Education for Entrepeneurs:
If you want to be a Doctor or a Lawyer, it’s fairly obvious how much schooling you need before you officially become ‘a doctor’, or ‘a lawyer’. But with entrepreneurs there exists a fundamental conundrum: if you’re inventing your job, is it not better to strive through trial and error? Or will an entrepreneurial course help you start up your business faster? Not only that, but it will put you in touch with other entrepreneurs who may help you down the road as well. Here we will have Kevin and Brad: two of our Masterminds that underwent very different paths to the same level of success.
Maybe it’s my military experience speaking here, but I found that taking courses was incredibly beneficial to my business back in the early states. That being said, I didn’t go to any universities. I took Stanford’s entrepreneurship course, which is being offered for free online (I’m not kidding!). After that I used a service called Coursesmart to rent my textbooks for super cheap (instead of buying them). The course only costs me $60, but may have saved me thousands of dollars in mistakes and paying others to do work that I could have done myself.
Personally, I have never taken an entrepreneurship class. I think that they are, by definition, a waste of time. You have so much to do when you start up a business: why would you add homework to it?
I have nothing against people who do take classes, but it just seems silly to me. Part of being an entrepreneur is figuring it out for yourself. I just wouldn’t be able to handle it. I mean, how much more money could I have been making if I had focused on building my business instead of studying stuff that may or may not actually apply to my business.
Kevin and Brad Now Talk Together:
Kevin: There are a lot of facets to a business: the product itself, the marketing, the tax stuff…why would you insist on doing it all yourself?
Brad: There’s no better teacher than life.
Kevin: You’re right. But mistakes can be small, and mistakes can be huge. Life may want to teach you a lesson by sending you to bankruptcy court. It just seems like you are leaving too much up to chance by depending on yourself.
Brad: I’m going to guess that being in the military taught you to be interdependent on others to function better as a unit. I respect that, but I don’t want my accounting to be handled by a guy who might just take all the company funds and fly to some tropical country with no extradition treaty. What will I have learned then? I’ll have learned not to trust that guy, but that’s it. If I make my own mistake, I can learn much more about myself.
Kevin: I like to be as hands free as possible. I spent about 20 minutes this month doing ‘company work’. I pay accountants and lawyers, but it also means I can drop everything and go wherever I want, whenever I want. That’s the dream for me. I could always use more income, but I don’t think I would have been as successful without taking some classes beforehand. It’s like going into a park without reading a map first.