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How to Supercharge Your Ability to Learn Any New Subject

Transform your learning with a new approach to how you read, what you read and why you read.



Transform your learning with a new approach to how you read, what you read and why you read.

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February 18, 2021 6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

For many, the exercise of organized learning ends when we graduate.

We are then thrown into our professional lives where we spend most of our waking hours working on projects in service of the business we’re helping to build. On those occasions that we do watch a movie or pick up a book, we do so based upon the recommendation of a friend or colleague, generally with the intent to either entertain or improve ourselves in some small way.

When we reflect back on what we’ve read, watched and listened to over the prior year it is usually a patchwork of disparate topics with no unifying theme or thread. It should come as no surprise that long-term learning is often little to none. In fact, think back on the books you read over the last year. Can you name them all? If so, you’re in the minority. Can you summarize them? That would make you rarer still. If you can actually remember discrete facts from them, you’re extraordinarily unusual (and very lucky).

Almost everyone would prefer to be able to remember what they read better and understand it more deeply. Fortunately, this is possible and it leverages a concept many might be already familiar with: immersion learning. Popular for learning languages, it is an educational approach to teaches by placing a student directly into the environment. Significant amounts of research support its efficacy. But its utility extends far beyond just the learning of languages. In fact, with some adjustments, you can create something that approximates an immersion learning opportunity for yourself on any subject you want to learn. It requires a willingness to go deep rather than wide and a commitment to a far more methodical approach than most are accustomed to. But it’s not hard and anyone can do it.

And who knows? Putting the effort into continuing education, far past your college years, might have the unintended benefit of fattening your wallet in ways you never saw coming. A new survey conducted by Invoice2Go, found that 60% of people have been inspired by their time in quarantine to contemplate completely new career trajectories.

Here’s how to re-learn learning…

Related: How This Online School Is Turning Small-Business Owners Into Public Relations Pros

1. Determine your target subjects

I focus on the breadth of topics with the only unifying theme being that I am deeply curious about them. Some of my syllabi over the last several years have included ancient Greece, cryptocurrency, modern Russian history, private equity and the rise of the major modern tech platforms. They can be closely tied to your business or not at all, they simply must be subjects about which you wish to learn deeply. Teaching yourself something that you’re not interested in is like trying to fill a leaky bucket, no matter how much information you pour in it’s never really going to stick.

2. Finding the best books

Do your research. Find the twelve or so books that you believe will most effectively build your knowledge on the subject you wish to learn. When you have settled on these books, look at how long each of them takes to listen to as an audiobook (Amazon helpfully lists this for you) and add up all the hours. Most audiobooks are about 10 hours to listen to (and generally you read faster than you listen), so your overall commitment will be about 120 hours.

Related: 41 Entrepreneurs Who Are Writing Books This Year, and When You Can Read Them

3. Plan your year

I commit to reading one book a week. That means I can do one subject every three months, or four subjects a year. Figure out what your cadence will be and build a schedule based on that. Once you understand the total number of hours your “course” will entail you will know exactly how much time you must allocate a day to reading or listening to the books. This discipline is key here — you need to carve out that time every day and account for it in your schedule.

4. Finding the best audio/visual guides

Even though there is no substitute for books it is worth rounding out your learning process by having your other senses play a part. Almost every subject has a myriad of other forms of art and entertainment that have covered it. If you’re doing a course on ancient Rome, go ahead and watch Spartacus and Gladiator. Even though these are fictionalized versions that can play fast and loose with history the point here is immersion and they can help you provide visual context to what you’re reading every day.

5. Take notes on everything you read

If you really want to retain the information from each book it is imperative that you highlight and take notes as you read them. Even if you never revisit those notes again (and for some, you likely will not), the mere exercise of note-taking will help synthesize the information you digested in your head and more deeply implant it into your memory bank.

Related: 5 Reasons To Invest In Self-Improvement And Skill Development For Entrepreneurial Success

Pulling it all together

Ultimately this is a commitment and requires real work. You are essentially designing your own continuing education program. Done well, the amount of learning that takes place can be as deep and impactful as any course from your schooling.

More importantly, it provides a means to scratch that itch to learn about the subject that has always intrigued you but you’ve never really understood or had the time to enroll in a formal class. None of my businesses deal in blockchain or cryptography but I used this methodology to become conversant in some of the basics so I am prepared if and when that technology does enter my professional realm. Similarly, I used it to improve my leadership skills, something that directly impacted my day-to-day management.

Learning does not need to be confined to your career and in fact, you do yourself a great disserve if you allow it to. Study a diverse range of subjects and embrace your inner polymath by using these simple steps and unlock deep learning for your entire life across any subject you so desire.


Almost everyone would prefer to be able to remember what they read better and understand it more deeply. Fortunately, this is possible and it leverages a concept many might be already familiar with: immersion learning. Popular for learning languages, it is an educational approach to teaches by placing a student directly into the environment. Significant amounts of research support its efficacy. But its utility extends far beyond just the learning of languages. In fact, with some adjustments, you can create something that approximates an immersion learning opportunity for yourself on any subject you want to learn. It requires a willingness to go deep rather than wide and a commitment to a far more methodical approach than most are accustomed to. But it’s not hard and anyone can do it.




Law approved for Google and Facebook to pay the press for their content in Australia

The country sets a precedent for others to follow suit, forcing tech giants to pay media companies for using their content on the Google News Showcase and Facebook News.



The country sets a precedent for others to follow suit, forcing tech giants to pay media companies for using their content on the Google News Showcase and Facebook News.

Free Book Preview: Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Get a glimpse of how Google’s marketing resources and strategies can help you grow your business’s digital reach.

February 26, 2021 4 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

This Thursday, the Australian parliament passed a law for Facebook and Google to pay media companies to use their content. With this, Australia becomes the first country where the government can set the amount that the tech giants will pay to the national press and sets a precedent for other nations to follow suit.

“The code will ensure that media companies receive fair compensation for the content they generate, which will help keep journalism in the public interest ,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a joint statement.

Negotiations to push for regulation escalated when Facebook decided to block all news content for Australian users. The ban also blocked many government and non-profit pages, including public health agencies that spread reliable information about COVID-19.

After intense discussions with Mark Zuckerberg , founder and CEO of Facebook , the Australian government agreed to amend the legislation, while the social network promised to unblock the news.

The News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code has passed through the Parliament.

We believe the Code will support a diverse and sustainable public interest news sector in Australia. #auspol

– Paul Fletcher (@PaulFletcherMP) February 24, 2021

Thus, Google will pay for the news that appears in its new Google News Showcase tool. Meanwhile, Facebook will pay the media that appear in its Fascebook News section, which it will launch this year in Australia. From now on, the two ‘big techs’ have two months to reach other agreements and avoid binding arbitration.

Both parties took this as a win-win, as the Australian Government offered certain concessions to ‘big tech’. The authorities promised to take into account the private commercial agreements that Google and Facebook conclude with news companies, before legally intervening.

There are already agreements between the press and technology giants

Google , owned by Alphabet Inc. , said last year that if the law were enacted, it would shut down its search engine in Australia. However, the company relaxed its stance and reached an agreement to pay Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, Australia’s News Corp, for its content.

For his part, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of public affairs , announced that the company will invest “at least” one billion dollars in news content over the next three years. This is in addition to the 600 million dollars invested in media since 2018.

“The Government is pleased to see the progress of Google and, more recently, of Facebook in reaching commercial agreements with Australian news outlets,” said Frydenberg . He added that the new law will be reviewed one year after it comes into force, to assess whether it requires adjustments.

The new law on payment for journalistic content emerged as a result of investigations by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). These showed an imbalance in advertising revenue between technology companies and the media in Australia, a fact that is not exclusive to that nation.

Several Australian outlets, including Seven West Media, Nine Entertainment and Australian Broadcasting Corp, have revealed that they are in talks with Facebook.

Countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, France and India are interested in applying similar measures.

The Morrison Government’s world-leading news media bargaining code has just passed the Parliament.

This is a significant milestone.

This legislation will help level the playing field & see Australian news media businesses paid for generating original content. @PaulFletcherMP

– Josh Frydenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) February 24, 2021



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Do you want to impact with stories? Choose good metaphors

For thousands of years, metaphors have helped make the most complex ideas available to everyone.



For thousands of years, metaphors have helped make the most complex ideas available to everyone.

Free Book Preview Winfluence

Get a glimpse of how to influence your audience’s buying habits using traditional and unconventional influencer marketing techniques.

February 24, 2021 9 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

  • Your business storytelling will improve if you master metaphors and use them to your advantage.
  • Sketches, analogies and allegories bring various benefits to your presentations.
  • Learn when it is most useful to use them and some tips to generate them.

Although there are different languages in the world, the phenomenon of metaphors is universal. Everywhere and everywhere, from the epic of Gilgamesh to the holy books or social media, humanity has conveyed complex ideas through simple meanings. Mastering this storytelling resource can help you make a difference in business.

What is a metaphor

First of all, we are talking about language tools. And, specifically, of rhetorical figures. Metaphors are ways of creating comparisons and similarities between things of a different nature. For example: we can assimilate the behavior of a person with that of an artifact when we say that someone “turns more than a fan.” Obviously, nobody is a fan, but when the person has been walking from one place to another for a long time, that mental image is worth a thousand words to us.

Metaphors help the recipients of our communication to be on the same mental plane and to understand the message more clearly. Metaphorically speaking, it could be said that they help “to put us all on the same page in the book.”

Business metaphors and storytelling

In an unconscious, though not innocent way, business language has been filled with metaphors, portraits, analogies and allegories in the last hundred years. This has happened because it is a way of making communication more efficient: by saving words, we also save time and resources.

How many times have you heard of the elevator pitch ? In itself, the concept is already an analogy. And it is understood much faster than the statement of its definition: “everything you can tell your boss about your project in the time that the elevator travels.”

You have also heard of ” data mining .” Another analogy. Everyone knows that data is obtained from observation and calculation, but never from mining in the strict sense. Again, a mental picture is worth a thousand words.

Types of metaphors

According to the American specialist Doug Rose , we can talk about three types of metaphorical figures common in the business world:

The semblance , which is defined as a “comparison between two objects or actions” posed with a phrase like: “more ( _____ ) that ( ______ ) ”or“ as ( ______ ) as ( ______ ) ”. Remember the previous example: “a person who turns more than a fan.” This is a quick think and speak tool. Help break the ice or reconnect with your audience. Sometimes you can use it as a joke (or even as a vicious criticism). The analogy , which is defined as “a prolonged comparison between two different objects or actions that are similar in more than one sense.” The goal of the analogy is to show two elements compared (one simple and the other complex) that have many things in common. And by explaining the simple, you discover the complex. An example: sometimes high-performance professional teams are compared to soccer teams in more ways than one. First: all its members play a role. Second: the goal of both teams is to win the competition. Third: all members must play in coordination. Fourth: there are always one or two “cracks” in each team … And we could continue indefinitely. But if you want to educate a high-performance professional team, it may be worth telling them about things that happen on a soccer team. Everyone will understand and better assume their role in the company.

The allegory , which is defined as “a fictitious story, a poem or a portrait that brings us a message or life lesson.” In this area I place the parables of Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament, or the fables of the Greek Aesop , or the reflections of Paulo Coelho, among many others. In this resource lyric and poetry are often used. Truly, there are very beautiful allegories. The famous book “Who has taken my cheese? ”Could be an example. When to use a metaphor

Whether in internal or external communication, interpersonal or collective, there are many occasions in professional life where metaphors can give you an advantage. I share two very valuable moments for me: the reframing of complex problems and the communication of feelings and emotions.

Reframing : Imagine that you are launching a new product on the market. You have discovered a need that no one else has seen and you see yourself able to satisfy it. But there is a problem: that need is not immediate and will not be visible for a couple of years, so there is no way to demonstrate it with data now. And that has its consequences: you are not getting your investors to support you because they do not see the need as you see it.

If you are faced with a complex problem that you cannot argue with data and that is also difficult to communicate, you can develop a refocusing. As Nadia Goodman explained on, the reframing (or refocusing) technique consists of creating a new perspective on a problem from which you can observe, analyze and explain it more comfortably. With reframing you can, for example, find an analogy with which everyone understands you.

Do you want an example? When Steve Jobs launched the first Apple iPod in 2001 , he could have explained his idea with slang and complex words. He could have said: “we have connected a lot of chips and cables so that people have a cool device” or “we think there will be so many people who will buy the product if we sell it to them for so many dollars a piece.”

But he avoided all that. Instead, he preferred a metaphor to fix the attention of his audience: “What if we get everyone to put the entire disco at home (CDs, records, cassettes … ) in their pocket?” Today the concept seems obvious to us, but 20 years ago it was something revolutionary: pure analogy.

Communicating feelings : more and more organizations want to be excellent in their processes. They strive to put people at the center of their operations, taking into account the expectations of all stakeholders . But to do this, they must begin by understanding well how all these people feel and thus resonate with those feelings. And that is difficult.

Personally, I think that one of the most complex things to talk about in life is feelings. If I say “anger”, “sadness” or “joy”, surely you know what I mean. You know it, yes, but you don’t feel it. Instead, I can increase the impact of what I want to tell you by using metaphors.

An example: I once had a boss who was always grumpy. I could describe it to you in two ways, one long and the other short:

  • Extensive: “My boss was a person who felt a lot of anger inside, but who took great care of his external forms. So your first impression with him was always favorable. But once you treated him daily, you saw that he was a bitter person. ” (42 words)
  • Short: “ My boss was like a volcano covered in snow. ”(9 words)
  • The second way is much shorter and is sure to create a more lasting image in your head. Therefore, it is more efficient: you accomplish much more with much less. Companies that want to be excellent could benefit by promoting a culture of metaphors that help them better convey and understand the emotions of their internal or external audiences.

Four tips to master your metaphors

If you want to enhance your business storytelling with metaphors, I recommend that you follow these four tips:

First : read and listen. A lot of. Read from others. Especially from novelists and authors who use those rhetorics that make you feel connected to their message. And listen to people who speak well and who make you feel better.

Second : observe the things that happen to you and the situations that surround you. If something reminds you of something different, think why. You could be facing an interesting metaphor.

Third : take notes of your readings, listens and observations. Many. Do not forget to carry a notebook with you at all times. There you will collect those ideas that resonated so well in your head. When in doubt whether to keep listening or score, score! Everything that you do not write down the moment it resonates with you will be a forgetfulness.

Fourth : practice. A lot of. As the months go by, your notebook will be full of metaphors. Analyze them, group them, meditate on them and, finally, apply them in your formal, informal, verbal and written communication. If they are successful, save them. If not, look for others. You will learn a new descriptive power. And your business storytelling will improve substantially.



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How To Get Your Restaurant More Customers and More Money

How restaurant owners can improve guest experience, be more efficient, and increase profitability through an order ahead reservations program.



December 1, 2020 6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The simple pleasures of life include enjoying a meal from a restaurant with friends and family. Maintaining high standards of service is a must, so let us consider how your systems and processes can be enhanced for a better customer experience and win their confidence during a time of social distancing, stricter safety protocols, and restaurants being placed under governmental restrictions for service in an effort to reduce the continuous rise of COVID-19 cases. With the guests’ experience as our main objective and priority, let us look into the ways we can improve it while maximizing productivity and profitability for your business.

Innovative reservations program

As entrepreneurs, let us be innovative on how we can best serve our customers and provide our teams with the solution, system, and process that will enable us to achieve our business’ goals. In a time of a global pandemic, it is a risk to have people gathered, especially in large numbers for any reason including to dine in an establishment.

Related: 7 Things Restaurant Entrepreneurs Must Do to Survive and Thrive

To address this concern, having a reservation system where customers can order and pay for their meals in advance will allow both parties (consumer and business entity) to save time and effort. Considering the possibilities, they will be able to order and pick-up their food and beverages for take-out with the option of doing the same for their dine-in experience as well.

As you introduce and implement this approach, it is best to create a fun marketing initiative that will promote how your new program will benefit your consumers and embody the goals of your program: 1) To ensure their well-being and safety by reducing their waiting time efficiently. This includes all activity spent during their idle time at the establishment such as being seated and expecting orders, which could expose them to groups of waiting patrons and making them prone to catching the virus and; 2) Highlight the convenience of this service to working professionals, where they can be provided with their favorite meals, without having to worry about being late for their shift.

Related: 5 Ways Restaurant Owners Can Prepare for Reopening

As a part of your online ordering system, provide a space for guests to enter optional notes while booking their reservations where they can modify their meals and specify food requests for special dine-in occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries, business meetings, etc.

Increase table turnover rates

A result of offering a service like this would be an increase in your table turnover rates. The front and back of the house’s work will become more predictable having an efficient workflow that can eliminate delayed orders, and inventory will be stocked based on what customers really want to avoid disappointments if their orders are out of stock. Before implementing this kind of system, however, create a detailed master plan that will allow you to launch this new service as seamlessly as possible.

Seating and cancellation policies

For the success of your reservations program, establishing clearly defined, written, and advertised seating and cancellation policies are essential. Provide guidelines that explain the system to your guests before they proceed with their reservation, orders, and payment. The staff must also be given proper training and preparation for the new system to guide customers and deliver a satisfactory service.

A couple of years ago when preparing to travel to Japan with my son, I was surprised to learn that an all-you-can-eat restaurant that we were interested in dining at advertised time limits for how long you could sit, eat, and drink at the tables. A part of the rules I read on their website also indicated that even though you have food or a beverage on the table after your allotted time, everything would still be discarded.

The same practice can also be adapted to contribute to the success of this program. Set a time limit on how long a reservation can be made available with the understanding that each table is reserved for a specific time period to accommodate other guests as well, similar to scheduled doctor’s appointments.

Stating these guidelines set expectations and remove the awkwardness of trying to get guests to leave at a designated time. This way, your staff will be able to prepare for the next reservation by sanitizing and disinfecting essential items and areas in your establishment.

Related: 5 Things You Need to Know Before Investing in a Chick-fil-A Franchise

For guests who need a longer dining experience, create a special program to address these requests by having a longer reservation period for special events or have an effective means of communicating that you will not be able to accommodate their requests.

Accountability by the restaurant and the guest

Efforts to guarantee the effectiveness of an innovative system include accountability on both ends. This means that your business must uphold its end of the bargain by serving guests promptly and accurately immediately after being seated and ensuring that you have what they ordered in stock. A seamless and timely experience can be made possible by preparing in advance all of the essential items such as condiments and utensils for their dining experience.

When seated, each guest should receive napkins, utensils, their beverage, water, the appropriate condiments, straws, etc. Having them prepackaged, even the real silverware, is good to reduce possible contamination. In-between courses, clear the tables promptly and provide the appropriate settings, etc. After their meal, printing a check will no longer be necessary as they already ordered, paid, and hopefully tipped in advance.

Prepare popular meal add-ons subjected upon request. Only allow add-ons to a meal if they are simple menu items that will not take extra time to prepare, extend dining time nor disrupt the flow of service unless it is being ordered for take-out. In scenarios like these, have an updated e-check that can double as a receipt you can readily issue, which they can verify through their mobile phones to provide payment. This reduces the amount of contact you will have with each other and gives you a backup of servers at your terminals as well.

Internal communication system

Trying to find a server after they have walked off can be challenging as well as time-consuming. Design an internal communication system using text messaging, for example, where guests and servers can communicate with each other, instead of waiting for their server to return or become visible again.

Another part of this system could include a time update, just like with parking meters, that lets them know that their time at the table is about to end. This keeps guests on their scheduled timetable, however, see to it that you are notifying them politely and professionally.

Test some of these suggestions and tweak them according to the specific needs of your guests and operation, measure your results, and get feedback from your guests, management, and staff. Give the program a good effort before deciding away with it if you experience challenges in the beginning.


Related: 5 Ways Restaurant Owners Can Prepare for Reopening



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