Three Things They Don’t Teach You at Business School
There was a time when a high school diploma and good connections were enough to establish an individual in the real world. Nowadays it is growing nearly impossible to find opportunities in the workforce without quality post-secondary education. Because of this, it has become easy to assume enrolling in a well-renowned institution equips you with everything you need to thrive in your field of study. However, there is a significant difference between schooling and education. Even Albert Einstein said that education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. There are many lessons that cannot be taught but rather experienced.
Listed below are some practical lessons that you most likely didn’t see in a PowerPoint, yet will help you be better in all of your business ventures.
Don’t be afraid to be unconventional
At school, you receive a lot of theoretical methods of success. They are formulas based on past achievement stories that make it seem as though there are limited approaches to prosperity. As important as having a structured strategy is to achieve any goal, it is also important to not undermine the power of unconventionality.
A great example would be Airbnb, the service that completely revolutionized the way people find accommodations when traveling. It was estimated by Forbes in 2018 to be receiving revenue of 3.8 billion to be worth about 38 billion. However, you’d be surprised to learn that it began through selling cereal. The year following Airbnb’s initial booking, the co-founders found themselves in a dire financial situation. They had no means of funding their new business. Taking advantage of the presidential elections that were taking place that year, they created a line of political-themed cereals — most notably ‘Obama-O’s’ — that they sold $40 a box. They did this by purchasing mass amounts of bulk cereal and pasting together cardboard boxes. They managed to sell 800 boxes, making over 30 thousand dollars.
This was the initiative that was pivotal for the trajectory of the company. Had they simply stuck with methods drawn out in textbooks, they may not have seen outstanding success in their business. Creativity goes a long way.
Work hours go beyond the office
There’s a common phrase that says that there’s nothing worse than having a million-dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic. The phrase, not meant to undermine the work of minimum wage earners, highlights the importance of appropriately investing in your passions. Finding the motivation to do more than what your job description entails is not an easy feat, yet necessary if you hope to truly gain the most from any professional experience.
The British-American author Simon Sinek once said “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.” This is precisely the difference between having a job and working on a career. When you’re in school, if you’re not passionate about your field of study, sometimes it’s easy to forget that life offers more fulfillment than what a 9-5 can provide. That fulfillment only occurs when you truly love what you do, because what you do becomes a part of who you are.
Rest is a necessity, not a luxury
In contrast to the previous point, as much as it’s important to invest in your goals, it’s also important to recognize that rest is a necessity and not a luxury. The common workplace has grown to be a culture where working 24/7 is expected. So much so that according to Forbes, almost 38% of employees don’t feel encouraged to take a lunch break and 22% of North American bosses perceive those who take lunch breaks as less hardworking. The truth is that we are not equipped to work with the same vigor expected from machines, and attempting to work in that manner only works to our own detriment. In an age where burnout — the physical or mental breakdown due to overwork or stress — is spiking in frequency, it’s now more than ever that we should be putting importance on resting.
When you divide your energy into various activities, instead of concentrating it all in one place, you allow yourself to gain many benefits. These include a boost in creativity, improved mental wellness, as well as increased productivity. You also allow yourself to have more time to implement healthy habits in your daily routine. Just like you’d have rest days when working out to allow time for healing and regenerating, the brain needs rest as well.
“Education is not just about going to school and getting a degree. It’s about widening your knowledge and absorbing the truth about life.”