Here’s one for you: would you raise your hand to be a part of a team responsible for building a nuclear power plant if you were not an educated, nuclear scientist? Probably not. So what makes you think that you can start an online business if you haven’t gone through any kind of business school?
You probably have a clue where I’m going with it.
Is traditional education important for online entrepreneurs? Or is it completely redundant? Can a Jack of No Trades succeed?
(Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not ranting on anyone here, which you will realize in just a moment.)
Of course, having some business education can’t possibly harm you, but do you really need it in order to succeed? When building a nuclear power plant you surely do, but is online business any different when you boil it down to the essential skills and knowledge?
My answer is both yes and no. Here’s what I mean. There are basically two ways of obtaining knowledge about anything. You can either get it through a precise, thorough school-like process (by learning and memorizing lots of theoretical material), or through action and gaining experience from a first person perspective.
Therefore, there are also two kinds of activities you can pursue:
Experience driven vs knowledge driven
Experience driven activities require very little education to get started. These are the things you can start doing right away and figure stuff out along the way.
Knowledge driven activities, on the other hand, require a bigger amount of fundamental education to get started. These are the things that you can’t be doing if you don’t have enough expertise.
What about online business?
I believe that online business lies somewhere
Basically, you can start with next to zero knowledge, have some business ideas, figure the essential stuff out along the way, launch a website, offer something to the world, and adjust later.
I’m saying this because the starting activities are not that difficult. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be successful. There are only two mandatory requirements: the desire to make it happen and the will to put some hard work into the project (well, some amount of money may be useful too).
Then if you want to take your online business to the next level, some specific, targeted education/data/advice might come handy. You might have to consult with someone more experienced and more knowledgeable than you, or go through a training program. However, the starting point is available to everybody. Even if you’re a Jack of No Trades when it comes to the online business world.
Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not here to convince you that you need or don’t need education to be an online entrepreneur. What I really want to do is ask you a question, find out what your opinion is.
What would you do if someone gave you a significant amount of money and two choices what you can do with it:
- Spend it on top-notch business education, so you can start a tailor-made, well researched business later, and hopefully be successful because of all the things you’ve learned.
- Use it to start a business immediately, in a field where you have absolutely no expertise, and try to figure stuff out along the way.
You can choose only one of these paths. Not a combination of both or anything like it. It’s either #1 or #2.
I’m really looking forward to your answers. Please don’t hesitate to speak up in the comments and tell me what your choice is and why.