There is so much noise revolving around business education and the plethora of creative education out there. Simply by writing this blog post I know I am adding to it. As a new business owner it was overwhelming and often resulted in wasted time or money. It felt like everyone was selling their version of the miracle cure. So why wasn’t anything getting better? Why wasn’t I too going from making $2,000 to six figures overnight in the first year of business? Well there were a few reasons but let’s first address the elephant in the room.
You Are The Problem
Quite literally you are the biggest problem in the way of your own growth. How many courses do you have sitting on your hard drive that you invested money into but never your time? How many conferences have you gone to and come back with a list of things never implemented that could have drastically grown your business? Now . . I am not just sitting here wagging my finger at you, because I am guilty as well. Full disclosure, I have about 8 courses that I have sitting half finished. Why? They sit unfinished because I didn’t make a plan to complete them. I didn’t make a priority of them. It, wasn’t until a year ago when we sat down and looked at the education we already had on hand that we made a decision. We killed the budget for education, at least until those courses get completed and the changes we want to make implemented. It may sound harsh but I want to be a debt HOUND. I want a rich business that isn’t bleeding money into things that never bring a return on investment. Because I was buying education that never got put into practice to better my business and my clients experience, I was basically throwing money away.
So how do I go about fixing this problem? In bite sized chunks, just like you would for any degree program you might go through for college or trade school. Jason and I sat down and made a list of all the course we had purchased since I started a business back in 2009 and what we wanted to complete or even revisit.
Aside from the shear noise of business education out there and the lack of completing the education you do have, there is also another issue and that is substance. In our creative industries there is an over abundance of online courses, workshops, and in person mentoring sessions. However, how much of that education is simply watered down knowledge passed on from person to person? How much of the educational workshops we attend are literally cookie cutters of each other? Now don’t get me wrong, we all have to start somewhere. We all have to gather the basics of business information but at some point there is a craving for the meat and potatoes of business knowledge that goes beyond basic competency. So how do you go about finding that knowledge in a world full of fluffy airy croissants when all you want is substance?
Beyond the Fluff
So how do you move beyond the fluff? How do you know what kind of education you need? The first thing we suggest doing is to make a list of those courses that you haven’t completed. Secondly, make an action plan to complete those courses before spending any more money. After those courses are complete, make an assessment of what your strengths and weaknesses are. Determine where it is that you need help and research what is out there for that specific need. Now, I know its tempting to purchase the next shiny new bit of education but don’t. Not all courses are created equal and not all courses are focused on helping you at the level you are at. Do your research and go to the source. For example, if you are weak in launching a course . . going to someone in your industry may be good but going directly to an expert might be better, saving you frustration and money in the long run.