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PODCAST

We Never Stop Learning – Life Is Non Stop Self Improvement #STARTCREATINGPODCAST (ep015)

The older I get the more I realise that life is a non stop opportunity to learn more about the world. In fact the older you get the more knowledge is forced into your head even if you wasn’t looking to learn something new. Now I am not suggesting that you just lock yourself a way in a cave with only pot noodles and an xbox for company to avoid learning more… embrace then knowledge.

I have learnt more about the world, myself, business and the inner workings of other peoples lives than I ever learnt from school or the education system. And what helped me learn so much… simply living. I can now appreciate how much my mum must’ve done for me when I was a little kid now that I have a step daughter of my own. All those late nights, middle of the night wake up calls. All those times she had to bite her tongue or fight the urge to slap me in the head for asking the same stupid question or doing the same thing i’ve been told not to do 1Million times. You learn by proxy that life wasn’t truly the way you thought it was when you was young, in your teens or even then getting your first job.

Now education doesn’t have to come from living the patterns of life but can also come from expanding your bubble of knowledge. The more I learn, the move services I am able to offer my clients. When I first started my YouTube channel I was hoping to educate people via videos to grow their channel. I soon learned that I could also teach people 1 on 1 with reports and video calls. I learnt how to edit my videos better for clients which led to more clients wanting to work with me. Maybe you can see the cycle… even time a client asks me to learn something new, or I have to learn something to make something work… it becomes an asset and a skill I can add to my tool kit.

Even this podcast was a lesson that I felt I was forced to learn – not in a bad way. I need to expand my brand and make it easier for people to find me. If its easier for you to listen to me on a podcast rather than a Youtube video, then I would be silly to shut you out and ignore your need. So, I learnt how to make podcasts and 15 weeks in… I am now making podcast for my clients…. a lesson that was very quickly and toolkit asset worth my time and money.

Learning doesn’t have to have an ROI of money – But if you do embrace the learning that life throws at you, you’ll never be bored.

Why You Should Continue Learning

Beyond keeping things fresh to sustain your professional creativity and passion, learning keeps you relevant in our ever-changing world. And, it’s arguably the best job security tool you could have, not to mention that achieving higher levels and honing new skills is a great argument for seeking promotions and raises at work.

“Organizations can’t keep transforming if their employees aren’t learning and their skills aren’t aligned with shifting business demands,” explains Toby, stressing the importance of creating an environment in which learning is encouraged and failure is safe as long as employees learn from it.

“All managers should make learning a core goal for their employees. It’s directly related to their team’s and their company’s success,” he says. “Employees should get the time and support to achieve learning–and be recognized for it.”

His best advice for professional development? Take personal responsibility for your learning.

So, now that you know why you should continue to learn, here are Toby’s top tips for doing so on the job.

Decide What You Want to Learn

First, consider how and in what way you want to develop yourself.

Start with broad industry knowledge, which can help you pinpoint areas that most spark your curiosity. Read broadly and often. Your reading list should go beyond regular news. Follow both general business news, like the Harvard Business Review, as well as blogs related to your field. You can also join virtual communities related to your field to read and participate in discussions with your peers.

Try to work in at least half an hour of reading and professional networking each day. As specific topics in your field inspire and interest you, explore them further. Once you identify where you want to specialize, try to attend relevant conferences and even take specific courses to further your knowledge.

Take Full Advantage of Your Company’s Resources

Companies with the most effective continuous learning programs make their resources accessible, personalized, and engaging for employees. Take IBM’s Your Learning platform as an example. Powered with Watson’s artificial intelligence analytics, Your Learning integrates formal, informal and social learning formats and curates content for each individual learner. This Netflix-style development platform offers employees a set of channels to choose from. Employees can see how others have rated the various offerings and there’s also a live-chat adviser, who is available to help them at any time.

And, employees earn digital badges based on the level of expertise and experience in specific skills they have completed, which is a great way to empower employees, keep them engaged, and perpetuate the culture of learning.

“When you’re allowed to influence your training in this way, following your own interests and even adding material you find on your own, the learning experience is irresistible. You can gain control, create your own learning pathways and develop your skills in a faster and more efficient way,” Toby explains. Customization is something the IBM Learning platform offers by getting to know you as a learner and providing personalized learning recommendations based on not only your job role, but your learning patterns and personal interests.

To get started, do some research and ask around. If you’re new to an organization, there may be a learning portal you aren’t familiar with yet. And even if you’ve been somewhere for years, policies may have changed and there could be budget available for online courses or conferences.

Once you’ve dug around a bit, check in with your manager and HR about the resources that are available and how you can best fit this into your regular work schedule. It’s not uncommon for organizations to allow employees to make time for professional development during the workweek. 

Ask for More Learning Opportunities at Work

But, if you’re left wanting more when it comes to professional development resources at work, don’t let that deter you, Toby advises. When asked how employees can push for more learning options, he suggests starting by demonstrating how it will help your company.

“Have a vision of what your organization wants to look like, and show how employee learning fits into that,” he explains. Companies must recognize that the environment is constantly changing, he says, and that their responsibility to clients to stay up-to-date and relevant with the latest knowledge and tools can be best met by empowering their own employees to keep learning.

If your company doesn’t offer an accessible internal learning platform or have the resources to create one, Toby suggests employees lead the charge by requesting access to readily available external training and learning services.

“Be curious,” he says. “Go on forums, watch TEDx, be active in LinkedIn communities. And within your day to day, remember that learning happens everywhere. Reach out to your peers and communities both within and outside of your organization,” Toby says. “Continue to stay curious and find the way to always be learning.”

And make your own suggestions. If there is a professor from a local university that is an expert in a topic you want to learn more about, see if your company will organize a lunch and learn session with him. Be vocal about what you’re interested in, and suggest ways to make it happen.


So, take a proactive approach when it comes to your education. And remember, learning can happen in many different ways. Don’t discount what you can get out of a podcast on a favorite subject, or email digest focused on your industry. The important thing is you’re soaking up the knowledge, and using it to better yourself and your career.

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PODCAST

THE FUTURE OF YOUTUBE & WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE 5 MINUTES FOR YOURSELF #STARTCREATINGPODCAST EP014

Sometimes I find myself just sat in silence enjoying the calm. I don’t mean meditate, I just mean that 5 minutes of calm before the storm has to start again. Have you ever just sat there for 5 minutes and enjoyed the silence – no tv, no podcast, no audiobook, no toddlers, no partners, nothing to do for just 5 minutes of brain relaxing space with the madness of every day life. I am a firm believer that from time to time you need to just STOP and enjoy the bubble of nothing.

Also in this weeks podcast I share my thoughts and feelings on where YouTube have been for the last 1-2 years and where I predict it will go in the coming weeks, months and years in the future.

Our lives are non-stop. Whether that’s when we’re working or even when we’re travelling. Combine that with the time spent on the internet or social media, and we barely have enough time to take a few minutes to relax and breathe. Living life at 100 miles per hour can not only be exhausting; it can be damaging to our health. Life is happening right now, as we speak. Have you taken the time to stop and appreciate just being alive and living in the moment today?

Here are five reasons why you should take a few minutes today to slow down and enjoy life.

1. Say Goodbye to Stress

Relaxing and slowing down will help decrease your heightened stress levels. Trying to cram everything on our impossible to-do lists in one measly day adds to our stress levels significantly. With stress comes higher blood pressure, higher heart rates, exhaustion and a whole slew of other physical and mental ailments. Make time for you! Taking the time to eat slower, move slower or sit still, if only for a few minutes, can give your mind and body a much-needed rest.

2. Say Hello to Enjoyment

Are you rushing through the day but aren’t feeling happy? When you live in and are aware of the present moment, you feel happier and connected. Slowing down can improve your focus whether it be the task at hand or just appreciating and enjoying life. When you slow down, your relationships become better as well as your general outlook on life. All in all, settling for a few minutes will improve your overall happiness.

take your time

3. Say Goodbye to Close-mindedness

Creating time for things you enjoy such as travel, can open your mind and let you explore the world. So don’t forget why you got your working holiday visa, always make time to visit the country you’re in, don’t let it all be about work. Never allowing time to slow down stifles your cognitive abilities. This world was made to be explored, and with that, you can see and learn amazing things. This too, creates a feeling of wonder and happiness as you appreciate other cultures, new sights and sounds, and new faces. Try a massage or something new to eat. Take the time to relax and discover the world around you.

4. Say Hello to Creativity

Rushing around all day or all week weakens your creativity. By the end of the day, you are too tired to do anything but lay there in a vegetative state. Do you like to read, write, blog, draw or anything else? These are hobbies that you enjoy doing, which you won’t have time for. Take a few minutes to do what you love to do. This not only creates feelings of enjoyment but it lowers your heart rate, washes away anxiety, and lets you be happy in the moment.

slow down

5. Say Goodbye to Poor Quality

Taking a moment to slow your pace increases the quality of anything you are doing. Working faster does not necessarily mean better. Slowing down allows your focus to centre which improves the quality of your work, of your enjoyment, and in your relationships. Allow yourself some time to accomplish what you need to instead of racing through life. You will see better quality which increases self-happiness.

We do have things to get done, places to go and people to see, but slowing down for a bit improves the quality of life. Traveling, doing something you enjoy, appreciating the great outdoors and more boosts your happiness and gets rid of the constant nag of stress and rushing through life. Not only will taking it easy for five minutes improve your mood, but it will also improve your health. Your mind and body need a break too from running at breakneck speed.

Take a break, and enjoy the moment, you deserve it.

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PODCAST

TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE – #STARTCREATINGPODCAST 008

The older I get the more I realise how much of a rush I was in my 20’s. You have more time at hand than you think. When I was so eager to “seek the great perhaps” that I packed up my life on a whim and moved 300ish miles to live in Huddersfield. Although this is now something that I dearly love, it was something that 26 year old me didnt think through properly. In my mid 20’s I had just started my first business and I thought I was going to be a wild success. I hadn’t factored in the hard work and grind needed to sustain a business let alone grow one.

Roll forward 10 years and I this year I turn 35 years old. That first business failed and I had to go back to a “normal job” for 2-3 years, had to pay off a large amount of business debt from the first business and FINALLY learnt my lesson that there is no need to rush. I am 2 years into my YouTube Consulting business with a much more stable base, putting in MUCH more hard work to expand network reach and brand awareness. Now what made the difference here?

Time! At 25 you have much more time than you realise. You may want to grow a business and be a massive success in 2 years but you need to remember that life is a marathon and you should play that in your favour. If you dedicate 1-2 years to learning your craft, talking to people within your desired niche or industry, learn from their experience and you wont regret it. I started and failed a business, repaid the debt, started a second business and im still only 35! “Only 35” – I know that sounds old to you teenagers, i used to think the same, but in this modern day world we have 70+ years at least to live and 35 is barely half time. If i work full tilt for 5 years I will still only be 40, and 40 is not the end of life either.

Give yourself time, remove that pressure and build something with patience and hard work – rather than fear, speed and get rich quick schemes.

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PODCAST SOCIAL MEDIA

MAKE CONTENT THAT YOU LOVE – #STARTCREATINGPODCAST EP 004

Long term growth on any social media platform is hard and will take a long time to seed a foundation. This tends to be the reason many creators burn out and give up on their goals. If you are creating content just to hit a demographic or to chase trends then it can get soulless, it can get hard and it can become a chore rather than a passion. HOWEVER, you can avoid this pitfall from day one if you make your channel, your social media content or your foundation about something that you love.

Have you ever been around a Star Wars fan that loves it soooooo much that they just wont shut up about it? Imagine how much content they can make talking about their favourite franchise without feeling it’s a chore. Use that passion as the fuel that fires your brand and pushes you to make content for weeks, months, and even years into the future.

You can find the main #podcast page here – https://anchor.fm/startcreatingpodcast

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PODCAST

GROW ON MULTIPLE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS – #STARTCREATINGPODCAST EP 002

GROW ON MULTIPLE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS – #STARTCREATINGPODCAST EP 002 // Social media is the beast that runs our life these days. If you have a business, if you want suggestions of a good restaurant, keep up to date with friends, share your good or bad news… then you are likely to do it on a social media platform to maximize the impact is has. Maybe you are like me and you’ve got to that age where all of your friends are getting married, having babies or sharing 8million holiday photos – so you’ll now understand the reach of social networks and social media.

How does this affect you, your brand to expand your business on grow on YouTube? – GOOD QUESTION!
Social media platforms all have their own USP (unique selling point) or feature. Maybe you are great at building a community in a facebook group, promoting yourself on your Facebook page, sharing a stunning image on Instagram, entertaining people with stories or educating people on YouTube. They all have something you need to be using to grow your social media reach.
As of right now (May 2019) I have 6000 subscribers on YouTube and a very engaged active audience that likes to comment, reply and share my videos. If I can amplify their excitement and drive onto Twitter, Instagram and Facebook I can use that to get their friends, family, employees and bosses to see my content and subscribe themselves…. or better still, reach out and work with me as a client.
Ok great… I’ve amplified that passion and I grow to 50,000 subscribers or even 100,000 but only ever make content and interact on YouTube? What happens if that social media platform dies or that account gets blocked or hacked? How will you reach that audience now?
Weird analogy moment – If you ONLY play in one playing field and the next morning its ripped up and houses are built on it…. you’ll have lost it all in the blink of an eye. But if you play in EVERY football pitch, sand box, and bouncy castle…. you’ll always have new friends to play with.
You can find the main page here – https://anchor.fm/startcreatingpodcast
But also available on….
Apple iTunes Podcasts – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/start-creating-podcast/id1464387178?uo=4
Google Podcasts – https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9iNmQ4YjEwL3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz
Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/4p8OqNDnYh4KdXVlvErfYj
Breaker – https://www.breaker.audio/start-creating-podcast
PocketCasts – https://pca.st/3ccY
RadioRepublic – https://radiopublic.com/start-creating-podcast-WR91Xw
Stitcher – https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anchor-podcasts/start-creating-podcast
❓ ASK ME A QUESTION – https://m.me/AlanSpicerYouTube?ref=w6094971

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PODCAST

From Teenage Wrestling Fan to Full Time YouTube – Start Creating Podcast (ep 001)

Everyone has a creation story, every business starts from day one and today in Episode 1 of the start creating podcast I share with you how being a HUGE pro wrestling fan led me to being a Full Time YouTuber 12+ years later. This is the first of hopefully many many more Start Creating Podcast episodes to come.

TWEET ME YOUR QUESTIONS USING #STARTCREATINGPODCAST – GET YOUR QUESTION ANSWERED ON THE PODCAST!!

Looking to work with me? Sponsorship or Consulting – Alan@AlanSpicer.com