Questions for everyone: I understand that many business owners hold college degrees, but what about those like me who do not have one? What are your thoughts on this? Are individuals who attend trade schools missing out on something, or are those with college degrees getting the expected value from their education?
My own background consists of completing high school and trade school to become a heavy equipment mechanic, a profession I worked in for 31 years before retiring and taking over my current company, Ultralight Camera Solutions. The advantage for me was having experience in underwater photography, familiarity with the company's previous owners, and being a people person. I had innovative ideas for enhancing the company and the motivation to keep learning, a trait I believe is somewhat lacking in today's world, but that's a discussion for another time.
While all this sounds promising, it's not enough to sustain a business, both strategically and financially. Running a business involves much more than just improvisation; otherwise, you'll eventually face failure. Of course, there are options to compensate for my areas of weakness, such as online or college courses, seminars, books, and more. However, I'd rather not invest my time and energy in these options, because I'm someone who learns best through hands-on experience after being shown how to do something. Books and classes aren't my strong suit!
Furthermore, all these options come with costs. Regardless of the route you choose, there's no avoiding the expense of acquiring the knowledge needed to run your business. This is where the last option I adopted comes into play, and I believe it's the most practical and worthwhile. I stumbled upon a business mentor, Jennifer Shaheen from Technology Therapy, at a seminar during a scuba manufacturing convention, DEMA. I've been working with her for nearly a year now, and she has taught me a great deal about all aspects of running a business, including a complete rebranding of my company. Everything I learn is tailored to my specific business, and I learn by doing, just like writing this post.
Yes, there's a cost involved, but as I was reflecting the other day, it's more cost-effective than obtaining a college degree, complements my trade school background, requires less time than online or evening classes, and all the information is directly applicable to my business. I'm acquiring insights into social media that I never had before, and it's all current and includes new processes to enhance business operations. We've been in business for around 30 years, and I'm determined to see it thrive for many more.
So, what methods have you found to be the most effective in keeping your business running smoothly?