The Missing Piece

October 27, 2009

Going to business school? What’s your start-up idea?

startup inc

Check out start-up success stories at Inc.

In an age of fast-growing start-up companies, it may be hard to convince a business school admission why you need a business school education to launch a company– if indeed that’s what you want to do.

You can start by discussing the merits of your business plan and how a degree will set off your start-up? But first let’s look back.

A start-up is a new and limited operating company under fast development. Unlike big corporations, start-ups tend to do what corporations can’t like provide better customized experiences for clients and reach intimately niched markets. A start-up can be as focused as managing a team of washers to do laundry for families in Dakar.

If you want to start a company from a fresh idea and with a small group of people? Then you want a start-up?

Now why do you need business school?

Perhaps you’re looking for a specialized network a business school can provide or the chance to learn a noteworthy skill in business school that can launch your start-up which needs intellectual support. It’s up to you to answer: how will business school push my great start-up idea?

Some experts say if you’re in business school — quickly decide if you’re a job-hunter or a business-starter. There’s a reason. If you want to start a company, it’s a good idea to start in college. The Business School Journal reports:

A business student is someone that goes to business school, takes courses, graduates and looks for a job. An entrepreneurial student is someone that starts their own business while still in business school.

Some people are natural entrepreneurs, even students. Numerous successful business powerhouses – such as Dell Computers, Microsoft, FedEx and Apple – got started in college. You don’t have to be a geek, but you do need some basic accounting, advertising, market research and business skills, and a specific salable skill (how you’ll earn your income). College is actually an ideal place to start a business because students tend to be bright-eyed, passionate and unjaded. As well, classmates tend not to mind other classmates promoting their business.

Having a few start-up ideas can expand your purpose in business school and enrich your experience, particularly by mastering how to design products, services and income.

–Malena Amusa


October 22, 2009

Talk your way into opportunity: a life of networking

The power of knowledge is the ability to share knowledge with other people. What better way to share knowledge than through networking.
Pic: Human Capital Institute
Networking is a method of communication used for many different purposes. However, the main purpose of networking is to keep in touch with people through conversations.

Conversations are the key to networking. Every conversation is an opportunity to meet new people, exchange ideas and share information – an opportunity to network. So, whether you are networking professionally or personally, use your networking skills beyond the company’s annual conference.

Make networking a part of your lifestyle.

It’s easy to collect business cards, names and phone numbers. However, following up with contacts is another story. While it’s difficult to stay in touch every minute or second of the day, finding the time to contact people at least once or twice a year is a good start. Use a special event (i.e. Birthdays and Holidays), as a perfect excuse to contact people or keep in touch.

I haven’t mastered it myself but I do envy people who are able talk themselves in and out of conversations. Holding an interesting conversation is a skill – one that takes practice. So, don’t wait until the company’s annual conference to network. Practice networking every chance you get. The supermarket, library and post office are all places you can practice networking.

However, remember, you can’t do all the talking. Successfully networking also requires listening. You can’t hold an interesting conversation without listening and vice versa.

There are many different ways to network and different types of networking. The key to successful networking is conversation. Every conversation is an opportunity to meet new people, exchange ideas and share information – an opportunity to network. Try practicing your networking skills today.

–Makeysha Durham

October 12, 2009

Studying the best & using what you got to get there

So there is action — motivators and advisors agree. Action is your best friend when it comes to planning and applying for college, or pursuing a new job opportunity.

But what else can help us secure our direction?

Well, when I talk with my English students, who are all experts in their respective fields, from politics to economics — they often mention their heroes –the people whose work they try to emulate.  Talking to my students I see the power of sharing knowledge. When we study the best performers in fields we want to pursue, we dedicate our dreams to reality.

When is the last time you’ve had a close conversation with the life of a role model?

In my own personal study of top career performers from Barack Obama to Warren Buffet, what I admire the most about their lives is how they accomplished a lot with a little. In fact, if you look at the stories of most blazing stars, prominent intellectuals, and business people — they persevered despire a lack of resources and found ways to make things work. As I do myself, I encourage you to see your every lack as an opportunity to initiate a bold plan.

Now here is an excerpt from my favorite lifestyle design blogger Tim Ferriss — he’s a global inspiration and an example of how to turn ideas to successful action. About starting your dreams without resources, he writes:

Look for dark horse role models. “I can’t start a company — I’m too old.” Coronel Sanders started KFC after 40. The excuse doesn’t hold up. Can’t compete in sports because of a bum leg? Sprinter Oscar Pistorius has no lower legs and is aiming for the Olympics. You? For each reason for inaction you come up with, ask: has anyone overcome these or worse circumstances to do what I want to do? The answer is: of course.

Embrace your lack of resources, your weaknesses.

Far from a handicap, these are often the pressure points that will take you the furthest… if you’re able to use them instead of excuse them.

Malena Amusa

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