What does your morning commute look like? Really think about it. Before Covid. Before you turned into somebody who wears pajamas and fluffy house slippers for your three-second commute to the couch — er, I mean your “home office.” Many people spend anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes traveling to work each morning. Double that if you live pretty much anywhere in California.
So, what are you doing during that time?
If you’re really being honest with yourself, your morning commute is filled with one of the following:
But what if — magically, somehow — you could trade in your morning commute for an MBA-level education (and beyond!) — with little additional effort? Would you do it? If you’ve taken the time to track down this blog post, I’m hoping you’re the type of person who would.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like singing in the car at the top of my lungs just as much as anyone else, but here’s how I manage to consistently re-invent my skills and stand out compared to the competition.
If you don’t already listen to audiobooks, get on it. Audiobooks are a great way to consume insightful information on the go — and, if you’re really ambitious, you can listen in 1.5-or 2x speed to increase the number of books you consume in a year. Listening at 2x speed was weird at first, but now that my mind has adjusted, I could never go back.
More on Listening “Intentionally”
Inspirational books are great. But at some point, you’re maxed out on inspiration, and need to select books that help fill in your educational gaps. Books on finance, analysis, coding, investing, selling (choose wisely), and marketing (choose even more wisely) are my topics of choice. I find that listening to books on these topics sparks questions that ultimately connect with my work in one way or another.
Podcasts are a great way to expose yourself to a wide range of topics within a specific niche. Because many podcasters put out new content bi-weekly, they skip over high-level concepts and get down and dirty with the “good stuff” in order to continue to give their listeners value. Just as with my advice above on Audible, inspirational podcasts are great, but you need to focus on the skills you can extract — because skills create confidence.
One of my favorite podcasts is by Nathan Latka, who primarily interviews SaaS founders. His work will expose you to concepts such as LTV (Life-time Value), CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), and a whole host of metrics that are simply left out of most business classes. Not only that, since they are so short and sweet, you’ll get to take a peek into the world of upcoming businesses — and perhaps get inspired to start one of your own.
I’m the type of person who perpetually buys courses with high hopes of taking them one day. It wasn’t until I began listening to them on my 30-minute commute (at 2x speed) that I really started making any headway. You’d think that you wouldn’t get as much out of a course that is primarily meant to be consumed visually, but I find that I can absorb most of the material via audio. Then, if I find something good, I mark it and go back later to watch it.
Pro tip: Udemy has gotten into the habit of deeply discounting all of their courses to the point that I don’t think anyone buys courses at full price. I’m not sure I would go so hard on that strategy, but if you wait a week or so, the course that costs $199.00 will probably be discounted to $12.53 :).
If you drive into work every day, you have the opportunity to make your car your very own stage, where you are the highly paid orator. Although it might be weird, I like to talk about concepts out loud as if I am talking to somebody else. Getting out of your head gives you the ability to both reinforce newly learned topics, and practice bringing those concepts out into the real world.
There is a reason you see lion cubs always play-fighting each other — they are practicing to one day take down their prey. Use this time of “play” to improve your outward-facing skills so that you can confidently recall and articulate your ideas in the real world.