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7 Skills You Should Learn Before You Turn 50

7 Skills You Should Learn Before You Turn 50

Your ability to acquire skills will determine your value in the market and the level of impact you can have in the world.

While learning any skill can be useful, some skills are more valuable than others. When it comes to deciding which skill to learn, you should focus on skills that are transferrable. For example, you could learn how to knit, but there’s not too many ways you can transfer that skill into more areas of your life. However, if you were to learn how to speak Spanish, this skill can help you improve your communication skills, career opportunities, and the ability to speak with people you never could have before.

Here are 7 skills you should learn before you turn 50.

1. Negotiating

Negotiating is one of the most important skills you can learn, and a skill you can apply in every aspect of your life. Whether you want to grow your business, make more money, or have more control over your life, learning to negotiate effectively can help you get there.

Developing your negotiation skills can also help you develop empathy, listening, and sales skills. The question is, how do you start developing negotiation skills?

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Where to learn: The best way to start negotiating is to start small. While reading books can help you, you don’t want to get stuck in “learning mode.” Instead, embrace the “learn as you go” mode. You could literally practice negotiating anywhere, from your local flea market to a street vendor, where negotiating is more acceptable.

2. Playing an Instrument

Learning to play an instrument can not only impress your friends (or your date), but it can help improve your cognitive skills. Playing an instrument has been shown to increase your concentration skills, which is an increasingly important skill in the distracting world we live in.

If you’re new to the music industry, you can check out this article to know which instrument you should play.

Where to learn: You can find a local teacher that can meet up with you in-person on craigslist or Kijiji, and have them come to you. Or if you’re a busy person, you can check out this list of websites to learn different instruments online.

3. Public Speaking

Public speaking, according to Warren Buffett, is one of the most important skills you can learn to advance your career.

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Being able to communicate effectively can positively impact nearly everything you do in your life, from your career, relationships, business — the list goes on. Not everyone is born a great communicator, and it’s a skill that can be learned and developed by anyone who’s committed.

Where to learn: Join a local Toastmasters organization in your city and you can start to practice your speaking skills and receive constructive and immediate feedback from a supportive community.

4. Personal Finance

This one is quite underestimated by most people, especially recent college graduates. No, it’s not a sexy topic to learn, but none of the dreams and goals you have will come true if you don’t master this skill.

Being able to manage your own finances is the first step to achieving freedom. Instead of ignoring the issue, we have to confront our fears or ignorance and take control of our budget.

Where to learn: This is one topic where being educated is a great place to start. You can read books on personal finance, check out personal finance bloggers, and even go see your personal accountant.

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5. Speed Reading

Bill Gates has shared that if he had one superpower, it would be the ability to read faster.

Time is the most important and limited commodity that we have. Learning how to read faster can save you dozens of hours per year, even hundreds if you’re an avid reader.

Where to Learn: You can take a free speed reading course online, or you can use technology such as Spritz to increase your speed.

6. Networking

If you want more success, then you must surround yourself with people that have achieved what you want to achieve. This could be a mentor, coach, or advisor that can guide you to where you want to go and even see blind spots that you may miss.

In order to become a better networker, especially with high-profiled individuals, then you need to learn how to bring value first. The rule of thumb is the bigger the person you’re targeting, the more value you need to deliver upfront before asking for anything.

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Where to learn: The best way to learn how to network is to watch how other successful people network. In order to do this, you need to attend industry conferences, networking events, and get in front of these people in-person.

7. A New Language

As the world becomes more globalized, we’re quickly entering a multilingual era. Twenty years ago, you could get away with knowing just one language. But today, with businesses going global, traveling becoming more affordable, and countries becoming more multicultural, it’s not enough to know just English.

Learning a new language can help improve your career, grow your business (especially if you’re targeting non-English speakers), and even build your confidence. If you’ve lived your entire life speaking only one language, then learning a popular language like French, Mandarin, or Spanish can open you up to a world of over 500 million or even a billion people.

If you’re not sure which language to learn, here’s an article on the easiest language to learn and the most useful languages to learn.

Where to learn: You can take advantage of websites like Rype, which is built for busy professionals, offering unlimited one-on-one Spanish lessons online, anytime of the day, any day of the week. Or, if you want to dip your feet into the pool, start off with free mobile apps like Duolingo to get started.

Which of these skills have you yet to learn? How will you learn these skills? We’d love to hear from you below.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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