Is a strong vision for your business more important than an MBA? Should you go to school or go to the school of hard knocks?
When the cost for an MBA ranges from $15,000 to $50,000, you need to consider whether the traditional MBA program will meet your needs as a business owner.
First, please keep in mind that most business school programs are not designed to teach you how to start a business, but how to contribute to running and managing an existing large company. Starting a business from scratch requires a completely different skill set.
So, why even bother going to business school?
Business school can provide you with some very strong theoretical skills, including the ability to read and understand financial statements, as well as understanding market trends and economic theory. Most importantly, an MBA program can help you develop relationships with mentors and others that can help you build your business down the road.
It can also give you an inflated image of your entrepreneurial abilities.
The last thing I want to do is discourage anyone form pursuing an education, as a college education can be a valuable tool. If you are pursuing a career, an MBA has been proven to help you command a higher salary.
Unfortunately, I have seen absolutely no correlation between educational level and success when it comes to running a business. In fact, in the last ten years I have spent helping business owners grow their businesses, I have never found a college education to make a difference in business success.
The deciding factor in the success or failure of a business owner has absolutely nothing to do with education level.
It is the strength of the business vision.
Successful business owners have a plan. They know what they want for themselves and their business, and they do whatever it takes to make it happen. They have a strong vision in front of them at all times-a picture in their minds of where there business will be next year, five years from now, and beyond.
If they don’t know how to read a financial statement or run a marketing campaign, they find someone who can. They don’t let education or a lack of education stand in the way of growing their business.
They just do whatever it takes.
Creating a successful business is rarely a straight path. Two steps forward and one step back is normal. Business owners with vision are the ones that don’t get caught in those backwards steps. In fact, they tend to brush them off quickly, refocus, and take a bigger step forward. Successful business owners are not afraid to admit they don’t know everything.
This is not a trait of the typical MBA graduate.
Successful business owners are always looking to make themselves and their business better, faster and stronger.
If you want a career in business, by all means pursue an MBA. If you have a personal goal to get your Masters Degree, an MBA is a great choice. Just don’t be surprised to find that you have a lot more to learn when it comes to being an entrepreneur.
Find a mentor, or a business group that can help you along the way. The best teachers are the ones that have already created a successful business. Regardless of how you pursue your education, just remember to never stop learning.
Success is a journey, not a goal. Your business vision is your guidebook.