“You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.” – Good Will Hunting
Many goals require learning a new subject or skill. In the old days you might need to spend thousands of dollars on college courses. But now you can teach yourself online for free. You have access to hundreds of millions of dollars in free resources right now! It’s incredible when you think about it, but many people completely overlook the opportunity. You’ve likely heard of many of these resources below but are you making the most use of them? To retain the most knowledge from these resources, I recommend taking notes just as you did in school.
Make a conscious effort to spend 30 minutes per day dedicated to teaching yourself a new skill. If you remain disciplined and stick to it, you might amaze yourself.
Libraries are a greatly underutilized resource. I prefer to call them the “information vortex” or “ideas bank”. It baffles me that more libraries are not packed wall to wall with people. They have books on everything. I’ confident your library has a book that will excite you. Many libraries are now offering digital books too.
Book stores are useful in towns where libraries are underfunded. If you’re looking for recently published material, books stores may be the way to go.
Free books can be found online. Copyrights to many pieces of older literature have expired. Many of these classics are now public domain. If you want free books online try a site like: Gutenberg.org
YouTube.com has incredible instructional videos. I cannot emphasize enough how useful these can be. But you’ll need to search for quality content. Want to learn how to build a website? Or learn how to perfect your hockey swing? Reflect on your current challenges and search for instructional videos on YouTube.
TED.com offers insights and inspirational ideas.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Source Project, Khan Academy and edX provide free online classes.
Craigslist.org is great for meeting people, buying and selling. Over the years I’ve met dozens of great people off Craigslist who have helped me accomplish my goals. When I needed 30 actors for the film I wanted to produce, I found most of them through Craigslist. Need an apartment? Need help on a project or cheap furniture? Craigslist is the place to go. Just be careful, watch out for the occasional crazy people.
Google.com is the search engine that puts anything at the tips of your finger nails. Anytime you have a question about something, type it into Google. It’s usually a good way to start.
MeetUp.com is a great way to meet experts who can help with your challenges. Search the site to see if there’s a group relevant to your interest.
CNET.com has free downloads of many software applications.