Let me start by reiterating that I do not believe an MBA is a requirement to be an entrepreneur. That said, there are a lot of reasons an MBA is great for an entrepreneur.
You see, lately I’ve found that my classes have really been getting in the way. I’m working on this startup, things are going well and I have “better” things to do… well things that will more directly lead to my being able to generate revenue and then eventually take a salary. But the great part about having to stop and entertain distractions is that you get perspective.
I’m continually reminded of how important this perspective is but especially in a startup where you’re so busy running you might not realize you’re running in the wrong direction or right past a great opportunity.
So I was in my Ethics course yesterday and we had Dan Bross, the Sr. Director of Corporate Citizenship, at Microsoft visiting. He was sharing how Microsoft organizes their citizenship efforts help Microsoft be as effective as possible in the communities they serve i.e. everywhere. While our startup isn’t explicitly about corporate citizenship the conversation covered a lot of ground and in the process a slew of new ideas and opportunities that are aligned with our startup were cultivated in my mind. A couple of hours later I was on a conference call and there was a point of intersection between what we were discussing on the call and the ideas that flowed from my Ethics class so as we’re preparing to go to market we have added to the ways we can deliver value to customers
I truly believe an entrepreneur needs to constantly be running what-if scenarios and various game theory models in their minds and that a key enabler of this is a constant infusion of fresh, new perspectives. I still don’t have enough time in the day to do the MBA-thing, work on the startup, and spend time with my family but it’s things like this that help me work just a little bit smarter and turn what feels like a time-sink into a valuable time-saver.
What do you do to step back and get perspective? Do you run, do yoga, take long leisurely drives?