Want to earn more? It's time to learn more.


I recently heard someone say, “You can’t outperform your knowledge.” It took me a minute to fully absorb the insight. You may be putting in your 100%, but your 100% only goes as far as your current knowledge goes. You can’t be any more successful than your current knowledge allows you to be. So in order to achieve greater success, you must consistently increase your knowledge.

In business, this means you must learn more in order to earn more. In this age of technology and networking, our opportunities for growth and education are abundant. Start with a list of skills needed for your career path, and then be willing to think outside the box to find ways to master these skills.

Interview Successful People in Your Field

Gleaning wisdom from the experience of those who have walked the path several miles ahead of us is always an effective learning method. Schedule coffee or lunch with such a person who is willing to share their experiences with you and then prepare your questions. Jo Miller, of Be Leaderly, suggests thinking of questions in four different categories: Stories, Situations, Self-Awareness, and Skill-Building.

1.    Stories – Ask questions that will spur them to tell their success story, such as:

  • “What do you think has been the biggest contributing factor to your success?”
  • “If you could tell your 5-years-ago-self anything, what would it be?”
  • “How did you learn to deal with setbacks and failures?”

2.    Situations – Ask for advice on specific situations, such as:

  • “My supervisor is difficult to work under. How do you think I should handle this?”
  • “Here is where I am on my career journey. What do you think should be my next step?”
  • “I am considering switching careers. Do you have any tips to keep in mind?”

3.    Self-Awareness – Sometimes it’s hard to see your own strengths and weaknesses. Ask them for insights, such as:

  • “What areas do I need to improve in?”
  • “What do you think is my biggest weakness?”
  • “What do you think is my greatest strength?”

4.    Skill-Building – Ask for specific “how to” guidance for skills you want and may need to master, such as:

  • “How do I keep my business details organized?”
  • “How can I become more confident on the phone?”
  • “How do I build my subscription list?”

Build Communication and Leadership Skills by Volunteering

Taking on a volunteer position gets you out of your comfort zone and into unending opportunities for learning and growth. It can feel awkward at first, but your adaptability and perseverance will build confidence. As you communicate with other volunteers and with those they assist, you will develop a stronger sense of compassion, an ability to communicate with those who differ from you, and a broader perspective on the world. Learning new skills and strengthening the skills you already have keeps your mind active and alert.

I have volunteered at my local library in the past, and currently, volunteer at my local chapter of the International Coach Federation here in San Antonio.

If you’re ready to get your foot into the volunteer world, there are several resources for finding the perfect fit for you. Check if your city has a volunteer center. They should have a booklet or other resource listing volunteer opportunities in your area. You can also check out Volunteer Match or Idea List for some leads.

Complete Courses

If you’re in the San Antonia or Austin area and pursuing a digital marketing career, check out the Digital Creative Institute. They offer a 12-month program and connect fresh talent with local businesses.

Check your local university for certificate programs in your field. Many of them offer various courses. Or if you want a truly unique educational experience without the debt sentence, check out Lumerit Education.

Many professional organizations and societies, such as the American Chemical Societyand the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, offer field-specific courses and other educational opportunities. Attend trade conventions in your area. Network with peers in your field. They may know of educational opportunities to enhance your skills.

There are an endless number of online courses for an endless number of skills.


Resources offering courses in various fields

There are far more ways to learn to earn, so feel free to add your favorite resources below. The opportunities are limitless if you decide to think outside the box.

What are you going to learn next?

Are You In Need of a Confidence Boost?

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Have you ever sat back, observed the most significant achiever in your field, and wished you could be like them? For a split second, you even entertain the idea that it is possible, but then you remember all the reasons it could never be you. You are not smart enough, skilled enough, rich enough, famous enough…and, on the list goes. In this train of thought, fear of failure prevents you from moving forward. However, did you know that, most often, failure is more related to a lack of confidence than to a lack of ability?

So how do we do it? How do we believe in ourselves enough to put our best foot forward and start down that path to success? Here are six tried and true ways to build your self-confidence.

1.    Change your self-talk. Instead of telling yourself all the reasons you cannot do it, tell yourself why you can. Say, “I was already successful at __________, so I know I can succeed at ___________.”

Often the number of steps to success can seem more like hurdles than strides. In times like these, stay realistic but determined with your goals. Say, “Regardless of _(not having the needed experience for the promotion I want)_; I will _(take on volunteer leadership roles)_ until _(I have a year of leadership experience)_.” In this way, you are realistic about limitations but optimistic about finding ways to overcome these confines.

2.    Wear confidence. You have probably heard the saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” While that method is not exactly the most authentic form of connection, a slight variation of it may serve you well. Before you walk into that interview or pitch your idea to the management team, strike a confident pose. Stand like you are confident. Walk like you are confident. Smile into a mirror like you are confident. Try it on. See what it looks and feels like.

According to a study done by Amy Cuddy and Dana Carney of Berkeley*, spending just two minutes of power-posing lowers cortisol levels (stress) and raises testosterone (confidence). “Our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves. Our bodies change our minds,” says Cuddy.

3.    Clarify your value. Right now, right here, cut out the word “just.” I am just a cashier. I am just a single mom. I am just an unknown dreamer. The “just” word is just downright degrading. It is a comparative word that says, “I know I should be at the top of the ladder, but I am six feet under it.” It is not what you do, but how you do it, that sets your brand.

Sit down and list out the value that you bring. What makes you unique? What do you have to offer that others do not? What are your strengths? What skill sets do you possess? Recognize that you have value to add to this world and then leverage it to your success.

4.    Prepare and practice. Seems like a no-brainer, but don’t forget to have your ducks in a row before you take on a new or intimidating feat. Be adequately prepared and practice what you will say or do. An athlete never crosses the finish line in first place without putting in hours of training and practice. Business success is no different.

5.    Keep self-care a priority. You will feel the most confidence in yourself when you invest in your wellbeing. Stay active, hydrated, and well rested. Put these things at the top of your list, as if your success depends on it because it does.

6.    Have a contingency plan. Failure may not be an option, but let’s face it, sometimes it is a possibility. Refusing to recognize the likelihood of failure can be just as crippling as continually focusing on failure.

Having a plan B in place provides you with the confidence that, even if your attempt does not give you the desired result, you have no reason to fear. You will already have a detour plan to direct you around the roadblock.  You have turned your failure perspective into an opportunity you are excited about.

If you have tried all these methods and the weight of overwhelm seems so heavy that you cannot shake them off, perhaps it is time to find a mentor or coach who specializes in guiding individuals to success. If you think you might need this, schedule a free 30-minute consultation today.