I’m reading an amazing book right now – Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. So good.
Anyhow, there are so many tidbits of wonderful information that I really don’t know where to start writing about it… so I decided to flip to a page and write about that. I flipped to page 233, which is a small chapter about – and with words of wisdom from – Peter Thiel (a billionaire investor, author of Zero to One and founder of many companies).
One of Tim’s questions to him was: What do you wish you had known about business 20 years ago? Here’s what Peter said, broken into bullet points:
- I wish I would have known that there was no need to wait
- If you’re planning to do something with your life, a 10-year plan, ask yourself why it can’t be completed in 6 months
- Ask yourself if what you’re telling yourself is truly reality.
Not bad advice, eh? In 2015 I started a program helping new entrepreneurs learn the basics of starting and running a successful business. It was a 12 month program, with each month covering a different topic (Marketing, Organization, Ducks in a Row, Hiring, Finances, Sales, Systematization, etc.). It was essentially a business school (or what I wish I had actually learned in business school). But my confidence waned because I was teaching all this, and while I had 4+ years of entrepreneurship under my belt, I did not have a business degree. I went to a great school but had a Bachelors… in US History. Ouch.
I was confident in what I was teaching. It wasn’t high level accounting topics, how to choose board members or how to negotiate a multi-million dollar supply chain deal… but it was the information that my friends and clients wanted. However, in the back of my mind, I knew there were people out there that spent 2+ dedicated years to studying business and I wondered, what did they know that I don’t know?
Most people assumed I had an advanced business degree but when they asked about my MBA, I was mortified to tell them that I didn’t actually have schooling on what I was teaching about.
I decided to put that venture on hold, get a 40-hour a week job, and bust through an executive MBA program… so I could come out with more knowledge, and more importantly, confidence that I was offering the very best knowledge and information possible to the participants in my program.
I wish I had known there was no need to wait. I found that business school taught very little that was related to the day-to-day of starting and running a business. Hey, I’m still young(ish), and I didn’t wait 10 years for my plan, but I did wait 3 years.
It’s funny, after all these years of not working directly with entrepreneurs, my heart still aches for them. The passion, the enthusiasm, the confusion, the need for direction and approval and accountability. They’re just like me.
So now, I’m back. No more waiting.
Will it be easier to find participants now that I have an Executive MBA? Maybe. But, if I had spent the last 3 years on this project, wouldn’t I already have plenty of participants? Maybe. Could I have gotten just as much business knowledge in an intensive 6-month self-study program as a 3 year degree in classrooms? Yes, undoubtedly.
And back to Peter and Tim — ask yourself… what are you putting on hold? Shoot me a message and let me know about it, and we can figure out if you’re just creating an alternative reality in your mind… and you could actually tackle the dream RIGHT NOW!
Mahalo and Aloha