It is a widely held view that getting an education for business will improve your chance of success in life. In the business world, as the market demand has shifted from manufacturing workers to technology-savvy ones, governments worldwide have been encouraging their workforces to retrain, so that they can remain productive throughout their career. While it is great for businesses to have employees who educate themselves, should the owners follow the same advice?
As a business owner, I would ask the following questions:
1. What do you want?
2. How can you get what you want?
3. What is the best way you can get that, with the greatest benefit to yourself?
The above questions may seem a bit self-centered, but if considered in the correct context, and not at the expense of others, they could be of great benefit – both to yourself and, as a result, your business. While you would profit from an education, it would be at the expense of time (studying) and money (cost of the course). Would it, therefore, be more beneficial to you, to bring in someone already schooled in the field which you are exploring? For example, if you want to understand more about your accounts, is it better to learn to book-keep yourself, or bring in a book-keeper and learn from the expert? If you wanted to learn about start-ups, would you invest in a course, or spend a few weeks working for a start-up and learn on the job? If you already have an existing business, would you prefer a course on how to improve your business, or take lessons from a Business Advisor? The answer to these questions will be guided by your responses to the ones mentioned above.
In business, we know that when we employ someone else to do a job, we get the benefit of time (while they are working), and value (what they have achieved) – both of which add to the business. So, from a leverage viewpoint on time and value, should you go out and educate yourself or bring the expertise into your business?
Ask yourself those three questions, and you will know the answer.