Imagine you’ve decided you want to learn Italian. Perhaps you finally got around to reading Eat Pray Love or did your college study abroad in Florence and plan to head there again this summer after your June wedding. Whatever if is, you’re committed to getting a handle on this language.
Where do you begin?
You could read some articles about how to learn a second language as an adult. You could download a language app, start watching an Italian soap opera or listening to a podcast in Italian. You could order a few how to learn Italian books or stream YouTube videos and yes, each of these help you to learn a bit more Italian than you do right now.
Yet are these the actions of someone truly committed to learning a second language?
How quickly will you edge toward fluency utilizing these support tools?
For most of us, we need more immersion to truly become fluent in a new language with any sort of speed.
In contrast, you could choose to go all in. Join a language class that meets a few nights a week. Find a native speaker for a weekly coffee date and conversation exchange. You might book a trip to Italy for a language immersion. In this scenario, you’ve tuned out distractions and other potential commitments and turned up the volume on this current goal – you invest time and resources to learn as much of this language as possible by taking serious action and making it a priority.
We are so comfortable going to experts and seeking support in so many areas when we know when we don’t know something and need to go to someone who has the information and expertise we need – from accountants at tax time to weekend macrame classes. However, when it comes to starting or growing a business, we somehow got the message that the best way forward is to cobble together as much learning as possible through free tools and resources, and by becoming an expert in all the things – from bookkeeping to event production. And, that we should do this in isolation, never admit weakness in any area, never show our cards to another professional in our space, never have a place for some serious real talk.
That’s like landing in the airport in Milan without a word of the language beyond Ciao versus staying with a host family who picks you up at the airport, takes you home, feeds you and shows you all the hidden spots.
In our recent PR Couture reader survey there was a direct relationship between the amount of career struggle and overall confidence with the level of activity/action in terms of professional development.
If you’re struggling to manage all the moving pieces of running a successful PR agency, boutique consultancy or freelance career and you’re not investing in your own professional development – whether that’s by gathering other agency owners together for a once a month casual brunch/bitch session – or joining a paid business accelerator or mastermind, you’re missing out.
The more you invest in yourself the more you increase your capacity for others to invest in you. The more quickly you get expert recommendations, learn from others and share your own wins and learnings, the faster you move from never-ending list of “should-dos” to the execution of “want to dos.” The more you get curious about what you are doing and who you are doing it for – the more clear and confident you and putting out the offers in the world your right clients will be thrilled to say yes to.
If you like what we do here at PR Couture, are tired of sweating it out solo and have a hunch there’s an easier way, you might find a new biz home as either a member of the PR Couture Council, our boutique agency owner mastermind or the Coterie, our industry mentor/membership for communication consultants and PR pros.