Getting an MBA from the right institution can open doors, but no academic qualification is going to fully prepare you for the real world. This is one area of life where even a person with minimal formal education can triumph. Dave Geffen (Geffen Records), David Karp (Tumbler), Jerry Yang (Yahoo), Michael Dell (Dell Computers) and Kevin Rose (Digg) are all examples of successful people who became business geniuses without a degree. The reality is the most important lessons about business are to be learned outside of school. The secrets you need to succeed are picked up through experience and by listening to those who are currently achieving their goals.
Achieving greatness in the world of business is more about what you do than about what you know. Things are constantly changing, and what worked for you yesterday might not work for you today. If you want to innovate, you need to be prepared to break the rules and explore completely new territory.
One of the problems with the knowledge you pick up in business school is that a lot of it is likely to be already out-of-date. There is also the criticism that many of the professors in these institutions don’t have enough experience in the real world of making money. The truth is that working in a successful business for two years is likely to teach you far more than what you’d learn if you spent that time on an MBA.
It is always nice to have some qualifications, and it is up to you to decide if the expense of going to business school is going to worth it for you. Keep in mind that the most important lessons are going to be learned by getting your hands dirty. It is also recommended that you study the current batch of successful entrepreneurs, so you can understand what it is that is allowing them to succeed. Here are eight secrets that you won’t learn from going to business school.
1. It’s Okay To Launch With A Less-Than-Perfect Product
It sounds risky, but launching a product before it is perfected can be a smart move in the modern world. This is especially the case with software products, where any delay could lose you a spot in the market. Customers have become more tolerant of bugs in the first version of a product, and they are willing to put up with this for the chance to be an early-user. Launching early not only means that you start earning money sooner, but you also get customers testing your product for free – you can use their feedback to create something great.
2. Use Morning Rituals To Boost Your Productivity
What you do before you go to work can have a huge impact on the rest of your day. If you start off on the wrong foot, it can be all downhill from there. Morning rituals allow you to take control of your day right from the beginning, and a few minutes of effort can lead to hours of productivity. Examples of effective morning rituals include meditation, yoga, and aerobics.
It is also important to start the day with a nutritious breakfast. These self-care activities can be just as important as anything you do when you get to the office, because if you don’t have good mental and physical health, it is going to make you less effective.
3. Networking Can Be More Important Than Qualifications
It might not sound fair but knowing the right people can open more doors than qualifications. It’s just human nature to prefer to work with people we know rather than a stranger. If you can build up a network of successful people in your industry, these individuals can offer you advice, support, and let you know about any opportunities.
Of course, this isn’t about being sleazy and trying to take advantage of other people – it’s just about being friendly and investing your time and energy into these friendships. You also need to be willing to help people in your network should the chance arise.
4. Failure Is Part Of The Journey
One of the concerns that employers and potential investors may have if you are fresh-faced out of business school is that you haven’t enough experience with failure. It’s all very well to demonstrate how you were top of your class, but how do you cope when things are going wrong?
In order to achieve great things, it is usually necessary to experience plenty of failure along the way. If you don’t have the tenacity to keep pushing when life becomes choppy, you are unlikely to shine and achieve your goals.
5. Developing A Business Plan Doesn’t Need To Be A Priority
Top entrepreneurs, including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs manage to build their companies without the help of a business plan. There are definitely some benefits to having this documentation – it provides a blueprint for action, and having it usually makes it easier to get investment.
Business school hammers into students the importance of having a business plan, but it takes a great deal of time and energy to create this document. Unless you have a clear reason for creating it, you might use your time more productively by focusing elsewhere in your new business.
6. Succeed In The Business Environment Through Adaptation
The business world is dynamic and ever-changing, and you need to be able to adapt to survive. There are very few rules written in stone, and if you insist on doing things the ‘right way’, you are likely to be swept away by the competition.
Even if you find a winning formula that launches your business into the big time, you need to be willing to adapt this formula to the changing environment. Sun Microsystems, Sears, Motorola, and Kodak are all examples of powerful companies that lost their edge and suffered the consequences of this.
7. Be Prepared To Do What Other People Are Not Prepared To Do
The reason many people don’t achieve their dreams is their unwillingness to put in the required effort to reach their goals. You need to be willing to live outside of your comfort zone, and this is something most people are not prepared to do. This means being willing to do whatever it takes to make your goals a reality.
Achieving success often means working harder than everyone around you, and it usually involves making plenty of personal sacrifices.
8. Listen To Your Intuition
Steve Jobs is just one example of a successful entrepreneur who relied on his intuition. There are going to be times when you have plenty of facts, but the right path to take is still unclear. On these occasions, it is your intuition that can guide you to the best decision. There may also be an occasion when everyone else wants to go one way, but you just know in your heart that this would be the wrong decision. It often takes courage to follow your intuition, but the rewards for doing so can be great. Listening to your intuition is a skill you need to develop, and it is vital to be able to distinguish this inner voice from your ego.