Small Business Advice

Five Totally Effective Ways Business Owners Can Educate Themselves

As is the case with many entrepreneurial inspiration stores, formal education and financial success don’t always go hand in hand. From Mark Zuckerberg to Steve Jobs and beyond, it’s crystal clear that college degrees and traditional college backgrounds aren’t the determining factors to what makes a successful business owner.

That said, entrepreneurial education is an absolute must for those looking to dominate their fields. For example, consider about how those who stay on top of their industries…

  • Have a leg up on their competition who isn’t aware of industry changes and trends
  • Position themselves as thought leaders by being able to comment on and contribute to relevant industry conversations
  • Become more open-minded and understanding of changes versus being resistant to them

Thankfully, continuing industry education as a business owner is arguably easier than ever. Below we’ve outlined five effective ways that entrepreneurs can stay in the loop and keep learning without splashing cash on a degree.

Video Courses

Video-based education for entrepreneurs is booming right now, especially given the popularity of platforms such as YouTube and Facebook Live.

In an era where people would much rather watch a video versus consuming any other type of educational content, video education represents a quick and time-effective way to keep up your industry. From free options strategy videos to e-courses on copywriting and Internet marketing, there’s so much to gain via online course content.

Email Lists

If you find yourself swamped or otherwise unable to scour the web for resources, consider signing up for the email lists of your favorite industry big-wigs.

As emails automatically hit up your inbox throughout the day, you receive a steady stream of information that you don’t have to dig for. Additionally, you can use email reading during your breaks for some motivation and inspiration, serving as a productive way to break up your workday. If you don’t want to fill up your work inbox, consider creating a separate or personal email account for industry opt-ins.

Industry Blogs

Similarly, pick out five or so blogs within your niche and read them religiously. After all, regular blog commenting not only helps you become part of a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, but also represents a subtle way to increase traffic to your website. Ideally, you should try to find time to blog yourself; however, reading and commenting is a great starting point.

Social Feeds

Whether through Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, following influencers and top companies via social media guarantees a steady stream of content to keep you up to date on the latest happenings in your field.

Social media doesn’t have to be a massive waste of time if you’re actually reading relevant. Much like emails, you can block off chunks of time using a Pomodoro timer or similar technique to keep yourself from mindlessly checking Twitter instead of getting down to business.

Networking Events

There’s no replacement for meeting with others in your industry face to face. Networking in person is paramount, especially for those in the marketing space, for example. Meanwhile, events often serve as great inspiration for professionals who might feel like they’re in a bit of slump. If there’s an upcoming event near you and attending is within our budget, what do you have to lose?

Don’t let you or your business potentially get left out in the dust. Take the time to regularly educate yourself for the sake of personal and professional growth: you’ll thank yourself for doing so in the future.