What College Can’t Teach you About Business Success

Everyone these days is telling you to go out and get your MBA. Fine, go do that. You’ll probably even learn something of value. But there are a great many things that no college in the world can teach. Lessons that can only be learned by experience or by listening to those who learned them the hard way. So sit down young CEO and listen to some of the wisdom this guy has had to earn.

Sometimes you really are alone…

There are some decisions to be made and situations to be handled that cannot be hired away or outsourced. You will have to chip in and ante up at multiple points in your career ALL BY YOURSELF if you expect to get anywhere in business. That doesn’t mean you have to do it all the time, but when the chips are down, don’t go looking right or left. Make your bid … and go big.

It’s better to work together…

Yes, this seems to contradict the previous statement. No, it does not. While going it alone is necessary in the realm of business decisions, actually getting the work done most often requires a team effort. You need to know what you’re good at and what you need to delegate. Yes, need to … I don’t care if you went to that seminar or took some course or minored this or that … someone is better than you. Let them do their job. Get out of the way and go do what you’re good at.

Develop processes, then challenge them…

You need to be efficient. You also need to be willing and able to change. Countless major companies have crashed and burned due to a functional inability to grow, shift or change. You all know the stories, if not, get some reading done because you are handicapped. Understanding what your processes are enough to effectively challenge them is a skill every successful CEO must possess.

Find a way to kick your own butt…

If you can’t self-motivate, you will crash and burn in business. You need a never-fail, go-to source of self-motivation to press into service when things get insane. There will come a point where you wonder if it’s all worth it. When you will become half convinced you could make “so much more money” with “so much less stress” working for someone else. Yeah, maybe you could. You’d probably also be miserable, so suck it up buttercup … and if you can’t, find a way to do it anyway.

Learn how to manage different people…

One of the worst mistakes any leader can make is to hire people like themselves. Look, you don’t need another “you” … you need someone with talents and methods you don’t understand, who will challenge you and your perspectives. You need employees who can do things you cannot, and you need to get out of their way and let them. You also need people who, though just as dedicated to your mission and vision, see different priorities and care about different things. Put them in charge of those things and watch them take your company to heights you could never reach on your own.

What about you? What lesson have you learned the hard way in business?

Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian
5WPR Founder & CEO Ronn Torossian is a native New Yorker. Torossian has grown his PR Agency, 5W Public Relations, into a top 25 United States PR Firm. The company is headquartered in the iconic Helmsley Building in midtown Manhattan. Ronn resides with his children on the Upper East Side of New York City. Author of best selling PR Book "For Immediate Release", you can find regular contributions of Ronn's writing on the Huffington Post, Business insider, Fox News, Everything-PR, the Observer, Wired Insights and many other publications.
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