I though of writing this article after being shocked by the level of entrepreneurship learning MBA colleges are providing. It is ridiculous that a person who has never been an entrepreneur teaches how to become a successful entrepreneur and how to start and run an enterprise. Since I have tasted entrepreneurship with whatever little I have been doing, I can tell you confidently that entrepreneurship can never be taught.
I am tired of attending lectures that have been constantly teaching me how to sell a shampoo, how to sell a soap, how to make advertisements and all that useless stuff that I am never going to do in my life. Every marketing professor teaches marketing of FMCG products as if they have nothing else to talk about. They take same example of Shampoo, soap, car, food items, coca-cola, pepsi etc. and keep repeating same stories again and again. No professor has ever taught me how to sell a machine to pharma manufacturer, how to sell a financial product to a client and how to sell a software to a financial consultancy firm. That makes me feel that I am at wrong place learning unnecessary stuff.
Everything that I learn in my MBA is unrealistic, useless and repetitive stuff. Nobody teaches me how to make an Elevator Pitch, how to prepare a project to raise money, how to talk to a VC, how to attract an angel investor etc. Is it that difficult and complicated for professors to teach?
I know it is not that easy and cheesy as it seems in books and in stories. It is difficult and complicated but also thrilling and fascinating at the same time.
Why starting a business is complicated?
Well it’s not. Starting a business is not complicated. Deciding which business to start and gathering courage to start is what makes it difficult and complicated. Is my decision right or wrong, will I succeed or not, if not, what will happen, if yes, what next? Real life gives entrepreneurs the ability to make these decisions.
Entrepreneurs are not made by universities. They are made of environment and experiences. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need passion, zest, burning desire, greed, hunger for innovation and dedication. These things you don’t learn at college or universities. This is purely my opinion derived out of personal experience and many examples which I have witnessed in my life.
These are certain lessons of entrepreneurship that an MBA program can never teach you.
1. Aggression and Spark
To become a successful and innovative entrepreneur, you need aggression. A lame person can not innovate as innovation needs your brain running two steps ahead than the world. You need futuristic vision. You need to analyze what people need, and what can I create that reinforces inherent need of customers.
There is always a gap between what is needed and what is available, a smart entrepreneur bridges this gap.
To do something that changes the game, you got to be crazy. “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the one who really do” – Steve Jobs. His story is as fascinating as an action movie. He dropped out in first semester only to do what he loved to do. He dropped his engineering classes and started attending typography lectures which used to fascinate him. He started assembling computers in his father’s garage and started a company. He acquired an order to supply 50 PCs knowing that he doesn’t have resources to fulfill that order. But he was confident enough that he would find a way and he did. That successful completion of first order motivated him to establish a company. That is what aggression is.
2. How to Pitch
Most of the Universities will never teach you how to pitch for capital. They will teach you how to present yourself in an interview, but will never teach, “How to present a business plan.”
One of the reason we are not taught pitching is because professors themselves don’t know it. It is even difficult to imagine a fresh MBA giving elevator pitch where he has to explain entire idea in a few minutes.
3. Fake It Before You Make It
In business, it is necessary to make a big picture out of a small concept. You have to market your business wherever and whenever possible. You need to talk about your business before it actually comes into existence. You need to fake it before you make it. Colleges and universities will never teach you this art. It comes from experience.
Well, this is purely based on what I have experienced in my MBA. A guy named Mark Zuckerberg in Harvard created fantastic thing called Facebook. Simultaneously, he kills the competition for next 5-10 years by attracting millions of youngsters spending their productive time on facebook. And universities will ask you to create a project wherein you need to upload a picture on FB or create a page and get maximum likes to win. CRAP !!
Indirectly, we are killing innovation.
No professor in my life has ever taught me how to negotiate. An illiterate shopkeeper is better than me when it comes to negotiation. We are still in Kotler’s book and selling shampoos and soaps in classrooms. We talk about ADVERTISEMENTS and their effectiveness in a close classroom with 70 people where professors keep uttering jargons and students think they are learning something. Again CRAP !!
6. To Follow Your Heart
Most of the times, I was not allowed to follow my heart in my School. Same is the case with my college. In every school or college, there are certain protocols which students have to follow, but what if I have something different than those protocols? No, You can not have anything else than what rules say. Your voice is not even noticed sometimes. So, you have to negotiate with your heart and follow the rules.
“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once you grow up.”
- Pablo Picasso
by Jay Thadeshwar, My Profile