Do you need a college degree to get ahead today? That’s one of the hottest topics out there and a continuing question I am being asked. (I included a new chapter in the revision of 48 Days to the Work You Love titled Yes, I Have an “Education.”)
I love the process of learning and have pursued that in multiple ways. Yes, I did go to college and have both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology. I completed my doctoral studies but never turned in a dissertation. Instead of creating a document for four old guys to read I wrote a book that a whole lot of people have read – and paid for. Today I write, speak and coach. Along the way I’ve owned varied businesses and done everything from painting houses to selling cars.
So let’s look at some things you can do – right now – to get an education that matters.
Here are Ten Steps to Education – Things you can do this year to open the floodgates of new opportunity, and new wealth. Companies will want you, you’ll see new things you can do on your own, and your income will start to grow in unexpected ways.
- Read (or listen to) at least 12 great books – I have an Amazon.com Prime membership with unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping – and buy books liberally – and encourage you to do the same. However, if you feel you cannot invest even small dollars in your education then check them out of the library. (See complete list here – Dan’s Reading List)
I know of no way to more quickly change your level of success than to read good books.
Old Classics like
- Think and Grow Rich
- The Magic of Thinking Big
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- The Strangest Secret
- Thou Shall Propser
- A Whole New Mind
- How to think like Leonardo da Vinci
- The Success Principles
More recent titles
- Trust Agents
- The Compound Effect
- The Art of Non-Non-Conformity
2. Attend 3 or 4 seminars
Chose what you’d like – but go with an open mind. I attend a lot of seminars each year. My goal is not to change my life with any ONE seminar, but to learn at least one great idea that I can use.
3. Subscribe to at least two great magazines
You can get any magazine on line if you prefer. I still enjoy holding the magazine, turning the pages and returning to them again and again. Here are some of my favorites“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” ~Chinese ProverbClick To Tweet
4. Listen to 3 or 4 informational on-demand radio shows & read 3 or 4 blogs each week
You may be an audio or print learner. No right or wrong – just select what works for you. The free information is priceless.
5. Get involved in a community like 48 Days Eagles
Find a couple where you can identify with the group – then get involved. Contribute, ask questions and give advice. You’ll find your center of influence will grow rapidly.
- Start your own blog.
- Write and then comment on others
- Ask questions – seek advice
6. Work on improving your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to use and manage your emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Your skill in this area will allow you to form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life.“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” ~Chinese ProverbClick To Tweet
7. Acquire at least one new skill this year
Each year I select an area of interest – having nothing to do with business or making money. Purely for the “education.” Imagine that.
- Martial arts
- Our Spiritual heritage
- Learn a new language
- Take the Drawing from the right side of the brain class.
- Start a book discussion or Mastermind group
- Get a vocational degree in something you can use immediately
8. Become comfortable with your presentation skills
No matter what your career or business you must be comfortable presenting your ideas. It will do wonders for your confidence and self-esteem. You will find it easier to complete a sales transaction, have conversations with family and friends, and find success in your career.
9. Take 2 or 3 courses in areas of interest.
You don’t have to be “accepted” or lock in thousands of dollars in tuition. Just explore the many courses that can give you marketable skills on sites like:
These sites have thousands of professional video courses covering almost every topic imaginable. And you can access to all courses on the site for a small monthly fee or a small fee for the individual course. Many of these courses have certificates of completion to show adequate preparation for work in that area. More and more employers are accepting these certificates as proof of training.
10. Plan two trips this year
Many people think they cannot afford to travel. Joanne and I have continued to travel even through our toughest times financially. I’ve been treating her to Christmastime in Chicago for over 20 years now. Direct flights from Nashville used to be $69 round trip (a little more now). And few people travel on business the week of Christmas so 4-star hotels are cheap and easy to get. Typically I have used PriceLine to put in my bid of about $79 a night. But just do something that excites you. Be creative. Joanne and I often go downtown Nashville and just pretend we’re tourists. We walk through the classic cathedrals, over the unique pedestrian bridges, and visit the art displays.
I’m sure you could probably add more examples of experiences in your life that have helped you get an “education.” With today’s technology you can listen to your smart phone while cleaning the house or driving your car.
So where do you think I got my “education?” If I depended on my academic degrees, would I really be qualified to write, speak and coach?
What life experiences have been part of your “education?”