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How to Learn Business Basics as an Aspiring Entrepreneur

Not sure how best to learn about business? Discover three popular paths you can take to learn business basics and start your entrepreneurial journey.


Learning business basics is necessary for any aspiring entrepreneur. However, it can be intimidating for someone just starting out to try and break into. Sometimes it is overwhelming to see business veterans boast about their business knowledge while you’re still trying to figure out how to break in. 

The term ‘business knowledge’ has a broad definition, but it generally means the experience and skill you gather while participating in the business world. Some say getting an MBA is the best place to acquire this knowledge. Others argue that there is a breadth of business information online to study. Some believe that the only real place to learn new business knowledge is by diving head first and gaining hands-on experience. 

There are many different avenues for getting into business, so we have created a list of the three main routes people take when learning business basics.

Key points

  • Everyone dreams of being their own boss — living independently, crafting your own schedule, and making a salary you determine for yourself. These are all amazing perks of being a successful entrepreneur and businessperson.

  • Unfortunately, getting there isn’t as easy as it sounds. Only 40 percent of small businesses are profitable, while the other 60 percent either lose money or break even.

  • There is no ‘right’ way to create and build a business, and most entrepreneurs end up learning the hard way: from their mistakes.

  • While there is nothing wrong with learning from your mistakes (failure is one of the greatest teachers), it would be nice to cut down on that learning curve as much as possible.

  • No matter what educational path you choose, one thing is for certain — you should never stop learning and upgrading your knowledge, which is made easier than ever with the Headway app.

1. Learning business basics on your own

Download the Headway app

The Headway app is a great starting point for the eager businessperson, no matter where you are in your career. Our book summary app encourages consistency by tracking your reading progress and achievements. 

Rather than feeling overwhelmed by all the business books out there, Headway makes learning and retaining business knowledge an easy and sustainable habit. The app allows users to delve into the topics that interest them, such as money and investments, business and career, leadership, self-growth, productivity, negotiations, and more. 

For those looking into the future, once you’ve built the business of your dreams, a great employee perk is offering the corporate Headway subscription. The corporate plan helps your employees develop their communication skills, get motivated by world-renowned speakers and authors, and have fun working with team members along the way. 

Start working toward your business goals with unlimited educational content for entrepreneurs. There is even a free trial, so you can check us out and ensure it benefits your business education journey. Download the Headway app today.

Watch lectures online


There are free resources that allow you to stream business seminars and lectures. Depending on what business knowledge you are looking for and what new skills you are trying to get, you can find seminars by successful business magnates or lectures from revered university professors. This learning tool may take some digging to find the right lecture. While payment may be required to watch high-level professionals speak, the financial commitment, if any, tends to be quite low. 

In your research, you may also find that some business programs at universities and business organizations put on digital conferences that users can watch recorded or through a live feed. It only takes a quick Google search to discover what business conferences are circulating, what people and organizations are involved, and how to access the presentation.

Read business publications

Books and lectures are not the only easily accessible sources of free business knowledge. One of the best ways to learn more about real-world business basics is to read magazines, newspapers, and journals dedicated to specific industries and markets. Keeping up to date with the latest business news is an effective way to stay in touch with the pulse of the industry. 

Major news publications publish several daily articles about stocks, companies, CEOs, marketing strategies, hiring practices, business development, digital marketing, project management, and more. Some popular business publications include The Economist, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Forbes

Watch TED talks

A certain degree of self-education is mandatory for any aspiring entrepreneur or startup owner. No matter your educational background, there is always more to learn and pathways to improve.

There are hundreds of free TED talks under the ‘Business’ section of that cover a wide range of topics, from aspiring entrepreneurs to successful business leaders. This is a great way to be inspired and learn about business from revered professionals.

If you prefer to listen rather than watch, TED Radio Hour offers audible versions of the most popular TED talks so you can keep learning while out and about.

Listen to podcasts on the go

Podcasts have increasingly become a go-to learning outlet for busy professionals over the past few years. They are a good way to learn business basics without committing time to sit down and read. You can listen to business-related podcasts while you commute, exercise, or complete chores around the house. 

Learning business basics doesn’t have to stop you from living your life. To find the business-related podcast right for you, go to your preferred podcast app and scan through the business category. The Headway app also offers comprehensive 15-minute audiobook summaries on the world’s top-rated business books if you want to listen to the musings of the most famous entrepreneurs and thought leaders. 


2. Learning business basics through hands-on experience

Find an internship

An internship is one of the best ways to gain hands-on experience in any industry. The job market, especially in the current climate, is extremely competitive. Sometimes there are hundreds of candidates applying for the same role as you. Internships are a great way to set you apart from the competition and show employers that you have a self-starter attitude. 

Internships are a great way to learn business basics without having to commit to a full-time job. Everyone knows that textbooks and schooling can only teach you so much. You may have a great theoretical understanding of business, but an internship equips you with the practicalities of working in a business office setting. 

To get the most out of an internship, apply for positions at businesses that align with your interests. Once there, ask lots of questions — an internship is a great learning opportunity, so take full advantage!

Shadow a professional

shadow a professional

If you are new to the business world and unsure about the type of industry you want to go into, shadowing a professional is a great place to start. Research the companies that are most interesting to you and see if there is any contact information on their websites. A professional introductory email is sometimes all it takes to let you shadow a business professional for a day or two. These opportunities can sometimes lead to more permanent positions like internships or paid jobs. 

Reaching out to several different types of companies and setting up a day of shadowing at each is an amazing way to give you a broad understanding of what type of business does and does not interest you. 

If you are a student interested in learning about business, a great avenue to find someone to shadow is through your academic advisor. Most universities and colleges have systems set up that will help you find these types of learning opportunities.

Work in your field of interest

A business career, especially as a small business owner, isn’t easy. Before spending your hard-earned free time learning about business basics, it’s a good idea to make sure you enjoy the field you are going into. A position at a company that aligns with the type of business you are interested in can be a great learning opportunity. 

You will get a clearer sense of what world you are going into and the things you want to mimic or do differently. If you want to learn about business basics in a broader sense, try applying for jobs that will allow you to learn from various business areas. No matter the position, building your resume and acquiring hands-on business skills will never hurt your future career in online business

Another perk to working in your field of interest is the networking opportunity. Meeting the right person at the right time can sometimes catapult your career faster than years of schooling and tuition. 

3. Going to business school

Get a Bachelor’s degree in business management

A university or college education is a great way to learn business fundamentals. A degree program typically lasts four years, so you must be prepared to make that time and financial commitment. If you choose to enroll in a business college program, you will learn about ethics, practices, major business theories, how to create a business plan, and more. 

Some Bachelor’s degrees require you to specialize in a specific business field, such as marketing or finance. Make sure to do thorough research on what program suits you before applying. 

Get a Master’s degree in business administration


 If you have completed a Bachelor’s degree and felt that the schooling environment was beneficial, a Master’s degree is a great option. A Master’s degree in business can provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to run a business successfully. It covers areas such as finance, marketing, strategy, and leadership, providing access to a network of experienced professionals. 

With this level of business education, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions, stay ahead of industry trends, and grow their businesses more efficiently. Additionally, a Master’s degree in business can be a valuable asset when seeking investment or partnerships.

However, Master’s degrees are very expensive. Be sure to research schools and budget for the high tuition costs. If you are planning on completing your MBA full-time, you will also need to be financially ready to potentially take two years off from work.

Start achieving your business goals with Headway

Learning about business is necessary for anyone looking to advance their career or start their own business. There are many ways to acquire knowledge in this field, including taking courses, attending events, joining organizations, and gaining practical hands-on experience. But whatever route you take, reading about business should play a central role.

Reading is an essential part of learning business basics for any aspiring entrepreneur. Business books can offer valuable insights into starting, growing, and maintaining a great business. However, finding the time to read full-length books isn’t always easy. Fortunately, the Headway app is equipped with a comprehensive collection of book summaries that can help you absorb the key insights of any business book in half the time.

Headway offers a great platform for individuals to kickstart their goals faster and more efficiently. The app gives you access to 15-minute book summaries on the world’s leading bestsellers in business and career growth. To further your progress, users can stay motivated by purchasing a premium subscription that offers various skill-building resources and collects achievements along the way. 

Download the Headway app to gain unlimited access to a library of over 1500 audiobook summaries to start learning about business today.

Frequently asked questions

Is studying business really worth it?

Learning about business, no matter what career path you choose, is beneficial. Business knowledge can help you understand how to advance your career, negotiate for yourself, and increase job prospects.

Can I learn business on my own?

There are several ways to gain business knowledge without completing a degree program. A great starting point is to download the Headway app. You can then browse a wide collection of popular business books and learn the basics.

Is it too late to learn business?

It is never too late to start learning about business. Sometimes, people who pursue business later in life find themselves at an advantage because they come from different backgrounds and have life experiences that give them a unique perspective.

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