Learning doesn’t stop after high school or college — or at least it shouldn’t. Investing in yourself is so important that I want to dedicate a blog post to the topic. It’s important for both personal growth and the growth of your side business.

For a lot of people, learning stops when formal education stops. But I believe to truly succeed as an entrepreneur or sidepreneur, you have to almost be in a perpetual state of learning.

If you study any of the very successful entrepreneurs, they are rabid readers. Meaning, they are always soaking in new knowledge. But why? They are already on top of their game. Because I don’t think you ever stop learning. Learning is growing and growth is something entrepreneurs are always trying to achieve.

At least that’s how I feel. I never feel like my side business is all set…or that I am all set personally. I think for the non-entrepreneur, that’s sounds neurotic. And I think there’s a tad of that in most entrepreneurs…but the bottom line is I just want to improve myself and my side business a little bit every day. And I view that as a good thing.

What’s the point?

The point in investing in yourself is that you should never stop growing as a person and as a sidepreneur. No matter how successful you are, the process of learning new things and learning new perspectives & experiences from other entrepreneurs should excite you.

I’m also convinced that your brain needs to be nourished. Like a bodybuilder nourishes their muscles with protein, you should nourish your brain with knowledge and positive messages. You might not notice any affects during your normal day-to-day, but the compound effect over the months and years is incredible.

Books and Podcasts

I think the 2 easiest and most cost-effective ways you can invest in yourself is by reading books and listening to podcasts. It’s amazing how much information is out there in books for you to soak in for the cost of a cheap bottle of wine. And most podcasts are free!

Me personally, I try to read every day even if it’s just for 5 minutes. I want to build a habit of reading where it becomes automatic. I’m pretty much there. And then for podcasts, it’s easy because I listen during my commute. If you hate reading, get audio books. The bottom line is you can turn your commute into a classroom. Instead of listening to the radio, improve yourself with educational and inspirational audio books and/or podcasts.

If this sounds like work and something you’d dread, then your mindset is off. Or you don’t want it bad enough. Yes, relaxing and tuning out is important, but I honestly find reading books and listening to podcasts to be relaxing…and almost fun.

For the books I’m reading, you can check out my What I Learned category. And here are the podcasts I’m currently listening to:

Mixergy – this is my go-to podcast. Andrew Warner is excellent at extracting lessons, successes and failures out of entrepreneurs.

Side Hustle Show – how can I not listen to Nick Loper’s podcast? It’s for sidepreneurs! And here’s a shameless plug…I was interviewed on episode 34.

Ask Gary Vee – being he runs a very large digital agency, I tune into his podcast mainly for marketing and business advice.

Self Made Man – this is a podcast by entrepreneur Mike Dillard and I like the weekly content because it’s actionable, high level and made for men.

The Top – Nathan Latka runs Heyo, a popular Facebook marketing tool. His podcast is quick at about 20 minutes per episode and I love how he focuses on numbers, data and metrics.

Eventual Millionaire – I like the concept of Jaime Tardy’s podcast because she only interviews millionaires. As a result, the content is usually rich with actionable advice.

Summary

Never think you know it all. Never think your journey of learning is over. As you grow your side business, it’s crucial you continue to nurture your brain with lessons and positivity from other entrepreneurs. My preferred method of doing so is through podcasts and books. They are both cost-effective and usable, especially if you have a long commute.