For decades, the only way a professional in almost any field could get ahead was to obtain a university degree. Society simply accepted that college equaled success. Then the Internet happened, and a new industry – online education – popped up. While many people were skeptical and there were kinks to be worked out, it has emerged as a viable alternative to the thousands of dollars spent on college campuses. Some of the most successful people in business today taught themselves what they needed to know via online courses. One example is Dario Markovic, the CEO of the luxury fashion accessories brand Eric Javits and a leader in digital marketing and ecommerce. While Dario did obtain a business degree in Switzerland, much of the knowledge he leveraged to triple the revenue of a company on the verge of bankruptcy came from digital classes. As he says, his story is proof that with enough motivation, anyone can get the knowledge they need to succeed.
“I believe in education, including college, which definitely equips you in certain areas,” Dario reflects. “However, I found that it did not prepare me to be competitive in the workforce when I graduated. The world was changing so rapidly, especially online, and I could see three things were true: I was very interested in digital marketing and ecommerce, I needed a way to keep myself up to date with the latest tech and strategies, and online courses were cheap and easily accessible.”
In 2012, Dario committed himself to understanding all of the changes happening in his field so that he would not fall behind. He found that information was so open sourced that it was relatively easy to find what he needed to learn. He dug into the details of digital marketing, including SEO, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, affiliate marketing, email marketing, CRO concepts, and TikTok.
“At the time, I was running my two businesses, Creative Academy and Made Communication, so I had to fit all of my studying into a hectic schedule,” Dario remembers. “Each course took me 1-3 months, although sometimes I finished it in a week if I had the time.”
While it wasn’t easy to study late at night, in many ways he found the learning process exhilarating. He jotted down concepts about online marketing strategies, then took them one step further and tried to work them into his businesses during the day. Over time, he saw the results: his ability to serve his clients increased exponentially, and his businesses expanded in South America, Europe, and the United States.
“Online learning, especially the free classes, really is a game changer, but you have to put it all to use,” Dario says. “I would have been wasting my time if I hadn’t tested it and perfected it. The process was made a whole lot easier, of course, by my temperament: I tend to obsess about a topic and stick with it until I master it.”
He credits the free classes that he took with helping him to become an expert in digital marketing and ecommerce, and he suggests that anyone who cannot afford to obtain a university degree should not be discouraged.
“Don’t get me wrong – college has its place,” says Dario. “However, if you want to improve yourself and become successful, remember that there are other places you can learn what you need to know. Be resourceful and proactive; keep digging around online until you find what you can afford. And, remember: put whatever you learn to practical use each day. That’s when you will see yourself level up and become who you dream of being.”
About Dario Markovitz
Dario Markovitz is the CEO of the luxury accessories brand Eric Javits, whose Squishee® hat can be rolled up and tucked away and then spring back to its original shape, undamaged. Dario is passionate about helping brands to develop online stores and increase their e-commerce sales by applying digital marketing strategies, email marketing, and more. He speaks German, English, Spanish, and Serbo-Croatian. You can connect with Dario on LinkedIn.