How an Executive MBA might propel your career as an entrepreneur

While entrepreneurs invest time and energy into the product or services they offer, they should also consider investing in the biggest asset at their disposal: themselves

What do entrepreneurs need to be successful? This was a question I asked a consummate entrepreneur I met more than a decade ago. His reply?

“Michael, if you ask the average person to jump off a cliff, telling them they will receive a valuable prize at the bottom, informing them that there is a safety net 100 feet below that will cushion their fall, the average person will ask countless questions. How big is the net? Can it hold my weight? Is this net strong enough to guarantee I won’t crash through it? What if it’s windy below...will the net stay in place to ensure my safe landing? Even if I land can you guarantee that I won’t break a bone or get hurt otherwise?

Michael if you ask the true entrepreneur to do the same, they don’t let you finish your description after you utter the words valuable prize at the bottom. Instead, they immediately step back from the edge of the cliff, get a running start, then jump. On the way down they may ask themselves, I wonder if there is a net below...”

While clearly this person was trying to make a point about the willingness to take risks, and used an absurd example, the point stuck.

Entrepreneurs are very smart people. And in reality they do ask the relevant questions, seek guidance, and make informed decisions. But there is no question they can be wired differently than the masses. To be successful as an entrepreneur that unique wiring is critical.

However, like any business professional, entrepreneurs need every advantage possible. One thing to consider in gaining an advantage is the Executive MBA. What exactly is the Executive MBA? The Executive MBA is a masters degree in business, which means it comes with the rigor you would expect of any masters degree. The primary difference from the traditional full time MBA is the audience that it is intended to serve.

Executive MBA Programs were designed as a way for experienced business leaders to earn a master’s degree in business administration while working in a format that minimizes disruption to their work. Unlike part-time MBA programs, where students take evening classes, EMBA students begin the program at the same time, move through the program together and typically complete the degree requirements for graduation as a group.

Going through an EMBA program provides entrepreneurs in Europe or anywhere else in the world with a variety of distinct advantages:

  • It immerses them in a cohort of peers with diverse business backgrounds.
  • It forces them to study and think about business through a much broader lens, a more strategic lens.
  • It allows them to benefit not only from the esteemed faculty member at the front of the room, but also from the rich real world experience of other business leaders.
  • The interactions with fellow students can also lead to other tangible benefits for entrepreneurs, such as meeting future co-founders and advisors.
  • There is also an opportunity to obtain global insights into specific markets and industries.

Often times entrepreneurs may have a great idea, and may even be the expert that's able to execute and drive that idea. They may have the hard technical skills to bring the dream to reality. But oftentimes, taking the dream to the next level requires a mastery of soft skill items like influencing change and leading people. And there is not a replacement for confidence in your business acumen when seeking loans, talking to investors, or recruiting that next superstar to your team. EMBA programs help with increasing business acumen and as a result confidence rises.

An EMBA program cannot guarantee that an entrepreneur will be successful. But then nothing can. However, what an EMBA program can promise is a transformative experience that provides more tools in the proverbial toolbox, while simultaneously sharpening the tools entrepreneurs may already have at their disposal. As entrepreneurs consider investing time and energy into the product or services they plan to offer, they should strongly consider investing in the biggest asset at their disposal...themselves!

Also read:

Got a yearning for learning? Here’s a list of 15 European edtech startups you should memorise

Tackling big data: How Europe is trying to bridge the data science skills gap

Train your brain: 10 EU-made apps that want to boost your brainpower

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

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