Live and Learn
In many professions, such as academics, medicine and accounting, continuing education is not only encouraged, but often required. How else, the reasoning goes, can anyone possibly keep up with new discoveries, strategies, laws and practices?
But when it comes to entrepreneurship, continuing education is all too often nonexistent. Once someone starts a business, there's frequently no time for or little interest in learning. In fact, some business owners wear their lack of education as a badge of honor--not, as the Seinfeld gang would say, that there's anything wrong with that. There are numerous enormously successful entrepreneurs who never went to college (Entrepreneur owner Peter Shea is one). But our 21st century world tends to move ahead at warp speed, and it's all too easy to get left behind.
I'm certainly not advocating that you drop everything and go back to school, though there are a good number of excellent continuing education programs (some of which even offer degrees) specially geared toward entrepreneurs. But that doesn't mean you can ignore the changes that seem to occur daily in your particular industry as well as in the overall business environment.
So what's a busy entrepreneur to do? If you're reading this, you're already doing something--you're reading Entrepreneur. One of our jobs is to provide some of the continuing education you need but may not have the time for. In fact, one of the reasons Entrepreneur is structured around the four main business disciplines--money, marketing and sales, technology, and management--is to help you easily find what you don't know or may have forgotten.
One of the paradoxes of business ownership is that many entrepreneurs do much of their research, due diligence and competitive analysis before they even open their doors. Yes, startup entrepreneurs are often better informed than those of you who have been in business for several years. They also tend to be more open to taking advice, asking questions, searching for the best ways to conduct business and emulating the best practices of businesses large and small.
With all this in mind, I want to point you to an article many of you might ordinarily ignore. Entrepreneur is separated into two main sections. The first (and overwhelmingly largest) is aimed at our more than 526,000 subscribers, the vast majority of whom are existing business owners. The other part of the magazine, "Be Your Own Boss," is geared toward our newsstand buyers and oriented toward startups. (This strategy has helped make us the bestselling business magazine on the newsstand.)
In this month's "Be Your Own Boss" section, startup guru Guy Kawasaki, the legendary founder of Garage Technology Ventures and author of the new book The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, agreed to share his success secrets. While reading the manuscript, I realized Guy's information was too valuable to be confined just to new entrepreneurs. There's a lot that you established business owners can learn from Guy's insights, whether the information is entirely new to you or if it's something you once knew but have since forgotten. So even if you are an experienced entrepreneur, do yourself a favor--click here and let Guy Kawasaki teach you a thing or two.