I was out of the office at a business event last week.

And it was massively helpful.

Every month or so, I like to take time out of the day-to-day to learn new strategies that’ll help me grow my business and rub shoulders with other business owners.

It gives me new impetus to get things done.

It makes me realise that other people are in the same shoes as me.

And it helps me make my business better and stronger.

And the process of taking time away from the day job to improve is one that Stephen Covey covers off in his famous book 7 Habits Of Highly Successful People.

Covey maintains that successful people always take time away from the day-to-day in order to improve; a process that he calls ‘sharpening the saw’.

In the book, he explains that if a woodcutter only ever cut wood, and never stopped to sharpen his saw, then his cutting would get less and less effective.

And the same is true in life and business.

If you’re never doing anything to improve your tools and your ability, then your output won’t improve.

In fact, it’ll probably get worse.

And I think it’s true when it comes to engineering and design.

If you aren’t taking time out to learn new things and refresh your outlook, then it’s difficult for you to design things that don’t just “work” and not obsolesce, but make a massive and tangible difference to the end user.

What do you do to sharpen your saw?

In my experience, events like the Southern Manufacturing and Electronics Show next week can help, as you get to meet exhibitors who show you new things, as well as attending the seminars.

Are you going this year? If you are and you’d like to grab a coffee, just let me know and we’ll make it happen.