Education as a cost: the short-term perspective
Most new entrants to the world of business view business education as a significant cost, and because they are short of cash are quite prepared to take the long and frustrating road of doing all of the tasks themselves that a) they hate and b) they are no good at. In other words, the part of the business they are good at which may be sales or marketing has to take a back seat while these other boring but important tasks are completed.
Take one example, bookkeeping. I have yet to meet an entrepreneur who loves making the weekly journal entries but still, they do it, often incorrectly which means it costs more to sort out in the long term when there is a better option – pay someone who is good at this task. In terms of bookkeeping, it may take you a number of frustrating hours throughout the week where an experienced bookkeeper can complete the task in two hours and probably charge you €50. Can you earn €50 in two hours or less doing something you are good at and something you like? This is just one example and once you open your mind to paying for experience the world of business will change for you. This same principle applies to many different business skills but the real change comes when you decide to invest in a skilled coach and/or mentor. What you are paying for is someone who has built a business, who has learned the skills and has experienced the setbacks that are part of the world of being an entrepreneur. Having someone with an eye for business who is able to give you an outside view that is impartial but balanced will open up new horizons and opportunities that once you experience it will ensure that you do not go back to the old ways.
One further area to be careful of is the business advisor who has spent their entire life in the world of large corporates and so knows little in terms of running a business themselves. Equally, the successful entrepreneur who writes a book from the perspective of having made millions is potentially someone who has forgotten the daily struggle of running an SME business and all that it entails. This does not mean they cannot advise but it is likely that their mindset has shifted from the day-to-day tasks and challenges to the large-picture mindset that is required when you achieve a certain level of success.
Education as an investment – the correct perspective
My first investment in business education was made more than twenty years ago and cost €15k per annum. I remember learning very quickly how simple business can be once you understand the basics. For example, what are you selling, to whom and why should they use you? That all sounds obvious and yet when most business owners are asked these questions they are unable to give a clear answer. Clear answers to these questions open up opportunities that are missed by those who don’t have the answers.
I remember having a business idea that I thought would complement the existing business I had and found myself being asked some very hard questions to which I did not have either an answer or the right answer. After about two hours of questioning, I was able to take my idea and give it a decent burial, in other words, I avoided a costly mistake and the time needed to correct it.
Your business coach and/or mentor has developed the skills that you need over many years. You can do that as well or you can take a shortcut and piggyback the knowledge someone else has acquired and so shortcut your journey.
Education, is it a cost for you or an investment – the right perspective has the ability to change your life for the better.
If this is something you would like to explore in more detail why not schedule a meeting in confidence and without obligation?