The Importance of Education

Alwaysbe learning

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”  Oscar Wilde

I believe that if you want to accomplish and sustain something of significance in any area of your personal or professional life that you need to be committed to constant education and improvement.

The Japanese call this Kaizen. Kaizan is Japanese for “improvement”, or “change for the better” referring to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement.

For those of you that don’t know I’m just past 30. I’ve had 3 different businesses and worked for some of the world’s leading companies. My advice to young entrepreneurs: Go get a professional degree before starting a business.

After I left school I started studying business at University but dropped out after a few months convinced that there wouldn’t be many situations I couldn’t handle if I surrounded myself with smart people, took courses, read books and asked Google.

I still believe this to be the case when it comes to most content offered via a degree however what I’ve come to understand is that a University qualification is about more than just the content alone.

Achieving a qualification from a University demonstrates that you have discipline, can think in a certain way, research, participate in a discussion, formulate a position, construct an argument, and can present your views, amongst other things. It is for these reasons that most of the world’s leading employers insist on a degree for most roles and there are many professions where you won’t even get a start without the relevant professional degree like Law, Finance, Accounting, Engineering or Medicine.

University also gives you the chance to meet lots of new people, establish a network, drink copious amounts of alcohol and have sex with strangers regularly.

When it comes to running your own business or being an Entrepreneur in most cases you’ll also be better prepared, networked and capable as a result of obtaining a professional degree from a University. Also, if something goes wrong and your plans to be acquired by Facebook don’t work out then you will have more options available to you.

A University qualification is one thing however when it comes to education it shouldn’t stop there. If you want to succeed and separate yourself from those around you or your competitors in business and life then you need to commit to constant education. It goes without saying that education also needs to be followed by action and efficient execution.

Thankfully education now doesn’t have to take the form of hours in the class room. It can happen anywhere anytime thanks to the internet, tablets and smart phones.

I make it a habit to follow thought leaders and captains of industry on Twitter, check out their blogs, review industry specific websites daily and read books on certain subjects by amazing people. I also like to peruse websites like TED where I can hear remarkable people talk on just about any subject at all. This is how I maintain my commitment to constant education and improvement.

What philosophy or practices can you put into place when it comes to education to ensure you get better results?

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3 responses to “The Importance of Education

  1. I grew up in a family of successful creative freelancers — writing/directing for TV and film and print — and no one had a degree. They did have smarts, savvy, hustle, ideas and resilience.

  2. I’ve had a few people ask me about My advice to young entrepreneurs: Go get a professional degree before starting a business… since this post.

    When I say young I’m referring to school leavers or people 1 or 2 years out.

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