I recently started a business. I have already been researching information and asking questions for years, so I am comfortable to a certain extent going forward. But I’m just not satisfied. Besides, I am an old fart who knows just enough to know that he never knows enough. I also know I want to learn more from others and get their insight.
I signed up for a class titled, “How To Start Your Own Business.” I went into the class to find out what I didn’t know. A surprising realization was how much I actually do know! But I digress. In less than one class, hearing other people’s question and concerns and thoughts about some of my own questions from them and the instructor was well worth the tuition for the class. I could stop right here… but that wouldn’t be me! 🙂
There are three points that I want to make for people who asks themselves, “Why should I take a class about something that I can research myself?” No matter what subject matter you are talking about, but especially if you are talking about starting a business or anything business related, you should attend the classes at your local colleges and small business centers/organizations. You should do so even if you are familiar with the subject matter because…
You don’t know everything
You also don’t know what you don’t know, so go find out. Even if you have already been researching the subject, you don’t know what perspective the presenter is going to approach the subject from so what you know (or think you know) doesn’t matter.
You can learn a lot on your own, but what is your time worth?
Instead of researching what questions you should ask and then researching the answers to those questions only to find there are nested questions that must be researched further, you could listen to someone give you a streamlined process most useful or relevant to most people.
Supposed then you are allowed to interact with your own questions specific to your needs based on that information? This would eliminate all of your guesswork and at least half (if not more) of your research from the jump. You’re taken straight to the meat and potatoes of what you need to focus on to keep moving forward.
What if you are able to use someone else’s years of research, mistakes, experiences, and lessons learned to help you pursue your interests more effectively? The knowledge they have acquired from years of practice and teaching, that isn’t worth $100?
Networking opportunities and building relationships
Who are these other people that will be attending the classes that share a common interest with you? Not only do you learn from hearing interaction between them and the instructor and them and other students, you find out what their goals and ambitions are beyond that commonality they have with you for the class. Maybe, just maybe it’s someone that you can actually leave class and continue the relationship with in a way that lets both of you benefit.
Example: In my little class of less that 10 (a good point that I forgot to mention earlier, small classes) people , there is Steve, who intends to do something commercially with fresh or healthy food. Steve has opened up numerous restaurants of all sizes and is now ready to venture out in his own creative entrepreneurial space.
There is Mary, who has a natural talent for successfully writing grants, one at least in excess of $300,000. She also has spent many years in HR and done some other stuff too.
There is Wood, who plans to start a mobile Bar-B-Q business. He loves Bar-B-Q so much that he will do a pig picking at your location for a donation and he has a special sauce that he says rocks. (I will let you know, plan to try it myself). He wants to pursue marketing the sauce one day.
There is a young lady who has been doing tattoos for years before being booted out of the spot by the owner with no warning. They are going to turn lemons into lemonade and open their own tattoo parlor soon.
There are two other ladies. One has specific ideas and the other one is there to help retain the information to help her use it. She will probably leave the class also pursuing her dreams, she just doesn’t know it yet.
So you see, you never know who else will be in these classes and how you can help each other grow. If nothing else, you never know what kind of friends you will make in the class. What most people seem to forget in life is that meaningful relationships are as valuable or as cash if not more.
I don’t know about you but my time is precious. I already have more things to do than I have time for. I think that if you can find a class near you that teaches about your business, entrepreneurial, or even personal interests, you will quickly find that it was a good investment.
By the way, some classes aren’t even $100. The class I attended was taught by Ms. Cheryl Brown from GTCC at The Small Business Center in Greensboro, NC about “How To Start Your Own Business” and is only $73! This is not a one day class, it’s 2 evenings a week for 4 weeks. I think the people attending will either be highly motivated and empowered to move forward or discover that business is not for them by the time this is over. Her passion inspires desire but her realism warns the faint of heart to move on and pursue other ambitions. Yes, she does have a business, or several , plus some very interesting products to introduce to the public soon.
So not only do you learn more in a few hours than it would take you years to learn, you meet people that you would probably never meet. If you know of a better way to invest in yourself and enrich your life, please feel free to post that so we can all be informed.
Author: My name is David Lieberman. I am a blogger and also have my own site, Bestforacar. I am a graduate of Psychology from the Columbia University in the City of New York, where I edited the literary journal.