Education for Entrepreneurs

If you’re running a small business then you probably feel somewhat overwhelmed by all the things you “should” know.  Indeed, in today’s landscape of information overload where we are bombarded with offers and opportunities to consume content, we can feel pulled in so many directions when it comes to our attention that it feels like we need to be several just to keep up with how fast the world is evolving.

In addition, as an entrepreneur, there are some core skills and knowledge you will need to acquire to optimise your performance – and it’s multifaceted.  When compared with the simplicity and convenience of pursuing a course such as a masters in social work online, where the syllabus is laid out for you, and the content drip fed in an organised fashion – the learning associated with entrepreneurship is much more broad and fragmented.

Of course, you could study a degree in entrepreneurship or even an MBA, but for most small business owners this simply isn’t necessary or cost effective.  As a small business owner you need to learn information, fast, that you can apply directly to your business – meaning, most academic courses focus a little too much on theory for time-starved entrepreneurs that are very results focused in their approach.

The underlying theory can be good to know, of course, but if you’re setting up a small business then chances are you want answers to very specific questions such as how to market your business online using Facebook without spending a fortune on advertising.

For this reason, it’s important to understand “education” doesn’t have to be academic, from a college or university.  In fact, sometimes this can be the worst way to access education as an entrepreneur because your needs are very different to that of the social worker, referenced above.

For the entrepreneur, learning from experts who have mastered a particular skill, as demonstrated by their tangible real-world results, rather than intellectual insight can be a much more effective and efficient way to develop your education.

For instance, if you wanted to be a speaker, it would make sense to train with a high profile leader such as Les Brown, Bo Eason or Brendon Burchard – all of whom offer online courses and in-person workshops to help master this particular skill.  This way, you are learning from experts who have been there and achieved great things; learning the fundamental skills from the masters – rather than intellectualising the topic of speaker, from someone that likely learned it from a book.

The most accessible route for people to access such training is via courses sold on Udemy, as these are often heavily discounted and offer anything from a general overview to an in-depth mastery of a topic… often, facilitated by people that have been successful in their field.

In summary, education is incredibly important for entrepreneurs – but it needs to be focused on achieving a tangible result rather than an academic accolade; meaning it should be directly applicable to your business.

The currency in the world of employment is often pegged to educational experience and academic courses can help you get to where you want to be… yet in the entrepreneurial world, all people care about are the results you generate.

Therefore, it’s worth shifting your mindset when it comes to education to that of getting the education that allows you to get results, rather than letters after your name.

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