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Never Stop Learning: How Self-Education Is The Key To Success For Entrepreneurs To pave our own way and craft our dream career, a drive to continue learning comes with the title.

By Nour Al Hassan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


There is absolutely no doubt about the social and economic impact education can have on humanity. On a personal level, the same is undeniably true. Up until the age of 18, we develop in very structured terms. Our formal education shapes the way we think and how we view the world. After that it's on us. Whether you work at a large company where you collide with new ideas, skills, and technologies that you're forced to use daily, or you're a freelancer or entrepreneur and you're the head of your own HR, marketing, and IT departments, continuous education is what collectively propels us forward.

As entrepreneurs, the definition of success is derived from education, humility, and a whole lot of tenacity. The keyword here being education. To pave our own way and craft our dream career, a drive to continue learning comes with the title. It is the key to powering a good life both personally, and professionally.

Knowing that we are in control of our own destiny, as entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups, we take it upon ourselves to be proactive learners. Staying informed about market trends and refreshing our skills is part of the job. As entrepreneurs, we must be duly prepared to face the challenges of the future, and build the type of organization that is ready to advance at any minute. Our world is very different now than it was just a few years ago, and effective leaders are taking notice. There are economic transformations driven by new technologies and automation, and notions of workplace flexibility and liberation, that entrepreneurs are constantly crafting new ways to adapt and move forward. I find that developing efforts to be more active in the training stages when it comes to capacity building is one way to redefine the norm.

We are big believers of training ourselves, and for International Translation Day in September this year, hosted a day of free activities and workshops, including a translation crash course. Part of our ongoing learning entailed having to make the event hip enough to attract audience on a weekend, so we spun it into the region's first word-a-thon -much like a hackathon- live battling translation speed against time. The goal was to help upskill participants of the event, and offer one winner an opportunity to intern and train at Tarjama, the platform's sister company.

The level of competition amongst individuals and companies is at an all-time high, and stagnation is not an option. With companies such as SpaceX changing the economics of space travel, and Nvidia developing breakthrough technologies like deep learning and autonomous driving, what happens when your company doesn't even have its own website?

I'm not saying you have to be at the frontiers of technology and land on Mars in order to guarantee success, but being aware that skills today are becoming even more specialized should be enough of a push to get you to take the steps necessary to evolve both personally and professionally.

Companies today are faced with a hard time investing in programs that specialize in upgrading or training workers to acquire emerging skills. Fast-growing skills such as content strategy and creation, blockchain, and augmented reality, to name a few, are dominating the demand lists. Instead, entrepreneurs and freelancers are often leveraged for these types of jobs, because they are more likely to upgrade their knowledge on their own.

The current trends in the labor market and tech industry make it imperative for freelancers and entrepreneurs to refresh their skillset every so often. As technological change and the knowledge economy continue to advance, so will work requiring specific skills. So, we're forced to ask ourselves the tough questions: am I doing the absolute most I can for my career? Have I learned any new skills lately? What can I do to evolve and grow as a person and in my profession?

Becoming immersed in literature, staying up to date with online content, participating in programs and enrolling in courses are just some of the few and inventive ways entrepreneurs are utilizing to stay ahead of the pack.

We're doing our part to make learning accessible, by launching Ureed Academy's first massive open online course (MOOC) providing translation experts with in-depth insight on ways to penetrate the translation market by combining practice with theory. It is open to everyone with an interest, and a way to support our team of freelance translators and writers, by arming them with the skills and knowledge to advance further in their freelancing careers.

Falling behind can happen so quickly. A business or an individual that is ill prepared or unequipped with the latest tools necessary to survive in our current day society may actually end up regressing. A sense of staleness can begin to invade if we don't find ways to invest in ourselves. When too much time has passed, you may even feel unemployable at some point in your career, especially as the younger generation sweeps in and starts to reshape our modern workflow.

I can't stress this enough, learning is lifelong, and it's the answer to a bold and bright future. Find the time and the drive for it, because education is synonymous with success. Find the aspiration to move forward and live successfully, and continue to develop in a capacity where you access the tools you've been given through years of formal education and use them to become a lifelong learner, and an overtime achiever.

Related: The Importance Of Cultivating Self-Discipline

Nour Al Hassan

Founder and CEO at Ureed

Nour Al Hassan is the founder And CEO at Ureed, a digital editorial marketplace that aims at connecting businesses and freelance linguists to collaborate on a variety of content-related tasks, which include copywriting, editing, documentation, translation, and more, and Tarjama, a UAE-based translation agency 

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