The Value of Continuing Education by J.R. Atkins
If you consider yourself even somewhat successful in life, then you probably have an appreciation for continuing education. It does not matter if your education was attained in an artisan fashion through an apprenticeship program or if you hold a PhD from a prestigious university. Once we reach a level of skill and knowledge and begin to apply it, we find there is more to know. Some professions require CE units to continue one’s eligibility to practice their craft. For the rest of us, we are left to find our own way.
As I reflect on the past few years of growth and continuing education, I find that I receive this education in the follow ways:
- Conversations – With people with different perspectives, different backgrounds and life experiences, and often smarter than me. The DFW World Affairs Council is a good place for this.
- Books – Both fiction and non-fiction, especially about growing companies, new technology, and suspense thrillers. Two recent reads are Duct Tape Selling and Tribal Leadership.
- Workshops – Anything from a 30 minute Webinar to a full day with an expert, often about new products or businesses, such as my client, Financial Halo and their Prescriptions at Cost Program.
- Conferences – South by Southwest interactive (SXSWi) is one of my favorites, but I also attend world affairs related conferences such as “Walking with Palestinian Christians” in Tipp City Ohio.
- Structured Course Work – Self-study or guided by an expert such as the Academy for Spiritual Formation a 2 year course that meets each quarter for a week at a retreat center.
- Industry Knowledge – skills, regulations, new developments
- Self-Improvement – Being vs. Doing
- Skill Development – WordPress, Public Speaking, Patience, Writing
- Spiritual Development – Prayer, Giving, Mission work
- Financial Development – Reducing expenses and increasing wealth
- Management – New trends, Leading Projects, Online Management Tools
- Leadership – Beyond setting an example and motivating to help people attain their potential
As for frequency, I usually attend at least on big conference each year where I travel away from my local area and spend 2-5 days in a hotel thinking, learning, writing, planning and growing.
What about you? What kind of continuing education do you attend and how often? What would you say is the best source of development for you? I’d appreciate you sharing your experience and ideas on the blog so others can see, but any communication method that is good for you is good for me.
P.S. Note that I have two locations now:
North Texas Location: 8745 Gary Burns Dr # 160-210, Frisco, TX 75034
Central Texas Location: 1105 Bridge St, Gatesville, TX 76528
And my wife and I have started a ministry for spiritual growth called Something Different Ministries.
Events worth considering
- 06/29/14 – DFW Rocks Social Media, Addison, TX
- 07/01/14 – Small Biz Marketing, Temple College, Temple, TX
- 07/04/14 – Belton 4th of July Parade & Rodeo, Belton TX
- 07/15/14 – Using Facebook & Video to Grow your Biz, Temple, TX
- 07/21/14 – Academy for Spiritual Formation – San Antonio, TX
- 07/24/14 – Pharmacy on a Bicycle – Dallas, TX
- 07/30/14 – CBA Ribbon Cutting, Belton, TX
- 08/06/14 – Film Screening – Wadjda – Plano, TX
- 08/07/14 – Walking with Palestinian Christians, Tipp City, OH
- 08/12/14 – The Culture Map … International Business – Dallas, TX
- 08/19/14 – Big 5+1 of Social Media – Harker Heights, TX (approximate date)
- 08/28/14 – Film Screening: Dancing in Jaffa – Belton, TX
- 09/18/14 – Growing Your Biz with Facebook, Framers Branch, TX
- 09/24/14 – Leadership Institute – Leawood, KA
- 11/08/14 – Caribbean Sailing Trip, Tortola, BVI (room for 4 more)