme of why business owners should never stop learning.
Learning to Focus on Your Side Passion Projects
As soon as you visit the Small Talk Speech Therapy site it’s hard not to be drawn to the “SHOP” tab.
Shae explains that she’s always had these kinds of side passion projects…this shop on her site being one of them. You’ll hear her describe the ongoing challenges as a business owner in relation to all the many facets you can put your attention to in your business.
What side passion projects do you have going on right now? Have they fallen more onto the back burner and not received the attention they deserve?
It’s worth focusing more time on those side passion pieces because they are such a lovely contrast to other work you’re doing.
Shae also loves the creative process of it all. She admits that as business owners, creativity can often take a back seat. (I’m sure a few of you can relate to that).
From an unpublished book to an app in development and writing kids picture books, it’s fair to say Shae’s got her hands full when it comes to side passions.
Shae’s story really reminds us to refocus our attention on those side passions we may have forgotten about…even if it’s just for a moment.
If you’ve got some unfinished passion projects lying around, what can you do to get them going? Or perhaps you’ve changed and evolved over the years. What other kinds of side passions can serve you and your business now?
Learning About the Power of Planning
After listening to our conversation you’ll pretty easily realise how much planning means to Shae. In fact, forward planning has become somewhat of a superpower for her.
In the episode Shae gives us an insight into what a typical week looks like for her, opening up about where her time goes.
Planning has always been lighting up her DNA, and it’s so motivating to hear how passionate she is about learning. “I am a lifelong learner,” she shares, adding, “I constantly crave learning.”
Business mentoring through her local business association was something that made a huge impact on her leadership skills. While now she relies less on this support, it is something she goes back to when challenges arise.
In the episode you’ll hear more of her insights on business management team leadership, including the importance of learning from your team and connecting with other business owners.
What we can learn from Shae is the sheer value of having a planner.
If you can anticipate that certain changes are coming, what can you be doing to forward plan?
Learning the Importance of a Values-Based Business
One of the first things many business owners do when starting up is listing their business values. The things that sit at the very core of the business and that drive its very existence.
Shae opens up about her experience early on in her business, including how it was all quite arbitrary. I’m sure many of you can again relate when it comes to that business planning process. Shuffling through mission statements. Brainstorming values. Finally writing it all down and not really giving it a second glance.
Is your knowledge of your core business values a little rusty? If you’re not fully clear, perhaps it’s time to take a seat and block out some time to get reacquainted.
As you’ll hear from Shae’s journey, the past couple of years have seen her business values come more to the forefront of her business. She describes it as now “something more real” and how she can “see how they connect through the practice.”
Does your team truly know your business values? How can they incorporate them more into their roles? Think about breaking it all down and highlighting things that fit in with your values.
If your values are solely displayed on your website or used as your tagline, their core meanings can start to become shallow. The fun begins when you start asking yourself:
How does (insert value here) show up in a typical day?
How can we display (insert value here) across a week?
This is a big part of why business owners should never stop learning, as they can even learn more about their own business as a whole. Dive deeper, and you’ll get a much clearer vision for not only you, but also your team.
Learning Why You’re Doing It All
Why are you doing this? Why did you get into this in the first place? What motivates you?
These are just some of the questions Shae urges other business owners to ask when things start to get tough. “We’ve all been there,” she says.
As you’ll hear in the episode, Shae shares her best tips for when we’re all just feeling a little relentless, including the importance of remembering what gets you motivated…especially in those hard times.
Once you’re clear on that, it can help to float you through and perhaps even connect with others who are in the same boat, which can help push you through those hard times as well.