I’m normally a voracious reader — of anything fiction. Actually, I’m a huge science fiction and fantasy nerd. I usually avoid non-fiction and self-help books like the plague. I figure that my day job involves so much reading and editing, that when I read for fun, I want to disappear into someone else’s story. 

However, September is National Self Improvement Month. So I recently found myself browsing some self-help titles. Did you know the self-improvement industry is worth $11 billion in the U.S. alone? In fact, unit sales of self-help books have grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% since 2013, reaching $18.6 million in 2019, according to a study by The NPD Group

Now self-improvement doesn’t have to mean reading self-help books, exercising or meditating more, starting a journal or blog, picking up a new hobby or even learning a new language — although, those are all great ideas. Instead, it could mean taking up a new course, leveling up your skills, finding a mentor or business coach and learning from someone who inspires you.

Many contractor organizations offer business coaching and mentoring. Additionally, with the onset of COVID-19, many employees are working remotely, providing an opportunity to brush up on skills, both old and new.

John Barba, director of training for Taco Comfort Solutions, says the pandemic has presented an opportunity to rethink at how Taco does virtual learning. The company began hosting a weekly training series in March called “Taco After Dark.” Since then, Barba notes the company has probably trained close to 20,000 people online! Turn to Page 49 to read more from Barba on hydronic heating trends. 

Later this month, PHCC’s annual PHCCCONNECT 2020 will take place virtually. The conference will feature two keynote speakers as well as some particularly relevant educational sessions, with experts providing new insights on how to manage through these unprecedented times and plan for recovery. Turn to Page 43 for a preview of what to expect.

Think about taking time this month to better yourself. I’ll leave you with this very appropriate quote from entrepreneur Jim Rohn: “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” Just some food for thought.