“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
Some fields, like law and medicine, require continuing education as part of the job. Others, like real estate, have a license you’re required to test and renew every year or two.
But what about entrepreneurs? There’s no institutional system saying we have to keep on learning, and yet, continuous learning is what pushes the very best entrepreneurs to their massive success.
To grow your knowledge as an entrepreneur, you have to do it yourself. It’s not always easy or efficient, but thanks to the internet there are some incredible resources that make ongoing learning a whole lot easier (and fun!).
Here are nine of our favorites.
- Khan Academy
Created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan, Khan Academy was truly ahead of its time. As its tagline aptly puts it, it’s the place to go to ‘learn almost anything for free.’
The platform quickly gained favor among teachers, who could not only use the site’s educational video in the classroom, but refer them to parents stuck helping with tricky trigonometry problems.
Today, the site is filled with videos and learning materials on every academic subject you can think of, from math to computing to humanities.
By now you’ve probably heard of the wildly popular TED Talks, but you might not know the organization actually got its start way before the internet went mainstream, in 1984.
It began as the ‘Technology, Entertainment and Design’ Conference, a place for forward-thinking minds to debut new ideas like the compact disc player.
Today TED has widely expanded its subject matter, with experts covering topics from self-help to social issues. Each talk is available for free viewing online and is just 18 minutes long, considered the perfect length to delve into a topic without becoming a bore.
- MIT Open Courseware
What would happen if one of the most prestigious technology institutions in the world make all of its educational materials available for free? That’s exactly what MIT Open Courseware aims to accomplish.
The the initiative was launched in 2001 by the university in tandem with several charitable foundations, with the self-described goals of unlocking knowledge and empowering minds.
Ambitious minds can now learn about subjects like electrical engineering and discrete applied mathematics alongside some of the brightest students in the country. Just don’t be surprised when you get a homework assignment—yep, it’s the full MIT experience!
Slideshare is a treasure trove for those who prefer to learn visually. It’s an online library of presentations and infographics created by experts in their field.
While you’ll find presentations on everything from religion to medicine, the bulk of the site’s materials focus on business topics that are highly useful for entrepreneurs.
A couple recent favorites: 10 Dead Simple Ways to Improve Your Company Culture and How To Solve Problems and Test Ideas in Five Days.
You’ve been saying you want to learn French for how long?!?
Whether you want to add a new language to your repertoire for a business deal or an upcoming trip to Europe, Duolingo will help you do it, free of charge. It gamifies the process of learning a language and makes it easy to work in bite-sized chunks, like when you’re waiting for the bus or grabbing a quick lunch break.
C'est si facile!
Johns Hopkins University, Stanford and Yale are just a few of the distinguished names you’ll find among Coursera’s library of courses.
Once you register, you can guide yourself through areas of study like biology, computer science and marketing, all taught by accredited instructors. Some courses are free, while other, more specialized ones range from $29-$500. Some fields of study can even earn you a university-recognized degree.
If it’s quick, practical learning you’re after, like how to create a functioning Excel sheet or customize your website using CSS, Udemy is the place to go. It’s an online marketplace of more than 45,000 courses taught by everyday people, most of whom are pro’s in their field.
The upside of Udemy is the courses are highly affordable, some starting at just $5, and they’re usually taught in speedy, easily digestible videos. The only downside is that anyone can create and sell a course on Udemy, so you’ll want to read the reviews before pulling the trigger.
- Talks at Google
Google consistently ranks among the best places to work for a reason, one of which being their enrichment programs for employees.
Talks at Google is a series where the internet giant brings the brightest minds to its headquarters to give talks on a wide array of subjects. Lucky for us, they’ve made this highly interesting program available to the public through a free YouTube channel.
From NASA Project Managers to the cast of the movie “Suicide Squad,” there something for pretty much everyone in this series.
Who says watching TV makes you dumber? It’s quite the opposite with the PBS series Frontline, available for free streaming on the organization’s website.
The program takes us to the heart of some of the most timely topics of the day, including the war on ISIS, Gitmo prisoners and the controversial coal industry, shedding light on both sides of the issue. An excellent and educational change of pace from your typical Netflix session.
Remember, learning is no accident. It takes work and intention, but it pays off exponentially in the form of life and business success!
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