September is Self-Improvement Month.

It’s also National Honey Month, but that’s a bit off topic for this space, so we’ll stick to the self-improvement topic today.

Many of you are self-employed, so it stands to reason that if you improve the “self” you’re also improving your employer, which is your small business.

We’re so lucky to be living in the Internet Age because it gives us easy access to myriad information sources that contribute greatly to improving ourselves.

Here are some of my favorites.

edX

There are many sources of free courses on the Internet, but few can match the quality of what’s offered at edX. The world’s top colleges and universities have partnered with edX to provide courses on a wide range of topics.

Among the great business courses offered right now is one from MIT: Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer? There are great computer classes if you want to polish your tech skills.

You can audit courses or enroll to receive a certificate of achievement. However, don’t expect to get actual college credit.

TED talks

Inspiration and new ideas are central to achieving stand-out success and TED talks have been feeding those fires for several years now.

A good approach is to start with the playlists, where great talks have been curated by topics. You’ll find at least two “business” playlists. You’ll probably recognize some of the names: Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, and Nigel Marsh.

You won’t go wrong.

Reading lists

Do a search for  “best business books” and you’ll be overwhelmed by the results. Google gives you a very cool lineup of “books frequently mentioned on the web.” Further, you can mind meld Bill Gates, see what’s hot on Amazon, discover all kinds of “100 all-time best business books,” and more.

I know that books don’t really need a defender, but let me point this out: Any business book that has withstood the test of time is worth reading. TED talks and podcasts may come and go.

One more thing: Biographies are often the best reading for ideas and inspiration.

Podcasts

If you spend any time commuting or traveling for your business, filling some of the time with podcasts is an excellent idea. Again, search for “best business podcasts” and you’ll get some starting points.

Forbes, Business Insider, and LinkedIn have each offered curated lists of podcasts. I also have several podcasts on my site for you to check out.

These ideas should easily keep you busy all through Self-Improvement Month and beyond. I know how hard it is for small business owners to break away from their everyday responsibilities, but I urge you to find some avenues for personal and professional growth.

Looking to improve your marketing skills in September? Constant Contact has a full schedule of events you can check out. You can attend a marketing webinar and learn online, or find an event in your area and learn alongside other small business owners. Find an event. 

About the Author: Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert. Sign up for Susan’s Success Tips Newsletter and get your free copy of “Smart Marketing Strategies for Small Biz” ebook.