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I have been learning and doing business since 2009.
Many would argue that, because of the myriad of information we can access today, it is now easier than ever to learn and do business. Well, it may be true to some extent. I wrote about how easy it is to start an online business in this day and age. Yet, what is difficult is making it successful.
If you wish to read the post, follow this link:
Read: Is it hard to start an online business?
Is Business Easy To Learn?
Business remains one of the most challenging subjects to learn because of its continuous evolution and expansion. This topic has become more and more complex due to the emergence of the online market. And as a result of the rapid change in the business landscape, knowledge gained today might already become obsolete within the next few years.
Here are the other contributing factors to why it is not as easy to learn business today:
- Most of them are scams or low quality business materials.
- Learning business is expensive.
- Failure is an inevitable part of learning.
- Some business aspects cannot be taught.
- Business involves faith.
5 Reasons Why Business Is Not Easy To Learn
1. Most of them are scams or low quality business materials.
I easily get duped when it comes to tools, online courses, books, and just about anything that promises to make my business better. I have bought almost a hundred of them, but sadly, 80% are a complete waste of money.
The majority of the business materials available today are one of these:
- A copy of someone else’s work.
- A sample, introduction, hook, or promotion for the “real” seminar or course.
- An affiliate tutorial for a specific product.
(Affiliate marketing is a way of earning commissions by promoting a merchant’s products.)
- A glorified lead magnet.
(A lead magnet is a free item or service to be given away in exchange for contact details such as an email address.)
There is nothing I hate more than paying for a course and then being upsold for another one. As business students, we must do our due diligence to look for resources with a true intention of teaching, than of simply making a profit. I have already been scammed so many times that I have somehow developed a spider-sense on whether a material is authentic or not.
If you are looking for reliable business courses, here are my only recommendations (so far):
|Income School||Income School is an internet marketing company that teaches people how to create an internet business through blogging and creating YouTube Channels. Income School is best known for its popular internet marketing and SEO channel on YouTube.|
|Coursera||Build skills with courses, certificates, and degrees online from world-class universities and companies.|
|MasterClass||Whether it be in business and leadership, photography, cooking, writing, acting, music, sports, or more, MasterClass delivers a world-class online learning experience.|
Here are a few more I find promising but have not enrolled in yet: (Enroll at your own risk)
|Learn by Fiverr||Learn from Fiverr is an online, on-demand video classes platform, specially tailored for freelancers and professionals. All classes are taught by top experts, who are distinguished in their fields.|
|StackSkills Unlimted: Lifetime Access||Learn New Skills & Discover Your Potential with Access to 1,000+ Premium Online Courses on Coding, Design, Marketing, and Much More|
|EntreLeadership||The EntreLeadership Framework will give you the path and the principles you need to lead a peak-performing business.|
|Business Made Simple||On-demand business courses to develop yourself and your entire team.|
Read: 6 Best Ways To Learn Business At Home
2. Learning Business is Expensive
The cost will always be an obvious obstacle to learning. Let us take the prices of the courses I have mentioned above as an example. (Prices may change without prior notice.)
|Income School||1 year for $449, then $249 / Year (Unlimited Access)|
|Coursera||Price varies per course (ex. Digital Marketing Specialization) $79 / month|
|MasterClass||$180 / Year (Unlimited Access)|
|Learn by Fiverr||$0 ~ $150 / Course|
|StackSkills Unlimited||$59 one-time payment (Lifetime Access) (Promo) (Was $299.99)|
|EntreLeadership||$250 / Month|
|Business Made Simple||$275 / Year|
It was a long thought and discussion with my wife. But in the end, I decided to pull the trigger on MasterClass for its writing and entrepreneurship classes, and Income School to help me develop this blog into a business. So far, they didn’t disappoint.
As a bonus, my wife also used MasterClass to learn cooking. She now makes her own pasta.
Read: How To Better Myself At Home? Here Are 5 Exciting Masterclasses To Try
3. Failure is an inevitable part of learning.
In 2012, I followed an author who taught me how to use debt as a start-up strategy. The business went well for the first two years, but it started to go downhill in the third. By the fourth year, my business had ultimately closed down.
2016 was one of the darkest seasons of my life, yet I will not change one bit of it if I ever had the opportunity to go back in time. The lessons I learned during those moments of failure are something I wouldn’t learn even in business schools.
- I learned to be humble.
- I learned to be more responsible about my finances.
- I learned the importance of honesty and transparency in business.
- I learned you cannot hack your way to real success.
- I learned to stay away from debts.
- I learned it is always better to start simply and grow slowly.
- I learned to be more careful about whom I listen to.
Growth is not linear. Most often than not, growing means taking two steps forward and a step back. Three steps forward and a couple of steps back.
I made a painful and costly mistake. It is something I am still paying for up to this day. Nevertheless, I know I will be a better businessman after this.
Read: How We Killed 8 Credit Cards
4. Some business aspects cannot be taught.
Ever wondered why several successful entrepreneurs contradict one another? It’s because there is an element of art in business that cannot be taught. It is a unique skill of a person which may be gained innately or from personal experience.
Leonard Da Vinci’s students may learn all the necessary techniques for painting, but it does not guarantee they will succeed in creating a masterpiece. Similarly, I cannot blame the author I followed for my failure. While the lessons he taught didn’t work for me, they probably worked for him.
Simply put, there are aspects of our business we should learn on our own.
Here are some examples:
- How to empathize with your customers.
- How to figure things out on the fly.
- When to trust your gut.
- How to build meaningful relationships.
- How to bounce back from failure.
- Work-life balance.
- Search Engine Optimization — There are theories and techniques, but nobody is 100% sure how search engine works except for Google itself.
If you want more, here are 25 Lessons Business School Won’t Ever Teach You.
5. Business involves faith.
Why do you want to study business? What do you want to achieve?
Perhaps we have the same intention. Aside from it being one of my greatest passions, I study business because I want to create a successful company. But what does a successful company look like to you?
For me, a successful business is a business that:
- I enjoy.
- Enables me to spend time with my family.
- Provides a little more than enough financially.
- Is stable, resilient, and scalable.
- People will find it helpful or valuable.
Will studying business allow me to achieve these? I hope so. But there is no guarantee.
I enrolled in Income School’s Project 24 last July 2021. It is a course which teaches people how to create an internet business through blogging and creating YouTube Channels. They named it “Project 24” because they believe their lessons, if followed correctly, will enable their members to replace their day job income with their online business in 24 months.
Will I be successful by July 2023? Or did I just waste my money? I don’t know. It is a leap of faith. But I will stick to the end and find out.
Read: How much do stay-at-home dads make? — My Actual Numbers
I’m sorry, I hope I did not break your spirit. All I intend to do is provide you with some realistic expectations if ever you decide to pursue business studies.
But despite those realities, I still would highly encourage you to go for it.
Here are the benefits of studying business:
- Many business principles can be applied to everyday life.
- Business learning opens your mind to many possibilities.
- It gives you something to look forward to.
- Business trains you to become a better person.
- Knowledge is an investment.
Read: 4 Reasons Why It Is Worth It To Start An Online Business
5 Benefits Of Studying Business
1. Many business principles can be applied to everyday life.
Even if I do not succeed in business (which I hope not), I still wouldn’t consider my studies to be a waste of money. One of the reasons is most business lessons I learned can be applied to everyday life.
Some of the best examples are:
Accounting taught me how to handle money better. The principles I learned from my studies are highly applicable to my personal and family finances.
Marketing taught me how to become a better communicator. I learned how to simplify my messages, so I can deliver them more clearly.
Leadership taught me how to lead by example. It is an essential skill I am trying to develop to parent my kids effectively.
2. Business learning opens your mind to many possibilities.
I never thought it was possible to make money at home until I discovered internet marketing. This subject introduced me to various ways to create an online business through:
- Affiliate marketing
- and info products.
After I failed my business in 2016, I spent the next six months studying finance and digital marketing. By 2017, I started making money purely online and, by God’s grace, it has sustained us up to this day.
These are the online businesses my wife and I currently operate:
|Chromebook Store PH||An online store for Chromebooks.|
|The Learning Dad Blog||A blog about fatherhood.|
|Lustro Diamonds PH||An online diamond store.|
|Ribbon Lab PH||Custom ribbon printing.|
|Property Rental||Through Airbnb.|
Read: How to become a stay-at-home dad: To-do list
3. It gives you something to look forward to.
I suffered from a mental health problem after I closed my business and was hunted by many creditors. I wasn’t able to confirm it medically, but my suspicion is either depression or an anxiety disorder.
Every day I wake up as if I am merely existing. I do not have any direction or anything to look forward to. All I wanted to do then was sleep. Sleeping was my escape from the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness.
But God is good. He eventually led me out of that dark situation. I cannot 100% explain what it is, but I always tell my wife it is something I do not want anyone to experience.
Lalaine and I fought hard to get through it. We asked for prayers, talked to counselors, played video games, and whatnot. One of the things that helped me get back on track is when I began learning about the internet business. The thought of having an online company brought back the excitement in my life.
Having something to look forward to is a concept I learned in the book by Viktor Frankl: A Man’s Search For Meaning. Viktor Frankl was a holocaust survivor. He said what kept him alive is the hope of publishing a book and seeing his wife again one day.
I never understood what he’s talking about until I got myself in a seemingly hopeless situation.
Read: Dealing with Anxiety
4. Business trains you to become a better person.
I heard this quote in one of the seminars I attended: “There are no bad businesses, only bad businessmen.”
Though many factors affect businesses, I generally agree with what the speaker said. The reason we learn business is to improve ourselves as entrepreneurs or even as a person. Business is generally about serving people. And if we do not have the right mindset and system of serving people efficiently, our companies won’t last long.
Business more often than not trains us to:
- Have self-discipline.
- Work hard.
- Satisfy our customers.
- Work well with other people.
- Be patient.
- Be selfless.
- Face our fears.
- Respect time.
All of these are part of the general components of being a good person.
Read: Assets and Liabilities Management: Our simple plan to financial freedom
5. Knowledge is an investment.
All the knowledge you gain is a valuable resource. It is an asset with future returns when used correctly.
An investment in education always pays the highest returns.Benjamin Franklin
Those words by Ben Franklin have never been more relevant than they are today.
Here are some ideas on how to monetize the knowledge you have gained:
- Write ebooks with Designrr and sell them on Kobo or Amazon.
- Create courses and teach them on Udemy or StackSkills.
- Start a blog or a YouTube Channel. — Check out our recommended tools when starting a blog.
- Help your kids start their own businesses.
- Be a consultant or a freelancer on Fiverr.
- Run a premium email newsletter subscription with Mailerlite or Email Octopus.
- Build an online shop with SpreadSimple, Shopify, or Wix.
Read: What To Do With My Child’s Money? Here are 5 ideas
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, business is a difficult subject to learn because it is continuously growing and changing. The lessons we learned are highly perishable. This is especially true when it comes to digital marketing, like SEO and social media. The developers are constantly tweaking their algorithms.
To cut a long story short, learning about business is a lifetime commitment. If you really intend to go for it, prepare yourself for a journey with no end.
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Thank you for reading!