A question I answered in Quora forum: “What’s the best entrepreneurship or business course – it can be free or paid”.
The best course of action is to go apprentice yourself to an entrepreneur you respect and learn by working with/for them. I suggest doing this before or at the same time as starting your own business. Experience is worth a load more than book-learning from theoreticians.
I do not recommend paying $$$ for a university course UNLESS it is part time and closely aligned with working on a business you are currently running. Then you get to put into practice what you are being taught immediately.
I teach on a business course here in New Zealand called the Business Leadership Programme – by Love to Grow.
It takes 6 months and is 1 day per month with one-to-one coaching sessions in between formal classroom sessions. I recommend you ask them if you can join it virtually – the next course starts October 2016. It made a gigantic change to my business and taught me a lot about the parts of business entrepreneurship that I didn’t know (and the things I didn’t realise I needed to know!).
Shortcomings of book learning entrepreneurs
I find that any book, magazine or podcast that gives advice is helpful – but only up to a point. The authors never, NEVER talk in full detail about their mistakes, their mis-directions, bad decisions and failures. They may reference them, but you will not get the full picture.
The value is in experiencing these situations and learning from them.
If I were to tell you in public about experiences I’ve had like a bullying client, a supplier who stole from us, a bad person we hired etc you would begin to get more of an idea. But it would be unprofessional to write these things in public and I may get sued. But it is the EXPERIENCE of these situations that helps you to grow as a business person and entrepreneur.
My personal solutions to the need for experience and a fully rounded business education is on-the-job learning (reading / podcasts / business books / mentor advice) supplemented by:
- Chief Financial Officer meeting monthly
- The Business Leadership Programme educating and honing skills
- Mastermind Group of business owners – we meet monthly face to face and share / seek advice in a trusted, confidential roundtable. [We have a vacancy for 2 people to join our Auckland group – please ask]
What is your advice on how to learn entrepreneurship?