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Invest in Yourself!

Eagle is a Canadian Information Technology staffing company. The professionals that we place on contracts are typically independent contractors, who are one person incorporated companies. One of the challenges that business owners always face is in personal development and a one person business exacerbates that problem. If "the business" is taking time out for training, then it is not making money ... oh, and it is paying for training.

When I started Eagle I had a similar dilemma, how do I continue to learn about running a business and still do my day job. Here are a couple of ideas:

Read! It seems obvious ... but so few people do it! I love the Executive Book Summaries because they are an 8 page (20 minute read) synopsis of some of the greatest business books. A very affordable annual fee lets me download pdf files that I print and read when I have a few minutes between meetings or when I'm traveling! I also subscribe to McKinsey Quarterly which again produces short very informative and relevant documents that keep me thinking, give me ideas and help me to stay relevant.

Network! I started a small group of fellow CEOs that gathered on a monthly basis to share stories and collectively grow. There are many existing groups that provide the same experience. One I belonged to in Ontario is the Innovator's Alliance. I hear that the YPO, TEC and other groups all value to CEOs. If you are an independent contractor why not start your own?

The Internet! There are online course in just about everything. It takes discipline, but that's the price of being great at what you do. Get the search engines working for you!

My advice ... invest a little in yourself and you differentiate from almost everyone else!