When I finished school, I thought I was done with education. Done with the textbooks, assignments, and tests. I was going to find my own way while I worked. Who needs studies anyway, right?
Experience is useful
Experience is useful, but it will only get you so far.
For the first 10 years of my career (as well as outside the office), I didn’t believe in ‘official’ training courses. I learnt how to fix a PC, build websites, and manage servers without the need to attend classes. At home, I didn’t need to go on a course to learn how to clean my pool, or mow the lawn.
Everything I learnt was through trial and error. I believed study and education had their place, and it wasn’t anywhere near me. I could find my own way.
It’s funny how life comes around and teaches you a lesson.
Real studying gets you further
When I moved into a leadership role, I realised something. I knew absolutely nothing about it. Actually, I knew absolutely nothing about a lot (I still don’t). This self-acknowledgement started my learning journey through a combination of short courses, online learning, and self-study.
What amazing things I have learnt since! I’ve gained vital knowledge in leadership, business strategy, social psychology, and neuro-linguistic programming. Next on the list is social media marketing.
Studying has taught me one thing – there is still so much more to learn. We have so much knowledge available to us, all we need to do is reach out and grab it.
The benefits I’ve gained far outweigh the negatives. Yes, it takes some time to study, and yes, it can be inconvenient (and some of it boring). But, I now understand the foundations of business strategy. I grasp the concepts of social psychology. I try to communicate with people better by identifying key behaviours.
My 3 easiest ways to start
The 3 training resources I’ve used so far are short courses, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), and self-study.
A short course is a training course set up through a private individual or training company with dedicated lessons over a period of 7 to 30 days. These can sometimes cost a lot of money. However, if you look around enough you may stumble upon free (or really cheap) short courses. Some of my experiences include Ramit Sethi’s Earn1k course for free, and Paul Jarvis‘ free Write & sell your damn book course.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC‘s) are awesome. They are university driven intro-level courses provided for free. The topics are vast.
Self-help books are simply what they are. Books you read to gain further knowledge. They are helpful, and can contain important knowledge. I sometimes struggle with these though, as they sometimes feel like textbooks. Somewhere like Noisetrade is a good place to look.
Learn something new today
Are you keen on learning something new? Why not browse the available courses on Coursera, or dig out the self-help book you bought 2 years ago. Begin your learning journey, and be prepared to be amazed.
By the way, just because you start a particular learning experience does not mean you have to finish it. We learn better when we’re interested – and enjoy – a subject. Concentrate on those. There are plenty of times in the last few years where I’ve simply not finished my ‘studies’ due to loss of interest.