Every single entrepreneurial journey is different, from inception to end we all walk a different path. Of course there are commonalities along the way, but how we get there and when varies greatly from story to story.
One thing none of us stop doing though is learning, we are all constantly learning along the way and pushing forward to reach our goals. In the corporate world formal education and certification is commonplace, and many times expected. But these structured systems of learning often don’t fit into the life of an entrepreneur where knowledge and application has far more value than a piece of paper saying you spent X years taking classes to an instructors satisfaction.
To fill this void there are many digital options that an entrepreneur can explore. Here I am going to list the top 5 resources I have used and have been recommended to me by other successful entrepreneurs.
Without doubt YouTube would be my first resource, there is a ton of content there. Many entrepreneurs, including myself share our insights and stories there. If you find channels that you enjoy and that offer quality content then you can subscribe and get notifications when they push new videos. There are many channels I have been following for years and have found some fantastic value from their content along the way.
The sheer volume of content is also a disadvantage tho. It can be difficult to cut through the noise and find something that is truly valuable for you as an entrepreneur. That can make it time to consume to find things of real value on the platform. But it can also be half the fun sometimes.
Many might argue that we are living in the age of the MOOC or Massive Open Online Course. While the concept might not be as disruptive as originally anticipated it has gone on to foster extensive conversations on the value of traditional education.
Coursera is by far the leader in the MOOC space offer a vast array of free courses covering everything from Business to Computer Science and event Arts and Humanities. The course content is sourced from top universities like Stanford, UC San Diego, Johns Hopkins, and Penn, to name a few.
For the entrepreneurial learner who is not interested in a certificate you can audit any class on their platform for free and move through the content at your own pace. But for those learners still in the corporate world a certificate can be earned for a nominal fee, giving them something to reflect their efforts on a resume.
Coursera was first suggested to me by one of my mentors when they first launched. It took me a while to get used to the MOOC style of learning and to figure out how to get the most out of the platform. But once I did I was hooked and I have gone back time and time again since that first course. I don’t think I have ever finished a course with Coursera, but I always walk away with significantly more knowledge.
Next on the list is the granddaddy of education, disrupting themselves and making a ton of knowledge available to the public, MIT Opencourseware. Having a tech background and having lived in Boston and Cambridge for several years early in my career I personally hold MIT in rather high regard, so I might be a bit biased here…. Just a bit.
The MIT Opencourseware platform has a ton of amazing and free content available. Like Coursera they offer a wide range of topics to choose from, they even have a collection of courses targeted at entrepreneurs. Most of the courses are at the graduate level, I tried some of the content, and man does it push you! If you want to grow as an entrepreneur this is a great stop.
Not all of the courses have video lectures, and the ones that do vary in production quality, but not in the quality of the knowledge being shared.
While not all of use might be technical entrepreneurs, there is little doubt that each of us can benefit from know how to code. That is exactly what Code Academy aims to do. Help those of us that are not super technical enter the world of coding and those of us who might be a bit rusty (like me) freshen up our skill set.
Their free courses are more than enough to help you develop the basic skills to build tools and at the very least hold your own when you are talking with devs. Over the years I have coded countless tools that just made life easier for me or simplified and / or automated a task that was too time consuming. Since Code Academy has such a robust free program you have no reason not to go learn how to code.
Their paid program is still fairly affordable, especially if you are looking for some type of certification to help advance a job within a company. At less than 20 dollars per month, it still far less expensive than a university education would be and get you coding right away.
There are so many amazing podcasts for entrepreneurs that I can’t list them all, but I can give you a few good places to start. Of course I will plug my own Southeast Asia Business Podcast on eFM and speaking of eFM, it is a podcast network full of amazing entrepreneurship and business content for listeners, so feel free to check that out. I would also recommend the Tim Ferriss podcast for those looking to expand their business mindset. The last one I will recommend is The Garyvee Audio Experience this is a medium where Gary Vee really shines, and he shares a ton of great content.
What I really like about the podcast format is that it can give you information you can consume while you are commuting, stuck in traffic or waiting on the train to arrive at your station. It gives you a way to consume that much more information throughout the day and is a great way to expose you to different ideas and mindsets.
At the end of the day whatever resources you use to acquire knowledge need to fit your needs and budget. All of these are flexible to varying degrees and offer flexible price points. Mix, match and find the blend that works for you.