The Secret of Fair Market Value and Social Capital in Entrepreneurship

Pin It

I’ve decided to embrace my inner bitch.

Here’s why:

A few weeks ago I was sitting down for a negotiation and the company asked me to throw out a ballpark figure of how much it was going to cost them for me to perform a service. In business school at Syracuse University I learned that the price for something is whatever the market will bear so instead of making the first offer, I let them. They waffled. I told them to think about it and let me know and we could negotiate from there. After a few moments they tossed out an obscenely low figure. I asked about terms and they said it was firm and had to be their way.

Now I learned a long time ago that everything is up for debate—even the things people claim are non-negotiable. Those spots are often the areas that have the most wiggle room.

I countered, offered the value I brought to the company and sat silent for a long period of time.

I was amazed at how quickly the company started touting the value of what I brought. They started selling me on why I ought to work with them. Their figure came up but just barely. It translated to pennies on the hour and I know from research that women are often paid .75 cents to the $1 of what a man would be offered for the same gig.

Needless to say the figure wasn’t at what the market would bear.

I know first hand people who pay are always looking for a cheaper price whereas the person performing the service wants the highest price. Because of this, there’s always tension. I didn’t get upset.

I just declined the offer.

Later, I told a man about my experience. He said I was being “bitchy” and I should just have taken the offer because half a paycheck is better than no paycheck at all.

I didn’t want to devalue what I do, so I didn’t take the pay cut.

A few weeks later I listened to the same man negotiate a pay raise. He said unless he received the number he had in his head he would neither move nor perform the duties asked of him. His boss said this was a smart move. I told him it was bitchy. He told me it was just smart business.

I know because of the lessons I learned in business school that price is determined by whatever the marker will bear. I learned from experience that the trade off for fair market value is a loss in social capital.

About the Author

Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.

Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

Pin It

Networking: The Secret of Entrepreneurial Growth and Peace of Mind

Pin It

The other day I was speaking with my friend, Justin, a guy I met after I graduated from business school through the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities program. He’s an attorney out in Colorado. Each year we meet up and hang out at the conference. Some years we meet up in Florida, other times Colorado. This year it’ll be Georgia.

Justin is an incredible friend. He’s the kind of guy who not only understands business but also doesn’t make you feel stupid for not understanding the same nuances he does. We tease each other a great deal. He tells me he’d love to work for my company because I dress women and as a consequence spend a great deal of time with ladies in their undergarments and I tease him and tell him I could surely be a lawyer because the only thing he does all day is read and write and then bill people and talk about what he just read and wrote. Oddly enough, even though his billable hours are much higher than mine, we have the same hourly rate and similar target markets.

I learned about Justin through business school. He was at the same conference that I was in Disney World and we found that we just clicked. Instant buddies. We ate all of our meals together, and he teased me for eating an exorbitant amount of food. We would pick each other up from class, and each year before we head to the next conference we call the other to make sure the other will be there. In my opinion, conferences wouldn’t be the same without him. Now before you insert your imagination into the piece you should know that he’s married with children and I am in a wonderful relationship with a great man who also has children so there’s no danger of chemistry between the two of us. He’s like my brother and as we all know once we banish someone to the “brother” or “sister” category, there’s no turning back.

Yesterday he and I were chatting about business. We were talking about the legal aspects of signatures, loan ramifications and who bears the onus of a loan if another party is unable to pay. You know, boring legal stuff. And in that instant I had a realization. Yes, business school educated me on the general overview of entrepreneurship but it gave me something I had previously neglected to talk about: it gave me a network. Justin is part of my network but we didn’t develop a bond because we both graduated from Syracuse, though that helped. We bonded because we spent time together, ran around the conferences together, learned, hung out, explored, talked and were vulnerable enough around the other to be able to look at the person and say, “Hey buddy, I am scared shitless to do this presentation.” And he’d look at me and say, “I’m nervous too but you’re going to do great.” I’d tell him I thought I was going to throw up and he’d reassure me it was just hangover and it would pass.

Now I’m not advocating drinking and cavorting with members of the opposite sex and running around at conferences all willy nilly. But I am advocating one thing that they taught me in business school and I realize I have with Justin. You’ve got to have a network. You’ve got to have people you trust. You have to surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth when you’re too afraid to see it for yourself.

I’m sick.

You’re hungover.

I’m afraid.

I am too.

That’s camaraderie. It’s a stupid example but it illustrates the point.

Build a network. Build a bond with people you can trust. Surround yourself with people who respect you and who you respect, too. Build friendships with people halfway around the country not because you need to have a superficial relationship and feel popular but because it is imperative as business owners that we have people who feel the same struggles, same apprehensions, same victories that we share because sometimes it feels awfully lonely trying to run an enterprise without a sidekick.

Here’s what I have learned through business school and subsequent networking that it’s important to have in a network:

In my experience, I want to surround myself with people with whom I can be authentic and vulnerable because when you’re in the Mile High City and facing altitude sickness along with anxiety over giving a VC presentation along with not knowing how in the world to get from Point A to Point B, you’ve got to have a buddy who cares about about you and respect you enough to help you get on your way and make sure you arrive at your goal safely.

I want to develop a network of people who won’t just help me but also afford me the opportunity to add value to them. When I see them struggle I am bound to help them—not out of superficial obligation but out of real friendship.

I want people that I can count on. I want a team.

And that’s one of the best lessons that I was educated on in business school but learned through my experience with Justin.

About the Author

Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.

Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

Pin It

If You Don’t Think About These Sacrifices Now You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Pin It

When I attended the Whitman School of Management through Syracuse University, Neale Godfrey, an American author who writes books on financial literacy for children, including most notably “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children” talked to my class about sacrifices.

She said that once you start a business there will be times when you’re counting pennies just to pay for Macaroni and cheese and then other times you’ll come home with a check big enough for a steak dinner. Business is high and low. The trick, she said, is to decide what you’re willing to sacrifice and what you’re not.

No truer words were ever spoken.

I understood what Godfrey was saying because I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My grandparents on both sides owned mushroom farms and distribution plants and my parents and grandparents owned a farmers market together as I was growing up. After college I was offered an opportunity by a venture capitalist to start any business I wanted. I rescinded his offer because I learned from the time I was small that when times were plentiful, life seemed easy. When they were lean…well, let’s just say that I didn’t mind scrounging through the couch cushions to gather a bit of change to ride my bike down to the store to find something to eat.

It’s part of the sacrifices you make when you start a business. The trick I’m learning is to ride out the lean times until you get to the times of plenty.

This sounds easy but emotionally it’s tough. I’d like to state for the record that I am totally debt free. Nothing I own owns me. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s simple to ride out the lean times. I ask myself often: is this broken or just an excuse to give up? To this there is no simple answer. I have not owned and operated a business without having a a full time gig before and therefore I have yet to determine when times will be booming and when times will be scarce.

So I have to ask myself about what I am willing to sacrifice during times of uncertainty. Some questions are simple: do you really need knock-out roses in the front of the house when you don’t have a client lined up this week? That’s pretty easy but yet when I drive through the community and see the neighbors beautifully landscaped yards, I covet what they have and I feel a bit inadequate for not having the same. I ask myself sometimes if it would just be smarter to go to a job with a six figure salary and show up, do my job and then go home and have extra money to spend if I would be making a smarter choice than I am now. I ask myself am I willing to sacrifice a dream for comfort or am I willing to trade uncertainty for chance.

As someone who is in the midst of this, I don’t know the answer. So I harken back to what Godfrey said about entrepreneurship: some days it’s tough to make mac and cheese, some days the money is so plentiful you’re full of steaks.

As of now I have concluded that regardless of the path I choose, I am going to suffer. I just have to decide, just as you will need to do as you’re going through your business path, what I am willing to suffer for.

About the Author

Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.

Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

 

Pin It

If I Don’t Learn Six Sigma Now I’ll Hate Myself Later

Pin It

Although I know a Six Sigma certification would increase my earning potential, and offer me a competitive advantage in the workplace I’m not undertaking this education for the projected $38,000 salary increase over my counterparts.

Instead I’m interested in the knowledge.

As such I’m watching videos along with my fiancé through Villanova University to learn more about Six Sigma and lean manufacturing. He’s getting the credit; I’m getting the knowledge.
To give you a little background Six Sigma is set of techniques and tools for process improvement that was first used at Motorola, and then under Jack Welch’s leadership at General Electric. The ultimate goal of Six Sigma is to create defect-free products.

This process of learning and viewing the business world aims to achieve stable and predictable results, come up with ways to measure, analyze, control and improve previously existing processes and create an entire organization where quality is becomes top-notch.

It takes the guesswork out of decision-making because it gives verifiable data and statistical methods.

All this sounds fancy but when I look at it, I think about the practical ways that I can apply it to my business and more importantly to my thinking.

The first project methodology I am studying and applying to my business is called “DMAIC.” It stands for define, measure, analyze, improve and control.

It’s where you define the system, the voice of the customer and develop goals. From there you collect and measure the current process and relevant data, and then analyze and find the root cause of the problem. From there you brainstorm ways to improve it and then control the process so that it works more fluidly the subsequent times around. It’s creating within me the volition to embrace kaizen, which is Japanese for “continuous improvement.” It’s helping me to see that my first crack at an idea isn’t always right but that it was be tweaked and measured along the way to become more efficient. It’s helping me to see my company not just as my baby but rather an experiment where I can try out new ideas, measure them and monitor their progress.

As I am listening to the videos on my iPad, I’m taking the ideas and applying them in my mind to my business. This helps me to do things: it helps me understand what they’re saying devoid of fancy business terms and it also helps me to apply the concept in a tangible way so that my business can become more streamlined.

It’s causing me to think about new ways to drive in business. It makes me wonder how I could apply these ideas to marketing, accounts receivable, customer service and more and it’s making me excited to try these new ideas once the class is over so that I’m not just educated on this, and so that I’m not just more marketable in the workplace but so that I have taken a concept and made it come alive.

Maybe it’ll net me $38,000 in business. Maybe it’ll lend itself the opportunity for me to take the test and become certified. I don’t know but I do know one thing for certain: it’s changing the way I learn about business and it’s giving me knowledge that I can apply in any endeavor.

About the Author

Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.
Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

Pin It

Do You Make These Time Management Mistakes in Business?

Pin It

Back in business school at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, we had a young entrepreneur come in saying how he wanted to create a film company. He said he labored day in and day out for more than a year before he had any break in his business. He sacrificed time with his family, expending long hours, countless dollars and days without results before he achieved any kind of success. In a sense, he was talking about time management and I know from experience as well as from studying that it takes more than 10,000 hours to achieve mastery in any field. That’s an idea borrowed from author Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers. That’s 416 consecutive days of not sleeping and just chipping away at a craft. So this entrepreneur’s math was right but what gave me pause was that he sacrificed so much for the result.

Since starting my own business, I often reflect on that young man’s teachings from business school. I think about how he led by example.

I don’t think that his passion and tenacity is wrong, and at the same token, I don’t operate the way he does.

Rather, I have more of a long range vision of where I want to take my company and how long it will take.

I can tell you from experience that I don’t want to spend every waking hour on this goal. It’s not that I don’t believe in it—quiet the contrary—it’s that I will have two little step children who are coming into my life and they’ll only be 9 and 7 once. I want to be there for them when I can and I know that I’ll never get back the opportunity to play pretend scientist or claymation artist or entrepreneurs who sell pieces of paper to the community for $1 a sheet or $5 for six pieces once in a lifetime.

One might argue that this entrepreneur is a man and I am a woman and as such we have differing roles and responsibilities in the world. Maybe, maybe not. I offer a bit more insight without speculation. I once read an HBR excerpt that left a real impression on me and I often apply it in my decision making. Now it’s not without mistakes that I apply this, but it gives me a framework on how to operate. It gives me a pause when I’m making decisions. It reminds me to follow the 10,10, 10 rule and I ask myself when facing choices: How will this choice I am about to make impact me 10 minutes from now, 10 months from now and 10 years from now? Additionally I ask myself how do I devote time when it’s a limited resource to my family, friends and my business? What kind of culture do I want to create in my life and in my business? Am I doing this for the right reason and is my ego in check? And finally, I ask myself, at the end of my life what do I want people to say about me?

I can’t say that this entrepreneur had a right or wrong approach to how he did business. I can’t say my choices are right or wrong, either. I know at the end of the day if we can both lay our heads down on our respective pillows and get a sound night’s sleep and not by plagued by the nagging choices before us or the ones we made today, that hopefully we’ll each find our respective measure of successes. He and I may not measure success the same way. That’s okay.

What’s important to me us ultimately not the level of individual prominence I have achieved; but just about the impact I have had on individuals—from the kids to my customers and associates.

I don’t know if I am doing it right, but I do know it’s going to take me far longer than 416 days to create this and master entrepreneurship. Rather than breathing it day in and day out, I hope to slowly chip away at it as a way of life rather than a means to an end.

About the Author

Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.

Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

Pin It

Lessons from B-School: Handle Criticism Like a CEO

Pin It

When I was taking classes at the Whitman School of Management, I remember hearing that you needed to surround yourself with people who would support you. Oftentimes you hear these words in all sorts of situations—like when you break-up with a lover, or when your dog dies—but it wasn’t until I entered into entrepreneurship that I understood the magnitude of impact your social circle has on your success.

In my experience people will either encourage you or discourage you but both don’t carry the same weight. I find that when I am discouraged in my own venture, and I talk to those close to me they often tell me to quit laboring so hard when there aren’t results. Their reasoning is that if it was going to work, it would have worked by now. These people, I might add, are not entrepreneurs. They have great jobs, make great pay and have great benefits. So in their mind, what’s the point in laboring without results? Oddly enough their words carry a heavy weight.

On the other hand, I also have people within my circle who are leaders in their organizations—presidents, vice presidents, CEOs and entrepreneurs—who tell me to keep at it. They tell me progress is slow and hard won. They tell me in some instances that they have been fighting for 20 years to solve a problem in their industry, their town, their community and still have yet to see the fruits of their labor blossom, but that they persevere anyway.

This is a strange dichotomy.

On one hand I have people who work hard and get results each week and on the other I have people who labor for years and still have yet to make any headway, or rather, their progress is measured in millimeters not miles.

And it’s moments like this when I harken back to business school and remember that it’s important to have people who are there to support you but also the people who often have negative insights are important, too.

Here’s what I have concluded: in the words of Richard Boyatzis, a professor at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western, “You need the negative focus to survive, but a positive one to thrive. You need both, but in the right ratio.”

What’s the right ratio? I’m still trying to figure that one out.

About the Author
Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.

Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, the won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

Pin It

Education vs. Experience in Entrepreneurship

Pin It

Experience taught me that I never wanted to be an entrepreneur; education taught me that I did.

This is a strange place to be.

Growing up my parents and grandparents had their own businesses. From the time I was tiny I would sweep out my grandparents’ trucks for a few bucks or sit around the dinner table with them discussing logistics, direction and profitability. I didn’t know the actual terms because I wasn’t educated. It was just part of every day life. To this day I don’t understand why people use fancy phrases like “synergy,” “efficiency,” and “ROI” when they’re speaking with one another.

I always thought it was simple: work hard, figure out what makes money and keep doing it to make more.

I also saw that they worked really hard. One set of grandparents had a mushroom farm and my Dad worked there; the other set had multiple businesses ranging from mushroom farms to selling Tahitian Noni as an independent rep to hauling Amish and running farmer’s markets. Regardless of where I went I was surrounded by people who were their own bosses who labored just as hard if not harder than those around them because they had a family business to run and grow. Their livelihood depended not only on their effort but also on the market.

I learned that when you work for someone you’re paid regardless of the outcome. When you work for yourself you work regardless of the pay.

As such I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to take the safe route. I wanted to work for National Geographic, which I did, and go into journalism, which I did. I wanted to get paid. I wanted to put aside 20 percent of my paycheck, labor for someone else and slowly chip away at savings and remain debt free.

I did this by becoming educated in English, Mass Communications, pagination, photojournalism, and social media. I did this by spending less than I earned—until I got married and subsequently divorced then I had someone else dipping into my paycheck, so essentially it was like being an entrepreneur where you work your tail off and lose money anyway—but that’s besides the point.

I figured out ways to learn for free. I read all of the books I could in my discipline. I imagined what I wanted to do and set out to do it. I didn’t know it, actually, but I was manifesting my future by being intentional about my education and career path.

But then I studied small business management and entrepreneurial studies at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Business. Suddenly everything changed. I realized that I was in an intrapreneurial role where I worked. This means I was using entrepreneurial skills in a department within an organization. I felt like an entrepreneur with training wheels. Syracuse taught me four things that I was able to apply to my job as a magazine editor.

First, I understood that money was a driver to either make or break the project I was working on and ultimately it wasn’t profitable because, in my opinion, it didn’t solve a need.

Second, when I took on the role, I came across all sorts of ideas that were planted in my little head and began to take root and without asking for permission I would often do them. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because I learned that if I made a decision I could execute it—without financial resources, without backing, and without permission. This is a bad thing, also, because it got me in trouble. I wasn’t trying to be a rabble-rouser. I just thought I could do something, so I did. When it panned out, it did well. When it didn’t, it flopped miserably.

Third, I learned to pivot—when things didn’t work one way I’d have to try another. Most ideas didn’t work the first five, 10 or 15 times but every once in awhile I’d stumble onto a gem of an idea that worked beautifully and I could replicate the results.

Fourth, and most importantly I learned to say no when I didn’t agree with something based on ethics, mentoring and business acumen. In business saying no can be costly. It can cost you your job, potential customers and relationships. But it can also do something important: it’ll give you a backbone, it gives you the courage to say if you think a process is working or isn’t and it gives you ownership of your project.

At some point I came to a crossroads: I knew the project I was working on was no longer feasible longterm. I knew that I like taking ideas and figuring out how to pull them off even if I had little experience and I learned that I had an entire network at Syracuse where I could call and rely on for questions and expertise.

At this juncture I became—for better or for worse—an entrepreneur and I learned the same lessons all over again from a different perspective: work hard, figure out what makes money and keep doing it to make more.

I worked hard. I became my own boss and even though I might not get paid for my efforts, my livelihood still depends on my efforts and that others will get paid regardless of the outcome.

At present, experience is teaching me that even though I didn’t want to be an entrepreneur, I am. Ongoing education is teaching me how.

About the Author

Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.

Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

For more information visit her Google + Page

Pin It

Now, Have the Luxury and Education of an Ivy League at a Price You Can Afford

Pin It

I may have mentioned this before but I have always longed to go to Harvard. That’s been a huge dream of mine since I was small and time and time again my friends, family and even strangers would tell me it couldn’t be done. I don’t have some prestigious last name or a big bank roll and unless you trace my family history back to Charlemagne you’re not going to find any big wigs in my lineage. But today, I proved the naysayers wrong. Today I started with MIT and before long I’ll be going to Harvard.

I’m continuing my education through a Massive Open Online Course, which is is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. Today I took my first class at MIT. I have goosebumps.

I am passionate about learning—not education—but learning. I love absorbing as much information as I possibly can, not to the point of mania, but it’s a passion. When I called my mom the other day and told her I signed up to take classes for free at Harvard she said, “You should just apply for a job.”

Really? I have the opportunity to learn for free and you’re telling me, “just get a job.” So I apply for jobs where I have the skill sets that would be applicable knowing I can work on my business part time, go to school online for free part time and I still hear it daily: Get a job. Get a job. Get a job.

That’s when the old adage by Friedrich Nietzsch comes to mind: “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

Here’s the music that’s playing online: They’re singing a tune of entrepreneurship. They’re singing about how I need to build a vibrant culture of hackers, hipsters and people on the fringe of society because that’s where I’ll get my traction. They’re singing about how I’ll most likely fail but I’ll be able to parlay those skill sets into my next venture, opportunity or job and that’s okay. There is a music in the air about how I need to find my specific niche and listen to their pain points so I can solve them and allow them the opportunity to solve their pains. Still I hear the drums in the background thundering to stop getting an education, slow down on my goals because I’m not getting results and take a safe route through life. I don’t know which is right. I can only listen to my gut, listen to educators at Ivy League schools and go after my goals even if I have to do them part time.

The songs that resonate from Massive Open Online Courses are for me, and for people like me who want to learn without the hindrance of paying. They’re for people who want to learn, not for people who want to be educated.

I plan on building an MBA type curriculum for free and getting the necessary mind set so I can learn to, as Steve Jobs put it, be a pirate instead go joining the Navy. However, hopefully these classes will help me become a pirate but with the skills of a Navy Seal. If I fail? So what. At least I dared to learn.

About the Author

Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.

Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

 

Pin It

How to Go to Harvard for Free

Pin It

From the time I was small I dreamed of going to an Ivy League. For free. Many would say this sounds crazy, because most spend about a quarter of a million on an Ivy League education but with the digital revolution, it’s no longer impossible. You can get an MBA education from a top tier school for free but it’ll take discipline and self-direction.

Welcome to the world of MOOC, an honor-system type education for self-starters who want a self-paced education. Professors deliver content in real time through Power Point, videos and books and students respond in message boards and receive student support.

Coursera, edX, and Udacity are social entrepreneurial companies that form partnerships with schools to develop the content and students have access to education for free. MOOCs stands for Massive Open Online Course and it’s often times used for personal enrichment in lieu of a standard diploma, though some offer a certification of completion.

That doesn’t mean that the education isn’t valuable, it just means that the idea is too new to have the market determine the value of it.

What’s interesting is that although anyone can have a university-level instruction  anywhere, it’s mostly white-collar males who are pursuing it.

If you’re interested in dabbling in Ivy education, for free, here are nine places to begin:

About the Author

Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.

Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

 

Pin It

Adversity: A Distinct B School Advantage

Pin It

When I was taking classes at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University’s Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Program, my professor Dr. Mike Haynie challenged my thinking. He had this knack for storytelling and he’s so insightful that he was recently awarded a Ted Talk. But on this day in class he let Aimee Mullins do the talking through a brief video. Mullins shared her story about how being typically thought of as disabled has given her a distinct competitive advantage. I’d argue it gave her the ability to think creatively. In her Ted Talk she asks children to give her suggestions on if she wanted to jump over a building, what sorts of legs would they build for her. Immediately the children took clues from nature like frogs and kangaroos. And what’s interesting to note is that those children were doing exactly what the folks at the Biomimicry Institute do on a daily basis—they were looking to nature to solve a problem. And what’s interesting to note is that not only were the children limitless in their thinking but they imagined a far greater outcome than just jumping over a building—they thought she could fly, too.

Professor Haynie brought to light the idea that innovation often comes from adversity, limitations and shortcomings. He made us think how we could look at the world around us and see problems that others found invisible and begin to brainstorm solutions that were previously undiscovered. As further illustration, Mullins said that she called for innovations—one might argue who are childlike in their thinking: curious, limitless and unhindered by others’ perceptions—to design new legs and make prothesis making an art form. Fashion designers made her boots, innovators created kangaroo like legs that allowed her to sprint faster than many people with two naturally created stems and others allowed her to vary her height based on the size shoe she wanted to wear that day and Mullins friends’ became jealous of her previously-thought-of-disability because it gave her the advantage of changing her height.

Professor Haynie made us think about how we too could solve problems as entrepreneurs, how we could change our thoughts to imagine the impossible, think of solutions to things that were once thought of as impossible and he demonstrated through Mullins that adversity is not what we think. It is not a setback but rather an opportunity uniquely to the person facing the obstacle to trek a path that was previously unexplored.

I’m not saying that Syracuse is the only B school to be touting ideas like these to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, but I can say with confidence that unless a college or university can challenge your thinking in this way that it is a waste of time and money. If B school doesn’t drastically alter the way you’ve been thinking, working and imagining the future than it has failed in it’s endeavor to educate you.

About the Author


Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.
Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, the won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.
She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

View her Google+ page here. 

Pin It