I was fortunate in my young years to be surrounded by entrepreneurs — many I didn’t understand or acknowledge until ten, twenty, or even thirty years later.
One of the nuggets I gained is the importance of educating yourself.
While you can and should get a formal education, it is good practice to continue to learn on your own. I could not initially take the traditional route due to my situation. Instead, I read books written by people doing better than I was, attended webinars, listened to tapes (for those of you who are young, that’s like a podcast!), attending training sessions, and networking with other business owners.
I learned a lot from each of them. My business vocabulary became rich. In the last ten years, multiple people have asked me where I earned my PhD! While today I do hold a degree, it is not a PhD. I share this to clarify that the more time you spend educating yourself in key terminology, the more you elevate your level and business from others.
Because perception is reality.
Think about what you can do to education yourself. What chambers, networks, or other organizations can you join? What books can you read? What podcasts can you follow? What conferences should you attend?
Create a system that helps you get there — You could, for example, commit to reading one relevant book a month, watch a YouTube or TikTok video weekly or monthly. Whatever scenario you choose, think about how you can continue to educate yourself.
A few years ago, one of the bankers I work with told me they funded someone I worked with. I said, That’s great! I thought you denied her before. He said they did deny her before, when she had higher revenue, but her vocabulary and the level of sophistication and the business acumen she possessed this time made them more comfortable than the first time she had applied.
That stuck with me, and it wasn’t the only time I’ve heard something similar.
BEFORE YOU GO
We see our blogs as opportunities for dialogue. Please share your thoughts as comments.
- What books, podcasts, blogs, or webinars can you read or follow?
- What formal training can you take to keep moving forward?
- What other tools do you use to educate yourself?
Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.