At the risk of looking ignorant to most people, but taking the chance to bond with other friends or family who might be in the same ignorant boat with me, I wanted to say that I recently (a relative term) figured out what the acronym DIY stood for. I’ve seen it around in all kinds of places, and maybe I had figured out its meaning before, but it hadn’t sunk in enough for me to know it off the top of my head without seeing it used in context. (Don’t people know they’re supposed to spell out an acronym when it’s first used in a document? It’s just courteous.)
Anyway, it’s such a common concept these days that I guess most people figure that most other people know what it means. And I don’t know if that is necessarily the case. So for you fellow ignorants out there, it stands for Do It Yourself. And there are all kinds of websites and different applications out there that apply the DIY concept (such as http://www.diynetwork.com/ and http://www.diyweddinginvitation.com/).
But I would like to promote a particular one today. It’s called the Personal MBA (PMBA) and it is a do it yourself education based on the best and latest business books. And even though I actually have an official MBA, I signed up for this one this year because I believe in the concept, I always like to continually learn new things, and I’m doing it with a group of people who will make it a top notch experience.
Here’s the rub. The program contains a list of 77 of the best business books (based on multiple valid sources) including classics and recent releases, and you set up your own reading schedule to read the books and have online discussions about them with others. You don’t have to read all the books and you can create your own schedule, but it does help if you do it with a group so you can learn together and support each other throughout the program. You also create projects where you apply the things you learn.
Isn’t that what education is all about? Do you really need to spend thousands of dollars for a university experience? And if you’re on your own time table and studying topics that you are really interested in, doesn’t that provide a better motivation to accomplish true learning? That is the position of the PMBA Program. You can read the manifesto here.
The group that I am studying with is so incredibly awesome that we already have some authors of the books and other experts lined up to teach us. How can you get better than that? And I think all it took was to ask. This is the true power of DIY. We have set up our own Master’s program with relevant cutting edge business topics, using no budget (the only cost to us is the price of the books), and with participants from around the world networking with each other and the great minds of the latest business trends. Our specific program may not be universally recognized (yet) but when you see the outcome – our knowledge, ability, and skill, – and the course content and instructors, it should be recognized as a valuable education.
Our plan consists of 25 books, reading a book each week, implementing the concepts, and working on our ‘Big Idea’.
The opportunities are endless. Where can you apply the DIY concept in areas that you may not have considered possible before? A small group of people is a powerful thing.