Where to Find Affordable Education for Freelancers

Self-improvement is within reach these days, and easily so. Distance education lets anyone take a course from a reputable university or college. Plenty of other training courses offered by credible businesses offer exactly what you need, too.

Research a little, pick a course and sign up.

It’s a great idea. If you’re a freelancer, the money invested in yourself is tax deductible. In just a few short weeks, you can learn a new skill to offer a new service or to manage your business better.

Self-Education Sucks?

Some people look down on self-education. They believe that the only skills that count are the ones backed up by a paper degree. Some believe that to be a professional, you need a school’s seal of approval. I beg to differ.

Much of what allows me to be a great business manager, a good entrepreneur and branch out into topic areas that please me is my willingness to learn through any way that I can.

Hands-on experience? The best. Seriously. Practice makes perfect? That’s sound advice too. Learning doesn’t mean you have to sit in a classroom for a lecture given by some professor. There are tons of experts out there in all career fields. Plenty of them don’t have degrees.

Most of my skills don’t come from a classroom at all. My customer service skills came from supervising a department and my negotiation skills came from a few years in purchasing. Logistics skills came from scheduling international transport and deliveries. Accounting skills? A few years in the AP/AR departments taught me bookkeeping.

My social interaction skills were enhanced by self-education, too. You learn a great deal about fears, empathy, sympathy, remaining calm and leadership guiding yahoos on green horses through the bush of Quebec. Emergency medical intervention? I know that too.

I even taught myself to juggle.

Where to Find Cheap Self-Education

I’m a huge fan of self-improvement and learning through trial and error. I realized I could get the best of both worlds: formal education blended with self-education. (I also wondered why I never thought of such a simple solution before.)

Browsing through Chapters (the Canadian equivalent of Amazon) with a few birthday gift certificates to spend, a book caught my eye. Not just any book, mind you, and one a little off the beaten path of usual reading selections.

It was a textbook on consumer behavior.

The lightbulb flicked on. I suddenly realized that I could educate myself easily – and from the same resources used in formal schools across Canada today. Why not buy textbooks? Why not learn that way?

I’d had my blinkers on. The mental association between textbooks and classrooms kept me from tapping into fantastic learning tools. How many others limit their perception as I did? Textbooks aren’t supposed to be for casual reading, after all.

Why not, I ask.

The cost of textbooks is negligible. The books are tax write-offs, they’re a fraction of the price of a distance education course, and they’ll pay for themselves with enhanced knowledge. Schools have their place, certainly, and formal training is important for certain careers (um, like doctor), but you can acquire a wealth of knowledge outside the classroom easily.

Want to accomplish a dream, boost your career or change jobs? Go buy a textbook or two, in any subject you feel like. You have education and opportunity right at your fingertips.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.