If you’re a small business owner, then you’re used to wearing a dozen hats at the same time. You can be head of HR, marketing, customer service and payroll all at the same time.

Trust me, I know.

As a part of that, it is essential to maximise the time you have to get everything done to a high standard.

What that means, is you need to be upskilling yourself consistently so you can continue to perform at a high level.

In this article, we’ll look at three ways which you can upskill yourself efficiently and quickly so you can spend more time on your business.

Sidestep reading business books

I love a good book more than most. There is nothing quite like curling up to a good book. However, reading business books can be an incredibly inefficient way to learn.

You’ll spend hours upon hours reading, sometimes only to pick up a few key lessons.

Instead, there are plenty of other ways you can learn from business books quickly.

I like to use book summaries, apps like Blinkist, or audiobooks to get the critical lessons from books in a fraction of the time.

Book summaries and apps like Blinkist can condense the key takeaways from a book so you can read them in under fifteen minutes, which is a huge time saver.

From there, if there’s a book you like, you can then read the whole thing.

At the very least, it’ll save you those times where you spend $35 on a book and read the first quarter before putting it down and never touching it again.

Audiobooks, on the other hand, are something which I use to fill in that dead time when I’m driving or at the gym.

After a while, you can even speed up the playback of the audio so that you can get through books faster than before.

For example, I now listen to audiobooks at double speed, which sounds crazy-fast at the start, but when you consider how quickly we read in our heads, it isn’t too bad.

Regardless, I recommend keeping a reading journal of some sort, so you can write down the key takeaways for the books you read and start applying them to your business.

Finding the right online courses

As a business owner, you’ve probably seen Facebook ads targetted at you about a brand new online course. I know I have.

Now, don’t get me wrong; most of these courses are utter trash and not worth your money. However, the good ones will be one of the highest ROI investments you can make.

You need to make sure you find the right online course for you. For starters, most cheap courses on places like Udemy aren’t worth your time anymore. Since Udemy became popular, it has kinda shafted their content makers and capped course prices. This shift has resulted in most Udemy courses now being cheap intros into high-ticket classes or just a collection of things you can easily find for free on YouTube.

If you’re looking to start using online courses, I’d suggest using a program like Skillshare, which, for a monthly membership, has a growing bank of courses from industry leaders.

Starting with a platform like Skillshare is a great way to dip your feet in with online courses and see if they’re a way that you enjoy learning. From there, you may want to invest more with some high-ticket courses, depending on the skills you want to pick up.

Take action

Have you ever wanted to expand something in your business and made sure you’ve done all the homework first?

I know there have been times which I have read dozens of blog posts and listened to every podcast episode I can find on a topic before jumping in.

What usually happens is I waste weeks or even months by delaying my start.

When you look too much into a topic, you almost entered some kind of paralysis by analysis. There is too much information to process and take action on.

For example, if you wanted to start writing content for your business, you could spend an infinite amount of time learning from a range of different sources. Each blog, book, or podcast you deep-dive into will have a variety of opinions, and a lot will contradict one another.

The thing is, you can spend all the hours in the world doing your homework, but you’re still going to make rookie errors when you start something new.

So, rather than spending months reading, spend less time doing that and more time taking action in your business.

There is nothing that teaches you quicker than having to take action and fix the inevitable beginner mistakes you’ll make

Final thoughts

It can be daunting to upskill yourself as a small business owner, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

Learn the basics with book summaries, audiobooks and online courses then start to take action. There is no teacher like experience.