If you think your MBA courses will teach you everything you need to know about business, think again. Here are just six business secrets that will give you an insider’s knowledge of the field.
1. Follow Passion, Not Academics
Some of the richest men in the world dropped out of college to pursue a great idea. For example, Bobby Kotick eschewed a formal education in favor of developing his software skills, and a few years later he became the CEO of the world’s biggest video game publishing company. While a degree can certainly open doors for you, it shouldn’t become the be-all, end-all of your ambition.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Look Like a Fool
If the idea of your superior laughing at you makes you want to turn around and flee, it’s time to develop a thicker skin. The business world will reject you time and time again, and you can’t take it personally or let it hinder your excitement for your next idea. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there. Pitch ideas in elevators; wring the hands of potential investors at trade shows; stir up controversy to get yourself in the paper.
3. It’s All About the Name
Some people suggest giving your business a very obvious and self-explanatory name so customers will know that what they see is what they get. Others recommend giving your business a very unique name in order to pique interest and attract web traffic. Both schools of thought have their pros and cons, so you’ll need to decide for yourself which is more applicable to you. The only thing for certain is that your name is very, very important.
4. Network Like Your Life Depends On It
Studies have shown that the majority of jobs are still secured through networking rather than traditional interviews. This means that it isn’t what you know; it’s who you know. Make a habit of handing out your business cards to everyone you meet, especially if you think they might be willing to call in a favor for you later; on the flip side, be sure to accept a lot of business cards as well, so you and your network of acquaintances can have a mutually beneficial arrangement.
5. Use Social Media Intelligently
A common mistake of first-time business owners is spreading themselves too thin across multiple social media networks. When you try to update Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube simultaneously, none of the sites will get your full attention and therefore your best effort. Instead of juggling a dozen accounts, focus on just two or three. Keep them updated with fresh, engaging content that really matters.
6. Hard Work Is Unavoidable
Many people assume that successful businessmen lay around all day while collecting checks from their various enterprises. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The wealthiest and most well-known CEOs are actually workaholics who put in 80+ hours a week to ensure that their product launches go well and their ads are hitting home. If you want to become successful, get ready to work hard.
These are just six secrets that you might not learn in business school. At the end of the day, your perseverance is what will drive you more than any tips or tricks, so stay focused and follow your dream.