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15 Affordable Resources for Learning New Business Skills

15 Affordable Resources for Learning New Business Skills

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

What’s your favorite resource for learning new business skills cheaply?

1. Coursera

Andrew Schrage
    Coursera offers a wide variety of business-related Web courses for free. You can take and complete courses as you wish and communicate with other students.

    Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

     

     

    2. Accelio

    Liam Martin
      Accelio has a number of step-by-step guides written by industry experts (versus some professor). The lessons cover anything and everything — not just business. The unique thing about Accelio is that courses are task-specific, and you only learn what you need to learn.

      Liam Martin, Staff.com

       

       

      3. Experts

      Aaron Schwartz

        Although reading a book or taking an online course is great for learning, as a CEO, my time for self development is limited. To improve different skills, I ask close friends who work for tutorials. Spending two hours taking a friend to dinner and chatting with an expert allows me to focus my questions on the issues that are relevant to my business.

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        Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

         

        4. People Who Are Smarter Than You

        Andy Karuza

          They say wise men learn from other men’s mistakes and fools learn from their own mistakes. Put yourself around people who are smarter than you, and learn from them. In fact, you can learn something from everybody, even people who you would least expect. Also, take the time to read every night from industry experts and thought leaders; it’s free knowledge without the lunch!

          Andy Karuza, brandbuddee

           

          5. AppSumo

          Danny Boice
            AppSumo offers great deals on learning resources and tools. It’s like LivingSocial, except that it solely caters to founders and geeks.

            Danny Boice, Speek

             

             

            6. Lynda.com

            Joe Apfelbaum

              As a busy professional, it’s hard to find time to learn new business skills. I find that every time I learn something new, our business improves. I read a lot of books, but when I don’t have time to read books, I listen to audio interviews and courses. I like Lynda.com for software skills and Mixergy for business skills.

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              Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union

               

              7. Audiobooks

              Mark Krassner

                I spent a lot of time following prominent bloggers and reading as much business news as possible. I was becoming the jack-of-all-trades and master of none. Therefore, I decided to read more books that took a deep delve into topics that were important for my business. I struggled with finding time to read and started listening to audiobooks while working out. The results have been powerful.

                Mark Krassner, Knee Walker Central 

                 

                8. Udemy

                Lauren Perkins
                  Udemy is an online education platform that’s ideal for busy entrepreneurs wanting to learn new skills on the go without being fully immersed in a classroom. Topics can range from business foundations to SEO training. The depth and intensity of the courses vary, so it’s perfect if you want to learn the basics of a new skill.

                  Lauren Perkins, Perks Consulting

                   

                  9. Online Communities

                  Phil Laboon

                    I am constantly gaining new insights from reading industry blogs. I’m a big fan of Moz and use them a lot as a resources for insights key to our industry. There are so many low-quality sites trying to pump out false data about our industry, and Moz always seems to do a good job blocking that stuff from their site. I enjoy learning from the different points of view in discussions and forums.

                    Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing

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                    10. Quora

                    Ronnie Castro

                      For getting up the learning curve quickly, nothing beats talking to an expert directly. Quora is a nice alternative where you can find candid thoughts from leaders concerning specific business decisions.

                      Ronnie Castro, Porch

                       

                       

                      11. Mixergy

                      Mike Cuesta
                        Mixergy is where I go to get brutally honest advice and lessons from real entrepreneurs. Andrew Warner who runs Mixergy is an overwhelmingly energetic and transparent interviewer. There are hundreds of interviews from real entrepreneurs who have overcome all sorts of obstacles. Even more impressive is the breadth and depth of companies interviewed — from bootstrappers to VC-backed tech giants.

                        Mike Cuesta, CareCloud

                         

                        12. Peers

                        Natalie McNeil

                          Chances are that you know someone who is strong in one area of business that you would like to learn who could learn something new from you, too. I’ve acquired many new business skills simply by swapping information and training with other successful entrepreneurs. It’s a win-win situation.

                          Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World

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                          13. Skillshare

                          Derek Flanzraich
                            Skillshare continues to be the best way to learn something specific at an affordable price from the best teachers.

                            Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

                             

                             

                            14. YFS Magazine

                            Anthony Saladino
                              YFS Magazine provides free, actionable business advice from some of the brightest entrepreneurs worldwide. Regardless of your niche, you will find useful information throughout the website that is sure to help you learn techniques to improve your business.

                              Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

                               

                               

                              15. Mozinars

                              Fabian Kaempfer

                                My favorite resource for learning new business skills are webinars from Moz. They’re free webinars with experts in marketing and SEO. The content of each “Mozinar” is very specific, valuable and actionable, rather than general and vague. You can leave a webinar with lots of great insights and tactical approaches you can apply to your own company or situation.

                                Fabian Kaempfer, Chocomize

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                                1 The Lifehack Show Episode 8: On Personal Success 2 15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done 3 50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success 4 How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques 5 15 Inspiring Journal Ideas to Set You up for Success

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                                Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                                15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                                15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                                You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

                                Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

                                A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

                                Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

                                So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

                                1. Purge Your Office

                                De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

                                Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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                                Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

                                2. Gather and Redistribute

                                Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

                                3. Establish Work “Zones”

                                Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

                                Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

                                4. Close Proximity

                                Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

                                5. Get a Good Labeler

                                Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

                                6. Revise Your Filing System

                                As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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                                What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

                                Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

                                • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
                                • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
                                • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
                                • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
                                • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
                                • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
                                • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

                                Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

                                7. Clear off Your Desk

                                Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

                                If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

                                8. Organize your Desktop

                                Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

                                Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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                                Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

                                9. Organize Your Drawers

                                Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

                                Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

                                10. Separate Inboxes

                                If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

                                11. Clear Your Piles

                                Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

                                Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

                                12. Sort Mails

                                Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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                                13. Assign Discard Dates

                                You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

                                Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

                                14. Filter Your Emails

                                Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

                                When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

                                Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

                                15. Straighten Your Desk

                                At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

                                Bottom Line

                                Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

                                Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

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                                Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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