I wanted to use this post by reflecting on my past and comparing it to the present. Since graduating from business (Marketing major) school seven years ago, I gained some pretty insightful experience with seven years in the real working world. I enjoyed school and continue to enjoy learning. I suppose I will be a student for the rest of my life in some fashion. Deep down inside, I’ve have the desire to do my MBA at some point, except I haven’t come to the conclusion on what would be my true reason for doing it.
Despite the desire for doing an MBA, I would still have to get my university degree, since I only have a communications degree. Time comes in as a factor.
Even though I enjoy education a lot of money, finances are a big deciding factor whether to further your education for most of us. Schooling is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.
I’m certain that I enjoy learning, even more so I enjoy the business world and have always had a knack for business. I fondly remember taking all business classes throughout high-school, majoring in Marketing in college and being lucky enough to have had a job in the same field for the last 5+ years.
Despite my educational background and a passion for business, reality is different. And as much as I’ve learned in school, I have equally as much learned on my own.
Here are 7 things that I never learned in school which I learned on my own:
1. Networking is your secret weapon
Working hard only gets you so far, but getting in touch with the right people and spreading the word about your self or your business takes you to the next level.
You can create all the nice brochures, have the fanciest business card and the most creative website, but without putting your self in front of your targeted audience, all the above will only get you so far.
2. Greed exists everywhere
Very few people in today’s world are willing to help. Everyone talks the talk, smiles politely, yet would rather give up their soul than to offer a helping hand. And, we ask our selves why? Simply because they are afraid of competition, you becoming more successful.
Greed is very real and exist everywhere. No one said the game is fair and I’m the first one to say – “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”.
I’ve won and lost business deals, been ripped off, copied and at times even humiliated. Despite the downfalls, everything was a learning lesson.
3. Traditional Marketing is so old school
Today’s technology and web-based applications have a paved the way for entrepreneurs to do business on a less invasive and more human level. Long gone are traditional ways of doing marketing.
After centuries of traditional marketing, end users have grown so accustomed to the tactics. And after seeing years of the same tactics, end-user buffers, filters and ignorance has grown, making it ever more so challenging to find fresh ways of reaching out to potential clients.
4. You’re going to work with people you don’t like
People can be a pain in the ass. Furthermore, they can be selfish, unaware, senseless, lazy, irrational, irresponsible and downright stupid. And sadly, we still got to work with them.
Due to this, it’s no surprise so many people venture out to become their own boss. Surely it’s a lot more work, longer hours and less vacation, but the trade of is that you have the final say at the end of the day. Your success is solely dependent on you and how hard you push your self.
Most importantly, I love being an entrepreneur because I get to sell something that I can call my own.
Finally, accept the fact that not everyone is going to like you and that you won’t like everyone. Just be your self.
5. A college or university degree alone is not enough
World is ever changing and in order to stay in tune, continuous education is a must. I got a college degree and that was 7 years ago. When I attended college, they didn’t have twitter, social media and blogging. None of that existed.
I learned all that through the school of self taught. I committed my self to more education, greater discipline and to always be a continuous learner.
I firmly believe that the most successful entrepreneurs in today’s society are life learners, who strive to learn and better them selves for the sake of taking their business to the next level.
I always had a knack with computers and enjoyed fixing them, but never really had a desire for advanced computing. Then I started a few website projects on my own and learned a shit load about PHP, WordPress, programming, CSS and FTPs.
Truly I had no desire to learn any of this stuff, but I was forced to enter the school of self taught. And, a year or so later I am so stoked that I took the steps to learn all this stuff. Now I manage multiple websites, know coding basics and all the stuff in between. I know that I’m not great it, but at least I can do the basics by my self and sometimes with the help of YouTube, without having to always rely on someone else to do it.
7. Create success and value simultaneously
Success is something that takes time. In school success is defined by good grades and earning that diploma at the end. In the business world, success may be represented by record sales or a better than expected product launch.
And once success is achieved, the next battle is keeping that success going by stretching it out as long as possible.
Finally, success is nothing without value. Building value within your business or more importantly creating your self to become a valuable person, will go further than success.