The First Step in Entrepreneurship

Josh’s Experience

This was the first Coursera course I ever enrolled in, and I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my last assignment.  If you are looking for something inspiring and informative, I implore you to check this class out.

Instructed by James V. Green and hosted by the University of Maryland College Park, Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies was filmed directly in a classroom, giving this course a more casual feel, as you can see the interaction between the students and professor Green.

I will warn you in advance, the lectures are lengthy.  The quizzes are NOT multiple choice, but involve a degree of essay writing.  Still, after finishing each weeks’ assignments, I feel like I want to go out and light myself on fire because I’m burning up with so many new ideas about how to not only improve my own business but also how I can expand in the future.

An added bonus is that the last week focuses on writing business plans.  If you are looking for in-depth discussion and guidance about how to put together a professional plan to propel your newest endeavor, this course is surely worth its weight in gold.

As a whole, this class has imparted so much knowledge in me that would have been great to have had when I started my business.  I know I can practically apply so much of this to my future, that I am really grateful I found it when I did.

As with any online educational program, you get out what you put in, you have to be self-motivated to a degree, and organizational skills definitely come in handy when balancing a myriad of classes. 

However, the fact that these classes are free and don’t apply to a GPA allow for a low-pressure way to learn about things that you feel passionately about.  Even if you only take away one new idea or a bit of information that changes your perspective, your investment (which through Coursera is merely your time), simply pays off.  I know I’m hooked and am looking forward to the upcoming course offerings for 2018.

Have you ever participated in a MOOC through Coursera or another organization?  What were your experiences?  What are some I should add to my “watchlist” in the future?

And this is what Adam did.

Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence

I just started this 8-week course on September 28th.  Yielding from professor Richard Boyatzis at Case Western University, Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence focuses on the science behind being an effective an inspiring leader in your workplace.

The video lectures are brief, but all come with open-ended homework assignments that draw upon your past experiences with leaders in your life, your leadership abilities, and how to improve your workplace relations.  Participation in the online forums is mandatory in this class, but therein you will find a treasure trove of information from people all over the world looking to become stronger leaders in their fields.

My favorite take away from this class thus far is how important it is to get your own life in order before you can be a truly effective leader.  I have found in the past when my home life is a little sub-par, be it financial stress or just not taking the time to take care of myself and squeeze in things that I enjoy doing in favor of burying myself in my business, it takes a toll on my employees, because they are highly empathetic to how I’m feeling.  Learning how to manage your emotions to create a strong and healthy work environment is definitely something that entrepreneurs should take the time to educate themselves in.

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