Every great entrepreneur knows that you never stop learning and every business endeavor is an opportunity for a new educational experience. Still, the vast majority of business owners and employees will only dedicate a relatively small portion of their lives to their formal education, after which they’d prefer to use their free time for tasks that aren’t directly related to learning. However, academic research has shown a higher rate of financial success for graduates who pursue additional education beyond their primary degree.
Since you’re going to be learning something new every day for the rest of your life, you might as well make sure you’re gaining knowledge and skills that help you launch and manage more profitable businesses. Unfortunately, many creative entrepreneurs are stifled by their own desire to create “in the now” instead of investing in their future creativity through extended learning efforts. With that said, here are 7 lifelong learning tips you can use to advance your career and finances as a creative entrepreneur:
1. Get a Degree in Accounting
The first time you scale a business up to the point where keeping track of the company’s finances become a job in and of itself, you’ll learn that having one or more designated accountants is on standby is just part of doing business on a high level. While it might seem like outsourcing this job is an ideal course of action anyway, as a creative entrepreneur you can benefit from the skills obtained through an accounting degree program because you’ll learn a plethora of advanced budgeting, bookkeeping, and business planning techniques. Thus, pursuing an online masters in accounting is one of the most actionable and advantageous steps you can take to safeguard and optimize your businesses.
2. Take a Graphic Design or Web Development Course
Knowing how to design and develop your own logos, infographics, and web sites will help you save money by eliminating the need for outsourcing in this area. The ability to visually captivate and convince an audience will improve your chances of making waves in any industry. Plus, as a graphic designer or web developer, your creative potential will be unlocked because you’ll no longer have to rely on communicating and externalizing your ideas in collaboration with a professional – you can bring aesthetic concepts directly from your imagination into existence.
3. Study Video Marketing
Videos are the leading traffic sources online and video marketing is renowned for being one of the most effective forms of advertisement due to the powerful social sharing effect that can be generated on popular web platforms. Thus, studying video production and promotion is an educational path that is certainly worthwhile for anyone who has aspirations of becoming a serial entrepreneur. Of course, you can also turn this skill into a business of its own in the form of a video marketing or production agency.
4. Become a Pro on Major Social Media Networks
Learning the interfaces and intricacies of all the major social networks online will equip you with a talent that any creative entrepreneur will find useful. Knowing how to navigate and leverage these platforms for market research, targeted advertising, and traffic generation, will put you in an elite class of marketers who continue to fuel the social media marketing (SMM) movement. You can subscribe to a few blogs related to SMM and maybe even take a course on the subject to gain a fundamental understanding of the tactics used, but the best way to actually learn each platform is to spend time gaining experience within each interface.
5. Try to Invent Something
Even if you never saw yourself as an inventor, every entrepreneur should give inventing a try as an exercise in creativity and research. Keep in mind that coming up with an idea for an invention and actually inventing it are two totally different things. Of course, the steps involved in carrying out the invention, prototyping, manufacturing, and distribution of a new product will provide invaluable learning experiences that will help you in every business endeavour going forward.
6. Study SEO and Competitive Analysis
Nowadays, being a proficient entrepreneur means knowing how to leverage the internet to its full potential. You can’t reliably do that without having a solid understanding of search engine optimization (SEO). Additionally, learn how to use competitive analysis tools to research the top competition within a niche and develop applicable marketing strategies to emulate or outdo their success. The field of SEO is constantly changing as search engines like Google are always updating and refining their ranking algorithms and policies. Thus, being an expert in this area is a valuable skill to skill to have, but one that will also require ongoing education if you want your campaigns or services to stay relevant and effective.
7. Earn a Business Administration Degree
Many entrepreneurs get by just fine without having any formal education in business management. In fact, autodidacts (self-taught individuals) are often the most successful entrepreneurs because they let their own inquisition guide them instead of forcing themselves to learn a predefined curriculum. However, if you’re already an autodidact who has achieved a reasonable amount of progress as an entrepreneur, obtaining a masters in business administration (MBA) will only help your future businesses become more more lucrative and profitable. Likewise, applying the business management skills you learn to your current endeavours can help to facilitate profound improvements in profitability and business expansion.
Watch Motivational Videos and Business Documentaries for Entertainment
In closing, sometimes entertainment can be the best form of education because it keeps you coming back for more. When you have some free time, try exploring the wealth of motivational videos available on sites like YouTube. Documentaries related to entrepreneurship, economics, and finances are also great forms of entertaining education for entrepreneurs. Ultimately, you should try to occupy some of your free time with any form of entertainment that serves to motivate, inspire, or educate you in a way that is useful in the context of doing business. Luckily, there’s a broad scope of content types for you to enjoy that fit that criteria, so you should have no problem staying thoroughly entertained during your daily educational efforts.