This guest post is provided by Justin Kulla, founder and CEO of BusinessBlocks. BusinessBlocks is an online education company founded to meet the needs of small business owners eager for practical knowledge they can use today to improve their business. BusinessBlocks offers courses and coaching in Marketing and Finance, as part of its MainStreet MBA for small business owners. The company prides itself on its real world approach to small business education. When you take a BusinessBlocks course, you’re not learning theory, you’re working on your business.
There is so much virtue in higher education. It is an experience that surfaces new ideas, broadens worldviews, and allows you to physically meet a wide range of diverse and interesting people. Perhaps one of the biggest virtues of higher education is learning how to learn–understanding how to ask probing questions, researching and experimenting.
However, higher education has changed in recent years. Now, graduate school learning occurs less frequently on physical campuses. Instead, students learn in digital contexts. This is an important and powerful development that expands accessibility, and we applaud those that are pioneering new higher education programs.
Even though I have an MBA, I’ve realized that business education is not sufficient in preparing entrepreneurs to succeed. First, many business and technology concepts have an increasingly short shelf life. As an example, the computer science technologies I learned in college are now considered antiquated, replaced by newer computer languages. Learning is constantly iterated, and it doesn’t stop when you receive a degree.
Second, there is just so much to learn. Entrepreneurs need skills in sales, marketing, finance, operations, legal, HR, management, and so much more. To know what you’re doing, you need to know a lot. And knowing a lot happens over time.
At BusinessBlocks, we believe entrepreneurs must continue learning even after their formal education ends.
So here’s how we suggest you become a lifelong learner:
Step 1: Read everyday
You can set up a Google Alert about topics that are most interesting to you. Or you can just read your favorite business websites and blogs.
Step 2: Take classes
Articles are great, but are often superficial. Online and offline classes force a level of rigor and accountability that is beneficial for most of us with busy lives.
Step 3: Practice
You’re only going through the motions of learning if you don’t actually put what you learned to practice. You need to wrestle with new concepts. Sure, it might be tough in the beginning, but the only way to get better is through practice.
Step 4: Network
Surround yourself with coaches and peers that offer new ideas, that challenge and support you, and that make unexpected connections
The BusinessBlocks MainStreet MBA formalizes all of the suggestions above into a program specifically designed for small business. We’ve had dozens of business school professors and small business owners helped us create a truly personalized curriculum. In the MainStreet MBA, you’ll learn with a cohort of 20 entrepreneurs, led fearlessly by your own Business Coach.
In MainStreet Marketing, you’ll devise a modern online marketing plan to help you get more customers. You’ll work on improving your online presence, master email marketing, explore digital advertising, and learn the ins and outs of social media marketing.
In MainStreet Finance, we’ll take the fear out of small business finance. We’ll show you how mastering your numbers can help you make better business decisions.
In the MainStreet MBA, you’ll learn with a cohort of 20 entrepreneurs, led by your own Business Coach. Our courses feature video-based instruction, enriched by friendly and personalized coaching, to help you get started quickly and stay committed. Dozens of business school professors and small business owners have helped us create a truly personalized curriculum.
Come take your first step to lifelong learning by applying for the MainStreet MBA today.