What Is the Reason for an MBA?

I often thought of myself as an oddity among my MBA classmates. You actually wanted to become a Master of Business Administration. 

Go figure. Most everyone else was there to get a raise, sometimes with their employers paying for their education. It felt sometimes like it was wasting my money, like I was being led by the nose to the slaughterhouse. Maybe a better analogy are zombies. “Brains, brains, brains,” we limped forward, as if what to think mattered over how to think. Or robots with the right program, “Get a good job, get a good raise, climb the corporate ladder.” Or Egor, submission to the boss is what makes for good business: “Yes master, I will obey, master.”

Nothing against the corporate ladder. It’s all well and good, but I believe we lose sight of the ground the ladder is on. Or what it should be on. When attaining my MBA, I had to struggle to be a free thinker. I learned what I needed to learn (mastering business administration), but the essentials to being an entrepreneur I had to learn on my own.

Today I run a successful publishing business and volunteer as the president of an accompanying non-profit 501c3. It isn’t a year-round gig, so I sometimes pick up contractual or volunteer projects. Sometimes I get to do a project with my teenagers. I don’t have lofty ideas of being a hotshot executive or growing a multi-million dollar business with thousands of employees. I don’t need to. And my life is awesome.

Quite simply, I create products and services of value, and I help others do the same.

It’s the simple life. And in my opinion, it’s the best way to live.

Yes, the best way. Every boss, executive, employee, and human being should create products or services of value. And they should help others do so, too. Even in the most competitive situations, creating value and giving it to others (at the highest price they’ll pay) is the way to stay ahead competitively.

Seriously! It may sound funny now, but wait till you read me for a while. I’m convinced that we’re in a funny transition in today’s cultural, political and social reality. A lot of what I learned as an MBA was poppycock, and some of it has helped get my act together and tighten my business processes.

How do I know the difference? Thinking about it. A good head on your shoulders and a bold understanding of the real world are two things that will help in any business situation.

Do you have your MBA? Or a business degree? Compared to your implementation of your education (aka “the real world”), was it worth it?