John Schneider from Debt Free Guys has plans to continue learning about business and money—by any means necessary.

I remember watching my father get ready for work each morning. He’d shave, put on one of his many suits and ties, and leave our house with briefcase in hand. Even at my young age, his work seemed so stuffy—and I didn’t look forward to that being my future.

Luckily, it wasn’t.

Today’s business superstars wear blue hoodies, black mock turtlenecks or, at most, a blazer and unbuttoned collar. Politicians are the last bastion of stiff business attire.

As with dress, the information today’s business leaders have is available even to us members of the bourgeoisie, thanks to the Internet. It’s easy to get distracted by our Facebook feeds and TMZ, but the same tools that keep us connected to celebrities also give us access to information and education. Apps such as Luminosity and sites such as Coursera are available to anyone and can make us better thinkers, entrepreneurs, and problem solvers.

Since my husband and I turned Debt Free Guys from a hobby into a business, I’ve become aware of the opportunities of today’s technology. I know so many people who have started their businesses through websites, podcasts, freelance writing, and consulting. Today’s technology offers a wealth of information and income to you, them, and me.

These current and future leaders motivate me to be better. The same tools they use are available to us all.

YouTube

YouTube is full of inspirational and motivational videos. Rather than listening to music in the background when I’m working or driving, I listen to these motivational videos.

Whether I’m paying full or partial attention, I always get something out of these videos; they keep me positive—and positivity is valuable. Willie Nelson once said, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

YouTube can teach you almost anything, at least at a rudimentary level. I’ve used YouTube to learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for our website, Facebook marketing, and lighting for videos. I’ve spent countless hours studying public speakers on their style, tempo, and delivery.

Whether you want to learn to play the guitar or run your own website, YouTube is an invaluable resource.

Podcasts

Podcasts are a great alternative to YouTube and offer individual interviews of amazing people. I listen to podcasts while working, driving, and exercising—they challenge me with new ways of thinking, which I then apply to my personal and professional life.

Interviews with today’s most influential people can be played for you, for free, on your own time. (In my father’s day, each would’ve qualified as “Tonight’s Special Presentation.”)

Want to know what Elon Musk is planning next? Anna Wintour’s thoughts on today’s fashion? The President’s feelings about our nation’s affairs before the State of the Union address? Podcasts.

Apps

In addition to brain benders such as Personal Zen and Happify, apps are great alternatives to personal coaches. Everyone seems to have a life or business coach today, but humans are expensive.

Your phone is with you 24/7. Apps get as close to customized as one can without hiring a human. With the right level of engagement, some business and life coaching apps are as good as some business and life-coaching humans.

My favorites include:

Books

While they’re certainly not new, nothing beats books. What is new is their accessibility. On Amazon alone, 1,064,000 eBooks on average were downloaded each day in January 2016. Considering most eBooks cost less than $8, that’s a wealth of information available to nearly everyone at our fingertips.

Below are my perennial favorites:

Facebook Groups

More than just cat videos and funny memes, Facebook Groups offer all sorts of information and support. Whatever you need, you can find a Facebook Group for it. Within these groups, people share their successes and failures, ask questions, offer help and share ideas. These are discussions that used to be available only to a select few.

Below are some current favorites.

  • Screw the Nine to Five
  • Business Revolution
  • The Miracle Morning Community (related to the book above)
  • Law of Attraction

LinkedIn Groups

Similar to Facebook, but on a more professional level, are LinkedIn Groups, which are especially good if you’re looking for career guidance or networking.

To be fair, I’m sure you’re aware of all the tools I mentioned. What I hope I’ve given you are ways of using each tool that you may not have considered.

We live in a consumption society. We consume food, drinks, entertainment, and information. Gravitating towards the safe and pleasing is easy. With conscious consumption, we can improve ourselves.

If used correctly, these tools can help make us better both personally and professionally. As the entrepreneur, Jim Rohn said, “Your level of success seldom exceeds your level of personal development.”

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Read more stories from John Schneider and David Auten at DebtFreeGuys.com

Any third-party resources or websites referenced above are not under Society of Grownups control. Society of Grownups cannot guarantee and are not responsible for the accuracy of the resources, websites, or any products or services available through such resources or websites.

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