Entrepreneurs are cut from a different cloth. They’re less afraid to take risks; they’re fueled by a passion for ideas and they have a singular focus that drives them more than the average person. These maverick traits sometimes make entrepreneurs wildly successful, but they’re also often the qualities that guarantee failure.
What’s the difference between the entrepreneurs who forge new paths in business and the ones who can’t quite bring their ideas to fruition? Many a book has been written to answer that question (and it’s too big a topic to tackle here), but we know one thing that can help push the scales in your
Business Management Degrees Teach Leadership
As far as your entrepreneurial qualities will take you, you’re not going to get where you’re going without help and that means making yourself into a good leader. Paul Polman, former CEO of Proctor and Gamble and the current head of Nestle, said: “Leadership is not about giving energy, it’s about unleashing others’ energy.” That’s an incredibly important distinction and it’s where many entrepreneurs fail by burning themselves out.
Business management courses focus on fostering critical leadership skills, including setting goals and sticking to them, communicating effectively with your team and resolving conflicts within your organization. You’ll also learn motivational methods, new ways to mold your vision and strategies for managing day-to-day operations.
Here’s one thing to look out for when picking a program — look for business schools that will challenge you but won’t try to rein you in or make you fit in their box. A good business school will help you create a unique style that fits your personality, your passion and your purpose.
Business Management Degrees Teach Self-Awareness
Socrates may have given the first and best entrepreneurial advice when he said, “know thyself.” It may sound a little esoteric but being a successful entrepreneur means knowing your strengths, but perhaps more importantly, it means knowing your weaknesses. Too many entrepreneurs stumble because they refuse to look at their weaknesses or believe they can do everything well. And when you’re in a position of leadership, no one is going to point them out for you.
That’s where a program in business management can be invaluable. Through group leadership exercises and forced, intense self-reflection, students get to see the areas where they excel and the areas where they don’t. Knowing these things can help work on the areas where you’re not as strong but they’ll also help you understand how to organize your business and hire people who complement you.
Business Management Degrees Teach Failure
Success is a terrible teacher and failure is an incredible one. Perhaps it’s because success has many fathers and failure is an orphan. When you fail, especially as an entrepreneur, it’s all on you. It hurts and that pain is what makes you grow as a businessperson. Of course, failing in the real world can mean bankruptcy or the possibility of never being able to launch a business again.
Business school, on the other hand, gives you a place to fail without losing everything. Throughout a business management degree program, you’ll have ideas that fall flat under scrutiny, you’ll run into seemingly insurmountable interpersonal conflicts and you’ll have moments when you feel like you can’t do anything right. These are good things — they’re the whetstones that will sharpen you for success in the real world.
Business Management Degrees Teach Decision-Making
As an entrepreneur, your decisions are what define you and they’re what will make your business a success or doom it to failure. You’re faced with myriad decisions every day, from smaller decisions like what office equipment to buy and who to hire to game-changing decisions like structuring your business and deciding on a new direction. Making all these decisions within a tight timeframe — and having the buck stop with you — can be overwhelming. Knowing how to analyze data, look at the big picture and go with your gut will make all the difference when you’re faced with these decisions.
Business schools often simulate these critical decisions in the classroom environment. Over time, this practice will help you hone your instincts and be a better decision-maker. In fact, many entrepreneurs say that these exercises almost become second nature, helping them “feel” the right decision in the moment.
Tips for Making the Most of a Business Management Program
Here are a few ways you can make sure your business management degree will prepare you for success in the real world:
- Make connections. Interact with faculty and alumni from your program. They’ll be able to impart their knowledge but they may also help you make real-world connections in the business community.
- Make a plan. Have a plan of study and set goals for your progress. Check in frequently to make sure you’re progressing.
- Get extracurricular. Joining extracurricular activities will help you de-stress, add valuable experience to your resume and give you a chance to practice your leadership skills.
At Study.com, we aim to deliver a better way to learn — one that lets you learn what you want, the way you want, and in a way you can afford. We want to empower you to become that better version of yourself education is supposed to allow. For entrepreneurs, our goal is to help you find the business or finance degree that will fuel your success no matter where you are in your career.