Where do you find the right information to start something of your own?

IMG-20150711-00694It has taken my daughter almost 9 years before she has been able to study again because of an illness that struck shortly after she left high school. We spent many hours probing into her interests and eventually came up with a clear idea of what she was passionate about. Then we started a search for an educational institution that would provide the necessary training. After much searching online, we discovered a vocational college, believe it or not, in our local neighbourhood that provides the necessary courses part-time and on Saturday mornings. The college is also supported by industry and strives for quality, which is evident in everything that they do. My daughter has been enjoying the course, has stuck with it and we hope to see her graduating.

Finding the right information, courses and even degrees in your specialised field is not always easy. I was reading the other night about the mess in one field where a distance learning institution is going to can the only degree of its kind. The reason it seems is because the degree course has fell behind industry standards over the past 15 years and is beginning to lack credibility. Unfortunately, there is no more information on this because the university reluctantly refuses to answer prospective students enquiries. In this particular field you can get in at an entry level with a two-week course, which barely equips you with the basics.

A few years ago when I was searching for information on MBA degrees, I eventually came to the conclusion that local institutions were short changing perspective students because their course content was out of whack with international universities. The one university that patted itself on the back that it was so good now doesn’t even qualify for international recognition and its student intake has dwindled down to literally a handful. I cast my net wider and found an internationally-recognised European university that provided a top-notch MBA that suited my requirements and learning style. Yes, it took much longer, far longer than necessary, but at the end of the day it was worth it.

In the area of enterprise or small business information, specialised knowledge and education, you will find many who purport to provide you with top quality small business education but when you dig below the surface you find another story. You need to ask yourself how their curricula have been developed and who does the teaching. You will often find that the lecturers have never started and run their own small ventures and will unashamedly tell you this. I don’t know about you but I would not like to learn from anyone who is a plain theorist and has never been a doer. You can learn far more from real, successful entrepreneurs though not everything they say is applicable than from information on entrepreneurship that is dodgy at best.

In the area of the taking an idea from mere concept to a viable product or service, you will find very little such information. There is plenty of information on small business formation no matter how out of date it really is but you will be lucky if you find anything on starting a small or micro enterprise from scratch. If you want information on how you can turn your most promising idea into a viable product, service or small venture, you may want to find out more about my book “Breakthrough Ideas”. It’s a book whose information is based on hard-won experience, hours of trial and error, perseverance, sweat equity and deep research but presented in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

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