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A Lifestyle of Learning

I’ve lived a life of learning and I can’t imagine it any other way.  I got married early and had my children when I was very young.  When they were in elementary school, I enrolled in a nearby university to pursue an education.  The kids would ride the big yellow school bus, and I would ride the city bus to school.  We would all arrive home about the same time and do our homework together, outside under a big oak tree when the weather was nice, or inside in cold weather or when it was raining. When their dad arrived home, we had dinner together and I took off for work at a nearby country club as a waitress.  I got home after midnight, slept a few hours and got up to repeat the process.  The children were always in the care of a parent, which was important to me.  Weekends were free.

It sounds like a lot of pressure, and it probably was, but I look back on those days with the fondest of memories.  The mental challenge was an adrenaline rush that I welcomed.

Many years later, I heard of a movement called “Homeschooling.”  I liked what I heard and I liked the character traits in the kids who were educated in a less formal setting.   My husband and I discussed it with the kids and they thought it would be fun, so we gave it a shot.  We felt like pioneers, because this was 25 years ago, and homeschooling did not have the acceptance or the track record that it does today.

We knew we were really in uncharted waters.

Every day became a new learning experience.  Even opening the mail became an opportunity for teaching and training my children.  Think about it…the electric bill (lots of math), an insurance policy that begged an explanation, marketing and advertising…the list could go on.  Homeschooling took on my unique personality, and we managed to produce two kids ready for college in our own unconventional way.  Both my kids went to college and earned higher degrees.  My son is now working on his second graduate degree.  Both children are bi-lingual (Spanish and Swedish) and they have traveled the world on their own. Because we didn’t waste a lot of time lining up and waiting for bells to ring, etc., it left lots of time for the children to pursue personal interests, like music.  Today, they are both talented and skilled musicians, often in demand for studio work.   This lifestyle, although considered by some to be Bohemian, was a smashing success in my eyes.  We didn’t need “teachers” because we had all become learners.

When my days of full time mothering were over, I found that some of the same skills required to manage a home and oversee the education of children, carried over rather nicely to business.  I learned new skills with the advent of the computer age, and my lifestyle of learning just continued on…my husband says our house is just a highly decorated warehouse for my books, and my brain is just a big hard drive in serious danger of being “over written.”  I’ve experienced failure and success in business, but learned something from each.

I launched Business Training Team, along with a partner, Sue White, in January, 2010.  Sue and I both have a passion for growth and learning and this business allows us to help other small business owners in their own learning process.  I invite you to take a look at it; you might find something that could help you.

But wherever you find yourself, never, ever give up a lifestyle of learning.  It will keep you young, AND make you successful.

Hats off to my favorite group of learners – my friends, family and fellow marketers!