10 Things I Learned From 365 Days of Learning

by | Jun 2, 2021 | #365DaysofLearning, Blog

On May 12, 2020, I embarked on a rather life-changing journey. I had attended a webinar earlier that month and was introduced to the AMAZING Pamay Bassey, Chief Learning Officer at Kraft Heinz. Pamay shared about her recent year-long challenge called “365 Days of Learning,” where she learned something new and shared about it every day! But she did not stop there, she inspired a whole learning movement at Kraft Heinz through this challenge! Intrigued and hungry for something new in what was turning out to be a very upside-down year, I set out on my own #365DaysOfLearning journey.

LinkedIn, for me, felt like the perfect place to share my learnings. I have been on the platform since 2008 but posted only a handful of times. This challenge felt scary. I had ALL the imposter syndrome and knew it would take me way outside of my comfort zone. And let’s be honest. My main goal, besides learning, was to not embarrass myself.

So, I mustered up the courage and put up my first post, declaring to the world my intention for the next year.

365 Day 1 Post
And then the days started ticking by. It was taking me a bit of time to find something to learn about, read/watch/etc. to learn, and then type up a post. My strategy was wide open as to what I was going to learn about. I covered quite a few things early on!

But then as time went on, I started to find that I was not just learning haphazardly, but was being more intentional in what I sought out to learn about. One could say that I got closer to what I was passionate about!

So, here are 10 things that I learned from #365Days of Learning.

1. Learning became a home base.
In a year of uncertainty, learning felt like a home base for me. I knew that as long as I was continuing to grow, I would be ok. It helped me through a lot of personal struggles.

2. Forming habits can be fun!
Forget 21 days – try doing something for 365 days – it sure forms a habit! And since then, it has been hard to turn it off. I found that I am a true life-long learner, and while I might not share about it every day, I am a sponge and will continue to learn every day for the rest of my life.

3. Learning happens at all times of the day.
As a busy professional and toddler mom, sometimes learning became a 10 pm exercise, and that was ok! A little bit added up each day. Consistency was key. And now, it is fun to look back at a full year of content I created through learning early in the morning, late in the evening, and at all times in between.

4. A new appreciation for LinkedIn
Part of what I found fun about this challenge was discovering and learning from many LinkedIn gurus about the LinkedIn platform. I did not know much about LinkedIn other than how to update my resume-based experiences. In the beginning, I had no LinkedIn strategy, and over time, I found learnings and topics that I was passionate about, and developed a “content strategy.” I learned how to better structure posts, about hashtag strategy, about the importance of commenting on others’ posts, and staying abreast on changes to the algorithm.

One of my favorite ways to learn was to listen in, and sometimes ask questions in LinkedIn Clubhouse rooms. I gleaned so much from LinkedIn experts such as John Espirian, Andy Foote, Lea Turner, Liam Darmody, Ariel Lee, Rachel Simon, Niraj Kapur and many others! If you are on Clubhouse, check out the Linkedin(ternational) Club for some great discussions and learning opportunities!

5. I learned a lot more than I shared.
I learned A LOT about LinkedIn (an article for another time!). I learned a lot about personal brands, hashtags, and content creation. I learned about social selling and funnels and more marketing-related topics than I have in my entire life! I learned about self-discipline and transformation. I learned about defining your vision. And I learned about a transformational self-leadership program, that I am currently enrolled in and loving.

6. I found themes in what I really enjoyed learning about.
I found “pillars” of topics I like to learn and share on. When the option of turning on “Creator Mode” became available, I had a pretty good idea of what I could include as my top 5 hashtags – ones that I was regularly using and was passionate about!

Creator Mode
7. I connected, and reconnected with amazing people!
Posting each day resulted in some amazing new communities and individuals that I enjoyed learning from! I reached out to connect with professionals in tech, marketing, entrepreneurs, C-level executives, writers, and many more that I might never have ventured to reach out to before.

I had great interactions with connections I hadn’t talked to in years, simply by being active on the platform and posting engaging content. It was great catching up with previous friends, clients and colleagues!

8. There were two (digital) tools that were key to my success.
Tool #1: Evernote (affiliate link). I had one running #365DaysOfLearning note that I used to draft my posts. It synced to my iPhone app, desktop and web application, so I could access it anywhere if it was a start and stop situation. I would then copy and paste each completed day into a LinkedIn post, numbered 1-365 and the day’s date. Now, I have a complete diary of all my posts in this Evernote note, so I can easily search it and find what I am looking for.

Tool #2: I also love Canva. While LinkedIn doesn’t always favor posts with images, I thought it was fun to bring a little variety and creativity to my challenge. Canva easily helped me (a CPA by day) draft some fun images!

9. I am a creator.
I have never felt that I have been a “big idea” person, instead, one that is really good at hearing ideas and then having a million further ideas on how to implement and identify roadblocks. BUT, over the course of the year, I realized that I am a CREATOR. I am an idea person. I just need to give myself a little more credit!

When the new “Creator Mode” came to LinkedIn this spring, I was actually granted access in the first couple of days it was live, and I eagerly adopted it! Seeing myself as a creator was a big step, and an identity I was proud of.

10. It was never about MY learning.
What I found most humbling and fascinating from this whole process was not all that I learned. It was what others were learning as well! I received multiple messages, comments, and calls from friends, cousins, former colleagues, current colleagues, parent’s friends and so on. Most said that they were enjoying this series and that THEY were learning new things!! They cheered me on, and it was so fun connecting.

If you followed along at all, I hope you learned something new, and it inspired you to make learning a part of your every day. It certainly has been a life-changing journey for me.

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