Give Yourself No Escape Route When Learning a Language

When you’re learning a language, give yourself no escape route. Find a reason to immersion yourself fully in a language, and get stuck there.

Here’s an example:

Last week, I decided to start a new project, take a different step in one of my side businesses. Since 2013, I’ve been an Independent Distributor for Young Living, an essential oils company. I love essential oils, and I do make a couple of extra hundred bucks a month from selling them. Until now, however, I haven’t actively tried to promote them on social media.

But why promote essential oils in English to Americans? The market is already saturated. Besides, there’s a Young Living Europe, and the Young Living website is available in German. I did a quick search and didn’t see many German Instagrammers focusing on the oils. Is this an opportunity for me? I don’t know. What I do know is that in the past week, getting acquainted with the German version of the Young Living website has exposed me to a hundred new vocabulary words.

If I want to share essential oils with people who speak German, I need to speak the language. The German language, yes. But at a deeper level, I need to speak the language of essential oils in German.

This new project, @atherische_ole (for Ätherische Öle or essential oils in English) on Instagram, is about making new friends and connections, promoting the amazing products, and maybe making a bit of incremental income. It’s also about learning German.

Running a business and promoting products in a language I’m not exactly fluent in (or even near fluent) may sound like the stupidest idea or the smartest idea. For me, it’s smart. It makes sense. It’s the perfect incentive for me to get stuck–not in a bad way but in a way that gives me no escape route.


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