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The 5 Challenges Alternative Business Schools Help You Tackle
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The 5 Challenges Alternative Business Schools Help You Tackle

Some challenges seem vast, frightening, beyond our scope; we don’t know where to look to start solving them.

These challenges rear their heads when we are least expecting them. They come quietly, like cats in the night, sneaking up on us when we’re working a comfortable job or getting a degree, in a set routine that rarely changes.

The routine of doing the same tasks day-in, day-out gives you some time to ponder bigger things related to your own existence and its impact on the world. Like, “I’d love to make a difference, but I have no idea how to go about it”. Or, “I wish I could make a living from my passion”. Or, “I’d love to break free from a job that kills my creativity, and find out what it is I really want to do”.

Alternative business schools like Knowmads guide you to embrace these uncertainties and move through them to emerge with a new way of working and a new structure to meet those goals.

Below are listed five of the most common challenges people face when entering an alternative business school, and how Knowmads supports you in overcoming them.

1. You want to turn your idea into a reality.

Many people have great ideas that could make the world a better place. Maybe you have an idea for an app, or a new way to reuse ocean plastic. Maybe you want to raise funds to buy a sustainable home or you have a great talent for art and you don’t know where to start making a sustainable income in the art world… The list goes on.

Now, Knowmads won’t make all your dreams come true, but it is a great place to set up your foundation to make it possible. You get feedback, support, access to a pool of people with great skills, and most importantly, confidence:

The belief that it’s possible if you just start.

You are given the autonomy and freedom to pursue what’s important to you, while participating in workshops and lectures that support you in accessing the skills needed to turn your idea into a reality. Many people that graduate Knowmads start companies that make a meaningful difference in the world.

2. You want to find new direction in life.

You may be one of the many who have found themselves doing a job they never wanted, possibly wondering how on earth they got there. Your job feels meaningless and unsatisfying and you’re questioning if you are making any positive contribution to the world at all. You are not alone: More than 25% of the American and English population feel this way about their job, for example.

Knowmads gives you the chance to create meaning in the work you do and find new direction towards pursuits that are important to you.

You are given the opportunity to try new things without committing to anything straight away. It’s a playing field, a safe space to fail and try again; to get support from peers and gain a whole network of great companies and individuals that can provide opportunities. It’s an environment where you will never feel alone.

3.  You want to make a positive difference in the world, but don’t know how or where to start.

You may feel like the work you do or the career path laid out before you is not really for the benefit of the greater good. Whether you are a secretary, a graphic designer, a host or a manager, it’s amazing how much better work can feel if it’s part of a bigger picture that improves people’s lives and the whole planet:

Knowmads is about creating business that is good for the world and supporting you in finding your role in that.

All your skills are useful and needed in the better world we are striving to create; it is just a matter of finding where they fit. Whether you want to start your own enterprise, play a role in an existing business, or develop new skills, you are encouraged explore how you can contribute your knowledge and expertise to a do-good business.

4. You struggle to find your path in other education.

You may have been thinking about going to or returning to university, but you can’t face the idea of sitting in lecture halls for hours, reading hundreds of papers and writing articles. You’re not the only one:

Academic learning is only suitable for about 30% of the population.

For the rest of us, it’s a huge struggle. We learn much better by experiencing life. Knowmads is about learning by doing. You receive new knowledge in workshop-style environments and you learn with a group of people.

There are no exams or standards for failure; only iteration.

You learn through working on projects and exploring your own abilities and shortcomings.

You also get the time and space to find out how you learn, and then optimize your learning in that way. This deeper layer enhances not just the learning done at Knowmads, but on all the levels of your life.

5. You want to be part of a learning community.

School, university, and even online learning all require you to learn alone. Of course, you are with others, but you don’t learn from each other or share your work with each other and you certainly don’t take exams together. In the end, it’s up to you and you alone to be successful.

But why? Life isn’t like that.

We need other people and their knowledge and skills to solve complex problems and create meaningful impact. So why do we spend the first 15 years of our lives working against our peers? At Knowmads, the more people you have working on a project or in a workshop, the more wisdom there is to collectively generate the best ideas and solutions. The more people you interact with, the more you learn about yourself and the world. You are always collaborating with multiple people and even companies to come up with ideas that are going to create the most positive impact.

Right for You?

There are many more big challenges that alternative business schools like Knowmads tackle, but of course, like anything else, they are not for everyone. Without the motivation and desire to change yourself and really dive deeply into the opportunities offered to you at an alternative business school, you are unlikely to reap the benefits. If you are someone who refuses to step out of their comfort zone and take initiative, these schools may not provide enough structure and discipline to get you to where you want to be.

And in no way do these programs spoon-feed you the answers. The frustrating beauty of working with these huge broad questions is that the more you dig, the more you come up with new questions, iterating and iterating until you arrive at one core nugget of truth. Or maybe you never do arrive at what you consider ‘the truth’ or ‘the ultimate answer’, but you end up somewhere you never thought you’d be, doing something you never imagined yourself doing and being even more surprised that you love it. Pursuit of these questions is a lifelong thing, hence the word quest in question. It’s addicting; it rewires your mind to be a true knowledge seeker and to see opportunities in the most unexpected of places. You can never go back to sleep again. And the great thing is, it is all what you make it. You are completely in control of the entire journey from start to finish.

So why not arm yourself with the tools to start digging, keep digging, and keep grabbing at what makes you happy? The questions reveal what tools you need to cultivate to be successful, and then the program (in which you get to choose the workshops you receive) gives you those tools. The tools to transform, the tools to see things differently. Priceless strategies; the sub-layer of how to learn that makes it possible to absorb huge quantities of information from many different angles and actually apply it.

So see these five challenges not as obstacles but starting points. They point to where you need to go, what skills you need to work on. They open worlds. They transform you. They free your boundless potential. The world will never be the same again.

So why wait? Start now.

Discover the Possibilities

If you are wanting change enough to be reading this article and are thinking about attending an alternative business school, then we recommend you start with Knowmads’ 6-month course in Amsterdam (also located in Hanoi for a condensed 9-weekend version of the program, with workshops running in Cape Town as well). This is a good place to begin exploring the endless possibilities alternative business school could hold for you.

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