This is a special dedication to all the people with big dreams, hustling daily and in the trenches working hard to make those dreams a reality! I hope this can be a blessing for someone today!
When I set out to get my MBA, I thought it was the right move for my business dreams and aspirations.
Now I’m not saying that I didn’t learn anything valuable in business school, it’s just most of the stuff I learned didn’t help me in the business I have today.
Bottom line…it didn’t really teach me what it would be like starting in the trenches and building from the ground up.
So here’s what I’ve learned that business school didn’t teach me…
1. Patience is More Important Than the Hustle
I’m naturally an impatient person, so patience and I haven’t really been good friends. But, after running my business full-time for almost 4 years I’ve learned that great ideas take time.
You can feel like you’re doing everything right, but the results just don’t match up with the effort. If it’s your first or even third time doing something, you have to make some mistakes and learn from them.
Experience is the best teacher and she ain’t always very gracious.
Sometimes when you work so hard, hustle turns in desperation. Feeling like “This has gotta work.”
The best place to be in is…Be Anxious of Nothing.
This leads me to #2…
2. You Have to Grow Into a Good Business Person
Along with that patience comes personal growth. You don’t just start a business and the next month make $10k.
You actually have to GROW into the person that can make $10k, $20k or even $1 Million in a month.
I realized what made me successful in corporate America is not what will make me successful in business.
Owning a business will expose your flaws and can even crush your ego after being so successful in your corporate career.
Starting and growing a business is the biggest personal development journey you can ever take in your life…
3. You Can’t Be Married To Your Ideas
There is nothing like having a business idea that you’re so excited about that makes you want to work on it 24 x 7 non-stop.
Now I’m not saying to give up on your dreams, but you have to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. Sometimes the market is saying “we don’t want it”.
Pivoting is everything. Sometimes the market is saying, “we just don’t want it that way anymore”.
Example: Blockbuster declined to buy Netflix because they thought customers wanted the experience of buying Baby Ruths and popcorn while picking out a DVD. Yup, Blockbuster went from a billion-dollar company to bankruptcy while Netflix rose from a start-up to billion-dollar company.
That leads us to business models…
4. Recurring Revenue is a Game-Changer
This is good transition from the Blockbuster / Netflix example. I learned about business models in business school, but I don’t think I really understood them in depth.
In the business school of hard knocks I realized that if you don’t have continuity in your business you don’t really have a business.
There’s really no way of having stability if you don’t know you have guaranteed money coming in every month.
It’s going to be a roller coaster of a ride…
One month you’re on the top of the world and the next month you take a complete nose dive.
This is why you now see so many subscription services offered at all sorts of businesses. Everything from makeup, grocery deliveries, clothing, fitness, the exterminator, software, etc etc etc…lol
I remember when you had to pay hundreds of dollars for the Adobe Photoshop software and now it’s only $9.99 a month to use.
If you don’t have anything in your business that you can count on money every month without having to chase that next client or customer, stop what you’re doing right now and figure out how to add recurring income to your business model.
No joke, stop right now and do it….no wait, read number 5 and then do it. 😊
And don’t quit your day job until you have recurring incoming in your business model!
5. You Gotta Love It
Business is not going to be all sunshine and roses, so if you don’t absolutely love what you’re doing you are going to crumble during the tough times.
Building your business should be a fun experience, not solely a grueling process.
I remember thinking I had to run my business a certain way, but it was so unauthentic to who I am naturally.
That was a tough period in my business and I “pivoted” to what was right for me.
I left my job to build a life on my terms and I’m sticking to it!
What have you learned in the business school of hard knocks?