The life of a successful entrepreneur is often glamorized, with all the best and most exciting details being highlighted. Anyone who wants to start their own business and pursue a career as an entrepreneur wants to believe they will find success, so it’s easy to buy into all the pros. But the fact is that it isn’t always easy-going and entrepreneurs face all kinds of obstacles and struggles. It’s how they handle and overcome those pitfalls that will determine their level of success.
So how do you prepare, how can you ensure you’re ready to handle all that goes along with being an entrepreneur? For many people, the answer is to pursue an MBA. While it’s not necessary to hold your MBA to become an entrepreneur, there is a lot that can be said about taking this route. So, let’s take a closer look at whether or not an MBA can help you along the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
The History of the MBA
When it comes to degrees with a long history, the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) has forged quite a path. It’s been around for more than 100 years now, originating back in 1908. The main purpose of the program is to produce qualified and thoughtful business people that can go out in the world and lead through their creative thoughts and innovations.
It was the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration that first introduced an MBA program. Back then, there were just 33 “regular students” and then 47 “special students”. The department faculty was made up of just 15 members. It didn’t take long for the program to start to make a name for itself and by the year 1930, there were 1,070 students enrolled. Other schools across the country took note and started their programs, giving people even more options and ways to obtain their MBA.
Fast forward to today and students can enroll not just in the in-person MBA program; there are several highly respected online MBA programs at various universities. This opens the door for more students as they don’t even need to live near one of these top-notch schools to take part in the program.
The master’s degree consistently ranks as one of the most popular, if not the most popular graduate degrees each year. It seems this degree has only managed to grow in popularity and prove just how useful it can be.
Build Your Foundation of Skills and Knowledge
As you start to look through the program in-depth, it becomes clear what the MBA teaches students. The program is meant to help you learn business fundamentals and practices. This includes such things as critical thinking skills, leadership skills, analytical skills, and communication skills.
Each of these skills is universal in that they can be used in different capacities and across all industries. It doesn’t matter what kind of company you may be thinking of creating, nor the industry it will reside in, these are skills that you will need to be a strong, confident, and successful business owner.
Now let’s say you have dreams of taking your business overseas or making it international, again, these are the core skills needed to build something from scratch and ensure it succeeds.
What About the Hard Skills the Program Will Teach?
The hard skills that an MBA program will teach also need to be highlighted. These include such things as:
- Planning and meeting skills, how to hold effective and successful meetings
- Research and development skills
- Budget management skills
- Diversity management skills
- Technical skills
You can start to see what a well-rounded program the MBA truly is and how it can relate to a successful entrepreneur.
An MBA Can Help You to Be More Confident
Outside of all the important skills, fundamentals, and business practices, another ingredient in success is to have confidence in yourself. As an entrepreneur, you will be calling the shots, which means you need to be able to weigh your options, dissect challenges, and come up with smart solutions. All of this takes a fair amount of confidence. Knowing that you’ve graduated from an MBA program can instill that confidence in you because you can rely on the training and education you have received.
It Helps to Give You Credibility
Having that MBA designation next to your name also helps to build trust, authority, and credibility for your business. This will be important as you look to forge partnerships and deals with partners, vendors, suppliers, manufacturers, and even customers. This one thing alone can help you to stand out from the competition, helping to position you as an expert.
Get Comfortable with Stress
Knowing how to manage and deal with stress will be important as an entrepreneur, as you don’t want it to cloud your vision. An MBA program is a lot of work and there will be stress involved. It’s a great way to dip your toes into the water and get a firm grasp on stress management.
It Allows You to Build Connections
There is also the networking aspect of the program, which doesn’t always get mentioned. While in your MBA program you will meet other students and professors who can go on to be valuable contacts down the road. It can be a great lesson in how to successfully network and the importance of it. Once you are out in the working world as an entrepreneur, networking will be incredibly important and something you will likely engage in regularly.
Find New Things That Interest You
Throughout your MBA program, you will be introduced to new skills and practices, and these can open up all-new interests and passions you didn’t know you had. These will only make you stronger in your leadership role.
Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Shy Away from Risk
Sure taking the time to earn your MBA can seem a bit risky. It means you need to wait that much longer to get going on your dreams, but risk-taking is the cornerstone of being an entrepreneur. There will be plenty of situations that you will find yourself in that may not feel safe, comfortable, or guaranteed, and it will be up to you to use critical thinking and analytical skills to make the best decision for your company. Think of your MBA as one of those issues, where you need to weigh the risks and benefits.
What Do People Do with Their MBA?
The MBA is such a popular graduate degree partly because of the number of doors it can open for you. It can set you up for all kinds of careers, even if you don’t have dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Some of the paths that MBA graduates may follow include:
- Marketing manager
- Business operations manager
- Sales manager
- IT manager
- Financial advisor
- Financial manager
- Political scientist
You may be saying to yourself these don’t sound like your dream job and you just want to be an entrepreneur, but stop and think about the skills needed for each of those careers. As you do that, you can start to see why they would be helpful for an entrepreneur to possess. It paints a very clear picture of just how useful the program can be.
A Master’s Can Ensure You Earn More Money
Did you know that by having your MBA, you are almost guaranteed to make more money in your lifetime? Statistics show MBA graduates make on average $115,000/year – as their starting salary. This can be helpful as a budding entrepreneur because you can work full-time and make a great salary while pursuing your business dreams and goals on the side until you have the financial capital you need.
There’s nothing wrong with starting your own side business, dedicating time and effort to it all while putting aside money from your day job. It’s about the end goal and keeping the bigger picture in mind. The hope is that eventually your business will command more of your attention and then you can transition to it being your full-time and only job.
It’s Never Too Late to Get Your MBA
It is very important to point out as well that it is never too late to get an MBA. Perhaps your entrepreneur dreams have taken you a little longer than you originally planned and you are starting a little later in life. There is nothing that should stop you from obtaining your MBA. It’s quite normal for MBA students to already have many years in the workforce under their belt.
If you’ve been holding off due to costs, look at it as an investment in your future. The online MBA programs can also make it much more affordable, opening up this program to more potential students.
Exploring All the Ways to Make Your Dreams a Reality
If you’ve got a goal of becoming a successful entrepreneur, you need much more than just a great idea. Having a solid education in the form of an MBA degree can certainly arm you with the knowledge and skills needed to forge ahead with your dreams and realize success. It will help to build your confidence, build a positive reputation for yourself, and act as an investment in your future.