“The best way to determine if you have successfully learned something is to teach it to other students. Learning is one of the greatest riches you will acquire in life and wealth is at its best when it is used to help others.”
I have an idea to create my own education platform – a website that houses various education and coaching resources that the learner can use to create their own education.
I have had this idea for nearly as long as I have been building my MTA Portfolio.
The idea for my eventual education platform even informed the way I designed and built my MTA Portfolio and ibuiltmyown.education.
My education platform is another final project in its own right, but here I lay out my initial concept for what I want it to be.
A desire to educate and empower others
I’ve gained so much from my education.
But it did not always feel that way.
When I first started out in the schooling system, my formal education was a great source of insecurity.
Whether it was the uninspired curriculum, miserably un-enthusiastic teachers or the claustrophobia of being shut inside overcrowded classrooms, I struggled to engage with my compulsory state education for most of the time I undertook it.
It certainly didn’t help that my parents had separated right before I started going to school and my schooling’s severe lack of emotional intelligence didn’t help me to deal with this traumatic experience!
I just felt very withdrawn, disconnected and scared.
I never felt like I belonged at school and I spent most of my schooling time daydreaming in my head.
As a result, I fell behind in all areas of my studies which, in turn, became another source of great insecurity.
I got stuck in a vicious cycle where, because I didn’t feel like I knew enough, I didn’t feel like I was good enough for doing anything or for learning anything.
But as I got older, I became more and more angry with this vicious cycle and, as a result, I started to force myself to break out of it.
For the longest time, I’d struggled to read and it wasn’t until I hit the age of twelve going on thirteen that my reading proficiency suddenly skyrocketed.
Because I started to read books in my own time that actually interested me (and kept me reading), not ones my schooling had tried to force me to read and which didn’t fire up my imagination.
It was that sudden achievement with my reading (which spilled over into improving my writing too) that inspired me to be more proactive with the other areas of my schooling.
So I started to read more widely during my teenage years.
I started to read multiple books at the same time (a practice I still do to this day).
This was around 2003 when my household finally gained access to the internet, so I started to read more widely online about what I was learning at school.
And it worked.
All the other areas of my schooling started to improve because, via reading about them in my own time, I found a way to engage with my formal education that interested me.
Deep down, I had always known that I learned best when I was allowed to go away and figure things out in my own way and in my own time (I first figured this out when I taught myself to ride a bicycle at the age of five).
A huge hurdle for me and my learning in the schooling system is that I was trapped in classrooms with far too many other students!
I always found large class sizes to be too distracting, too overbearing and too draining to be in.
Being in a classroom with other students is not always a bad thing, as the exposure to different perspectives can be very enlightening.
But it can be very restrictive and there’s so many ways in which you can’t stretch yourself or challenge yourself in a classroom setting.
This was also a problem that continued when I was studying for my A-Levels, but luckily, I managed to con my way into working from home during my second year.
When I went off to university, it did not take me long to take charge of my learning and to get on with it in my own way.
Thankfully, this was an approached that all my university tutors championed.
Then, when it came time to do my master’s degree, even before I decided to build my own degree, I knew was going to do the whole thing in my own time and in my own way.
As, indeed, I’ve now done and which ibuiltmyown.education stands as testament towards.
But my own education, right from the primary period right up to postgraduate has been an odyssey of transformation.
Transformation from feeling like I was incapable of doing anything to knowing I can learn how to anything.
Just as long as, I devote the time and resolve to mastering the subject.
The greatest lesson I have been taught by my education is that I can grow beyond negativity.
I can grow beyond my troubled family history and the sub-par formal education I received when I was growing up.
My education has given me hope and the realisation of a better life.
And this is precisely what I want to educate and empowers others to realise about themselves.
A thoroughly explored and assimilated education can fundamentally transform you into a more well-rounded, open-minded, resilient and creative human being.
An education is a journey of discovery and transformation.
There’s a point in that journey of growth and enlightenment that you become so self-actualised that you start feeling the overwhelming desire to pass on what you have learned.
You enter the state of self-transcendence where you want to help others to experience the same state of revelation and transformation.
Educating others is very much my desire and my thinking now that I am nearing the end of my MTA studies.
What is the point of creating such a vast education for myself if I do not use my learning to help others too?
I want to help others to plug the gaps in their own formal educations and I want to empower them to transcend beyond any negative beliefs it may have instilled in them.
The odyssey of learning can be so much more effective when we approach it from a self-actualised perspective.
Because once we’ve obtained that, we have the natural inclination to become self-transcendent and then greatly desire to help others.
Then you end up with constantly compounding positive effect overall.
That’s the outcome of all this, I built my own education so others can use it as inspiration to build their own educations.
I want to create a platform that others can use to take charge of their own educations and then go on to create their own positive change in the world.
A platform for teaching others how to build their own educations
The desire to help others has been there even before I built my own master’s degree.
The four years in which I undertook my bachelor’s degree was a real breakthrough period in my life.
Especially so in my final year when I ended up excelling even beyond what I thought was possible for me to do.
My theoretical dissertation ended up being awarded the highest mark even given to a thesis at my university.
Not bad for someone who used to struggle to engage with his own education!
But ever since that experience, I’ve had an overwhelming desire to help others achieve similar esteem boosting breakthroughs in their own lives.
Not long after graduating with my first-class bachelor’s degree, I didn’t know exactly what I want to do after university, but I knew I wanted to do something that would enable me to help others to achieve their potential.
This was also my thinking when I started to build my MTA Portfolio.
I was building it to plug the gaps in my own education and to help me to better understand the world.
But I was also building it to empower me into a position where I could help others to achieve their potential.
This is certainly where Not Your Average Life Coach, the final project for the Leadership and Management concentration, sprung from.
But when I finally brought my life coaching services to an end in 2021, I said that if I was to start coaching again in the future, I would be more interested in coaching based around education.
Educational coaching is an extension of I Built My Own Education
My passion for coaching can be found in helping individuals construct self-directed educational programs that empower them to realise their full potential as their ideal selves.
Any form of personal development, whether it is focused on myself or on someone else, I always see through an educational lens.
The more I studied and built out my portfolio, the more I felt I would be ideally suited for creating my own online education content for achieving this aim.
Initially, when I was designing and building ibuiltmyown.education, my thinking had been for it to be a website that would both house my MTA Portfolio and also house the online education content I wanted to create for others to use.
That’s why the website is called I Built My Own Education, I wanted a brand identity that was distinct from and not wholly tied to my MTA Portfolio, but also embodied my overarching education philosophy of self-directed learning.
But the more I built ibuiltmyown.education and the more I filled it up with my MTA Portfolio, the more I realised that it would be far too confusing to have both my MTA Portfolio and my education content on the same website.
It made more sense, from a logistical and marketing perspective, to have my educational content contained on its own website and under its one distinct, but related, brand identity.
To this end, it didn’t take me long to come with Build Your Own Education, a.k.a. buildyourown.education
Separating the idea for my educational content from my MTA Portfolio also took a massive weight off my shoulders.
My MTA Portfolio is HUGE and so is the website that hosts it.
Ibuiltmyown.education is made up of hundreds of web pages, it will probably be well over three hundred by the time it is finished!
Therefore, adding my education content to ibuiltmyown.education would only have added to that headache.
Giving my education content its own website meant that I could go back to basics and create a much more simplistic website with vastly less web pages.
Buildyourown.education will have more room to breath beyond its progenitor website.
I’m not looking to create an over-complicated and time-consuming website.
I just want an agile and easy to navigate website to act as the central brand identity of Build Your Own Education on which I can either host or embed by education resources.
Those education resources will be
- Online courses
- A blog
I’m not looking to re-invent the wheel with Build Your Own Education.
I just want to create an offshoot of ibuiltmyown.education that can act as its own education platform with its own brand identity.
Through the education resources I am going to create for Build Your Own Education, my mission is to educate and coach others to build their own education odysseys that empower them to unlock their potential and to create positive change in the world.
But this endeavour will not form a part of my Education Innovation final project; rather, it will be a new project in its own right.
A whole other final project
I’ve been very entrepreneurially minded ever since I graduated with my bachelor’s degree.
Entrepreneurship was a huge part of my final year practical dissertation where I was the creative producer for a web series proposal package called EYES for which I had to research, build and market a viable entertainment product.
As I mentioned in the development of ibuiltmyown.education, the unrealised website for EYES was the progenitor for the creation of my MTA website.
But the drive for entrepreneurship, which the EYES project ignited in me, was also responsible for setting me on course for building my own postgraduate education.
I’ve always viewed my MTA portfolio as a process of entrepreneurship with the final marketable and income producing product being buildyourown.education.
This is why my business thinking and entrepreneurship studies formed such key and early focuses of my MTA Portfolio.
Turning the building of my own education into a full-fledged online business, where I coach and educate others to build their own educations, is how I follow through with the promise of entrepreneurship at the heart of my MTA Portfolio and the desire within me to help others to achieve their potential.
Creating an online business out of my self-education pursuit also satisfies the more practical demand of finding a way to actually earn a living from all the time I’d devote to building my education.
So, when I say I envision Build Your Own Education as its own full-fledged business, I mean exactly that.
Originally, my thinking had been to include the creation of Build Your Own Education as part of my Education Innovation final project.
But considering my Education Innovation final project is focused so strongly on the formation of the philosophy and the website of I Built My Own Education.
I Build My Own Education feels like a part one whereas Build Your Own Education is a very distinct part two.
Therefore, I decided to make Build Your Own Education into its own final project and I’ve been keeping the very appropriately focused Creative Producing and Entrepreneurship final project slot free for it.
So, yes, Build Your Own Education is the final project for the Creative Producing and Entrepreneurship concentration.
Having learned from the very time-consuming nature of the building of ibuiltmyown.education and the other final projects I have orchestrated, I’ve decided to make Build Your Own Education a very lean and agile final project.
Instead of building the full ibuiltmyown.education website, I am instead only going to create a landing page with an email sign up box.
Possible I may also produce a free short Ebook to act as an incentive to sign up via the landing page.
Giving something high value away for free is the tried and tested method of getting your consumers’ email addresses (even if you’re not doing it for free because you’re getting their highly valuable email address in exchange).
Once you’ve acquired your consumers’ email addresses then you enter the realm of email marketing where you can directly offer them other products and services that you have.
But beyond capturing consumer email addresses, creating a marketed landing page with email sign up box together with the enticement of a free short Ebook is a very effective means of determining if there is much niche interest for something like buildyourown.education.
It might even be that I need to re-think or scrap the entire thing.
I would rather discern the interest before I devote more of my time to building the website and creating the other educational resources.
This was the mistake I made when I built the website for Not Your Average Life Coach.
I should have started with a landing page, collected the email contacts of interested potential coaching clients and then built out my website while I coached them.
It would have freed up more of my time which I could have spent actually coaching people and earning money while I did it.
For Build Your Own Education, I want to save myself a lot of time by developing a minimum viable product first to see if there is a big enough appetite for it.
If it turns out there is a strong appetite for a larger education platform product then I can devote more of my time to building to building it out.
However, I suspect there is interest for user to invest their time and finances into for something like Build Your Own Education.
When you consider that all the time I have spent creating I Built My Own Education has made me into an expert on self-education, I am ideally positioned to build online courses and to provide educational coaching for other people who want to build their own educations.
The fact that it will be me creating Build Your Own Education – the guy who built his own education and can demonstrate it with ibuiltmyown.education – is a huge selling point.
For Build Your Own Education, I want to start with a landing page and possibly also a free ebook, but my thinking for future education resources is to create my own online courses.
Obviously the first online course I create has to be called Build Your Own Education or How to Build Your Own Education or something like that.
But the first online course needs to take up the central self-education philosophy of buildyourown.education utilise and showcase my coachucating (coaching and educating) skills.
My thinking for further online courses is to base them around the focuses of the final projects of my MTA Portfolio, because that’s what I know and I have the projects hosted on ibuiltmyown.education to prove I know it.
Also, to save myself a lot of time I won’t host the online courses on buildyourown.education.
Instead I will use a platform like Udemny to host my courses (which offers another marketing entry point into buildyourown.education from the Udemy user base) and then I can just embed links to my courses on buildyourown.education.
Depending on the creation timescale involved, I could even create the first online course, How to Build Your Own Education, to go up alongside the initial landing page and potential free ebook.
Then, even if buildyourown.education doesn’t go anywhere, I still have a produced online course on Udemny that can earn me some passive income.
But I’m still conceptualising at this point, so we’ll see.
What I do know for certain is that I am also going to orchestrate the final project for the Marketing and Brand Management concentration alongside the Build Your Own Education final project.
Because the Marketing and Brand Management final project is going to be called Marketing My Masters and will focus on just that, marketing my MTA and ibuiltmyown.education to targeted employers, organisations and collaborators.
To this end, it makes sense for Marketing My Masters to also focus on building the marketing implementation for Build Your Own Education.
Essentially, I can kill two birds with one stone.
I’ve avoided marketing my MTA Portfolio for such a long time because I never felt like I had anything tangible to market until I had got master’s into the shape it is now.
But now that I’m getting all the final projects done and posted up, which includes Build Your Own Education, this is the perfect time to start working on marketing the education I built for myself and the educations I want to help others to build for themselves.
If I’m being honest, the creation of my MTA Portfolio and ibuiltmyown.education would have been completely pointless, unless I had found ways in which to pass on the rich and varied education I built for myself.
Build Your Own Education is one of the keys ways in which I am going to use my wealth of learning to help others.
Now I just have to get to building it…