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

Sophie’s Choice and Entrepreneurship

Pin It

Not a literary buff? Here’s a little tale you ought to familiarize yourself with from the cannon. It’s called Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron. Amazing novel, but that aside, if you haven’t read it, here is the crux of the book and actually, one of the smallest scenes in the entirety of the piece.

I read it sometime during my undergrad studying Mass Communications and English at Missouri Valley College.

It goes a little something like this:

Sophie just arrived in Auschwitz with her 10-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter. There a sadistic doctor said she can pick one of her children to live and the other will be killed. She couldn’t make the agonizing choice until several officers get ready to rush both children away and Sophie picks her daughter to die.

The unfortunate side to entrepreneurship is that many times you’ll face decisions that have no right answer, much like Sophie’s choice. And no I am not comparing running a start-up to the horrors of the Holocaust. I’m only using the movie and the literature as an example of impossible choices and the story illustrates that clearly.

I can’t speculate why she made the decision to save her son but not her daughter but I know tons of factors can do into a split second decision. Sometimes there’s so much pressure you blurt out an answer just to move onto the next problem you have to face. Sometimes your brain moves slower than your mouth and you just spout out something because you have to choose and neither answer is right and neither is wrong. Other times you agonize over a decision—stay up late at night tossing and turning to try to make one and still not know the answer but are forced to make a choice when you don’t know what the outcome will be.

As an entrepreneur, I studied at Syracuse University through the Whitman School of Business, and after graduating I’ve faced numerous tough choices and I don’t know the right answer, akin to the tale I learned in my undergrad.

I just know the path I took. Here’s some of the decisions I have had to make during my time as a small business owner that maybe you’ll have to face, too. Or maybe your choices will be something far more interesting with little quirks that push you in one direction or the other. I won’t tell you the answer I went for, I’ll just pose the quandary and just like in college, you get to think about the answer.

  • Do you file taxes if you only broke even?
  • Do you press criminal charges against a family member for something they did during their time in business with you?
  • Do you pay for a website or ask an ex-boyfriend to do it for you?
  • Do you give trade secrets away on the Internet for free or do you lock them down and safeguard them so your client base has to pay for them?
  • When finances are tight, do you pay yourself or someone else first?
  • Do you stop running your business so that your partner can’t collect a portion of your business or do you continue to work knowing they’ll get a portion regardless of how much they put in or not?
  • If you’re paid in cash do you deposit it in the bank or does that money not exist because there’s no paper trail to prove it?
  • Do you eat the cost of a lawyer with a business partner or pay for it yourself knowing you’re investing in social capital within the relationship?
  • Will you risk suffering to do something right, or will you take the easy way out to save the hassle?
  • Will you devalue your products and services by lowering your price to make the customer happy or will you turn down customers who won’t pay your fees?

These are just a tiny iota of questions I’ve had to answer during my time as an entrepreneur. Some feel like Sophie’s choice–an impossible decision that you don’t want to make but must because of the situation that surrounds you. Others are not. But they’re all questions that you can’t Google. They’re judgement calls and regardless of the choice, there’s no undoing it.

What impossible decisions are you making today as an entrepreneur?

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.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

Pin It

The Smartest Thing I Ever Learned in Business School

Pin It

Quite a few years ago I took some business classes at a local community annex. They taught the basics of time management and P&L statements and had us craft a mission statement and 30-second elevator pitch. I won’t say that these things aren’t valuable because they are; however, the thing I noticed in class is that many of the budding entrepreneurs were pitching ideas that were self-aggrandizing. They were selling themselves and what I mean to say is they honed in on a talent or hobby or idea that they held near and dear to their hearts with little regard as to who would purchase their product or service. They made the business all about them.
When I went to Syracuse they had us think about this concept that I’ll call, “Will the fish bite?” before we ever started brainstorming our business plan. They wanted us to think about a need that people have and are willing to pay to solve. They didn’t want us to think about ourselves, rather they encouraged us to look around the world and begin looking for unsolved possibilities. The idea of “Will the fish bite?” means essentially, “Will you be able to hook a customer with your idea because they’re hungry enough to latch onto it?”

What problem will you solve?

That’s the smartest lesson I learned in business school.

The second most valuable idea I garnered from business school was the process of honing in on the fish that will actually bite.

If I were to continue the fishing analogy, if you’re hunting for Muskies most likely you’ll want to grab a Jensen Jig and head to Cass Lake, Minnesota for the summer and take out an experienced guide like Dr. Loren Gruber to a catch the beasts. Customers are like that, too. You’ve got to know what your customers who are looking to do one specific thing with you want. You’ve got to know what will make them hungry enough to pay money so you can hook them. You’ve got to know their hair, eye color, demographic, hobbies, friends, etc. so that you can craft an ideal image in your head of what an ideal buyer looks like. You do this so you can find your fish time and time again and know how to hook them.

Then you have to find your pond. You have to know where to fish. With Muskies you can go to Cass Lake. But where do your fish hide out? If you need a guide, reach out to the local library. They can help you pull demographics right down to addresses and phone numbers of fish right in your neighborhood. And from there if you have the right bait for the right fish and they’re hungry, I promise you they’ll buy.

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.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

Pin It

30 Greatest Living Geniuses in Business

Pin It

By Amy Bell

Facebook Zuckerbergs Birthday

Image Source

The corporate world may be tricky – even overwhelming – but business degrees can help people to navigate this exciting environment. A number of high-flying entrepreneurs and CEOs have business degrees to their name, and their studies may well have given them the leg up to making that first million or even billion. Still, while knowledge can get some individuals far, a touch of brilliance also pays dividends, as many of today’s shining executive stars prove. Some have Mensa-level intelligence, others a winning management style, sharp business sense or just a good idea and the wherewithal to succeed – yet all are super smart in their own way. Read on for 30 of the greatest living geniuses in business.

[Read more...]

Pin It

‘How Will You Measure Your Life?’—An Application of Lessons from HBR

Pin It

Clayton M. Christenson teaches at Harvard and he works with students to educate them on management theory, innovation and growth. In a nutshell, he teaches them what actions yield what results. On the last day of class he has students posit answers to three critical questions:

  • How I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career?
  • How can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness?
  • How can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?

These questions might seem like a no brainer, but they’re not at all. I’ve never been arrested but I have gone through divorce and family tragedy and I have found myself at crossroads in my career when I wasn’t sure if I was happy or just complacent and after starting my own company, I’m forced to think about these things in a greater context because my actions impact those around me. It’s not that they didn’t before. In a sense I have always had a team of people relying on me in one capacity or another. It’s just that I didn’t recognize it before.

To answer the first question: how can I be sure I’ll be happy in my career; I’ll share an anecdote.

In 2007 I had spent a year eloping and moving to Alaska with my then-husband whom I had known since I was 8 years old. We spent the year going dog sled racing and traveling up and down the west coast through Anchorage, Seattle and British Columbia. Then we finished the year traveling from Alaska to Pennsylvania by Uhaul before settling into his parents’ home until we bought a place of our own. At this time in my life I was offered an opportunity to make $60,000 the first year as a financial advisor for a prestigious firm. I passed all of the interviews and loved the culture but there was just one problem: I didn’t learn the way they were teaching me. Every single day I struggled through the online exams only to fail and fail again. I was discouraged and unhappy. We wanted to buy a house and he was unemployed so I felt pressure to bring home money to finance our goal. One night after the umpteenth time of trying to take the test and failing, I went to bed and asked him how he felt about me quitting. He said, “Jasmine, you’ll either love your paycheck or you’ll love your job. Pick which one is more important to you.” The next day I quit and went back to a job as a newspaper editor making pennies on the dollar and loving my job every day. I didn’t have a lot of money but I sure was rich.

Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness? Now, as I shared before I have gone through a divorce—a bitter, ugly bifurcation that cost me more than $20,000 in savings, and thousands more in tax returns, my home and more than half of my property. I lost my home and damn near my sanity. But more than all of those things, I feel as though I lost my time and that’s a resource I can’t get back. I believe that money comes and goes. They print more of it every single day so I’m not going to worry about a resource that can’t be depleted. But time: I lost it.

I intentionally planned to have a healthy relationship with my spouse. I tried the Love and Respect books, marriage counseling, pre-marital counseling, following Martha Stewart’s guidelines for a clean house and more. I worked out hard at Crossfit and Krav maga so I’d be fit. I didn’t let myself go. But it didn’t work. We fought constantly. We lost respect for one another. We had different values. We didn’t have an enduring source of happiness. It was seven years of hard work that ended in bitter disappointment, many travels and ultimately failure. From this I learned that you’ll face adversity with friends, family and spouses. Really, what holds people together is respect and shared values. If you don’t have that foundation, no matter what you build it’ll crumble.

Finally, how can I make sure I stay out of jail?

This is a hard one.

Here’s what I mean: the past year my business partner stole thousands from the business my misappropriating funds. I contacted the police and thought he may face jail time. That didn’t happen. I thought he’d have to pay the funds back quickly. That too, didn’t happen. I thought he’d be held accountable. Again, that didn’t happen.
On the other hand, I relied on a professional who gave me bad advice and I lost $25,000 in the process.

This gives me pause and confuses me.

The first act was done maliciously with the intent to destroy something I had built. The second was bad advice from a trusted professional and foolishness on my part to follow their discernment.

The question “how can I make sure I stay out of jail” is hard because you really don’t know the consequences of any behavior until you do it. Yes, I can hedge my bets and work on wisdom and discernment but ultimately I can’t predict the future. I can just try my hardest to make good decisions, safeguard myself and my business from undue risk and hope that I am building a business that will outlast me, but I don’t know what the future holds. Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. both ended up in jail and they’re some of the most influential leaders of our time and yet at the same token Al Capone, Charles Manson and Ted Bundy also ended up in jail.
How can I apply this question to my business? File taxes, do the right thing by people, avoid hubris and make sure I have a good lawyer, I suppose.

Ultimately though without a taking one of Christenson’s classes, I guess that I’m learning management theory, innovation and growth by studying what others around me are doing and seeing what actions they take to yield what results. I try to follow the results I like and avoid the consequences I abhor, and give myself the grace to learn through experience.

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,” the Woman of the Year, 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.

For more info, see her Google+ Profile.

 

Pin It

The Secret of Learning Like an Entrepreneur

Pin It

For countless years I was taught to learn the right answer and then regurgitate it on a test. I learned pretty quickly in life that if I crammed before a test I could memorize a good bit of information and store it in my tiny little head with just enough time to spit it out in 50 minutes on a test. I could parrot information well and if I couldn’t I learned to have exceptionally sloppy handwriting and have points deducted for messiness in hopes that if the teachers couldn’t read what I had written they’d give me the benefit of the doubt based on previous performance.

This served me pretty well. I’d say the only lasting ramification is that I have the handwriting of a doctor but not the brain to match and that I’ve become really good at listening for important facts that might come in handy later.

What I didn’t learn until much later in my education was how to think. When I attended the Whitman School of Business at Syracuse University for their Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Family Program there were no answers and there were no tests. There was only one key idea that I learned time and time again: find a problem and then figure out the solution.

I learned by exploring, thinking and failing. And for one of the first times in my life I didn’t feel stupid if I didn’t know the answer. I just knew I was on a journey where I’d find no concrete answers to regurgitate on a test. I’d just be given the opportunity to look for problems and then tinker around until I came up with an idea for a solution, then I could test it and see if it worked. It felt like being in the science fair only we weren’t rewarded for getting testing our hypothesis and being right, we were encouraged to test and test and try again.

So often I wish I could go back to elementary school and learn not by getting the right answers but by learning for the sake of learning. I wish I could look at the experience with fresh eyes and not care about cramming for a test just to get straight As but rather learn for the sake of satiating my curiosity. In my opinion, as an entrepreneur, viewing business and life under that scope is far less stressful than feeling like I have to produce some magic answer just because it’s the right answer to fill in at the right time.

I wish that when I was a kid I knew I wanted to be a social entrepreneur when I grew up so I could take advantage of all of the learning possibilities that were before me instead of ranking myself against my peers.

Find a problem. Test a solution. Try again.

That’s learning.

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

Did You Make a Mistake Going to a Top-Ranked B School?

Pin It

Fascinating thought: You might not need a big brand school to be successful in entrepreneurship. Believe it?

According to Malcom Gladwell’s David and Goliah, although there are serious advantages to being in a top-rate school or institution, it doesn’t guaranteed success. The advantages are also the disadvantages. The fact that schools are so selective and so prestigious makes it difficult to make an impact when everyone else around you is clamoring to make the same noise.

Take, for example, Gladwell’s story of Caroline Sacks. She had the opportunity to go to two schools: Brown or University of Maryland. She loved bugs and that’s what she wanted to study. She chose to go to Brown. There she excelled until she came to organic chemistry. In this class she struggled to receive a B. According to the tale she felt like she didn’t measure up, but the problem isn’t that Sacks is dumb, it’s that she was surrounded by super geniuses. She was smart enough to keep up with them which meant she was smart enough to get it period. However, in comparison to a tiny sliver of the population, she wasn’t as strong in that endeavor. It polluted her self-confidence. Why? It wasn’t that she loved science any less than any of the students. It wasn’t that she wasn’t gifted and didn’t have the drive to study. It’s that she began to lose confidence due to the fact that she was a small fish in a big pond.

Some people thrive in that sort of environment. Some don’t. Neither answer is right or wrong.

Welcome to the theory of relative deprivation. That means when you compare yourself to others in your very specific endeavor, you feel like either you stack up or you don’t. You compare yourself not to the populous as a whole but your immediate peers. You determine your merit based on the achievements around you, and not your work in and of itself.

This idea of being a small fish in a big pond makes you feel like somehow you just don’t stack up. But that’s not necessarily true. Really you just have to decide what sort of environment you want to learn in: an environment where you’ll be a big fish in a small pond and boost your confidence but by excelling under selective deprivation or a small fish in a big pond where you may lower your confidence by the same theory.

So this begs the question: Do you think it’s worth it to pursue a big name education in entrepreneurship once you know the rewards and consequences that come along with the brand name?

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

The Easiest Way For Millennials to Learn Business for Free–Guaranteed

Pin It

My generation…

… holy moly, I never thought I’d be old enough to write those words. Let’s pause a moment to reflect on that before I begin again. Deep breath. 

…most of my generation recalls what life before the Sept. 11 and how life changed dramatically and subsequently, though admittedly some of us were a little too young to remember it. We’re civil minded: we care about our neighbors. We check in with them on social media, use smartphones easier than pens, and find texting as comforting as a hug even though we know we’re a lot like primates grooming one another with technology. Our forefathers think we’re spoiled, but we’re just used to life that’s instantaneous. We grew up on microwave dinners, fast food and VCRs as babysitters. We don’t let life gel. We just hit buttons and get results. We’ve shaken the hell out of the workforce, even though we’re optimistic, engaged and team players. At our worst we’re Trophy Kids who are used to receiving awards just for showing up to practice and we’re bratty when we’re not rewarded instantly for existing; at best we’re a technologically savvy generation who has instant access to the world at our fingertips and we’re confident enough to navigate it and do it fast. So how are we going to receive education that will transform us, and the world around us, into entrepreneurs who solve an entirely new generation of problems? Most likely we’ll do it the way we operate in our world: through the Internet.

That’s why I enjoy so much when colleges and universities give us information in the exact way we digest it. I respect so much that the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities program through Syracuse University, Florida State University, UConn, Cornell and more offer Google Hangouts to chat with other entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship professors. I like how Standford University offers Youtube videos of their classes and lectures at Harvard.

I enjoy these programs because they’re free financially and only cost me my time, I can view them from the comfort of my office, and they’re communicating with me by speaking my language and meeting me right where I am on an educational, topical and financial level. They’re making business education available to the masses and it’s incredible.

This education mirrors my generation: its civil minded: they educate neighbors regardless of their ‘hood. I can reach out to them on social media. I can get a top ranked education on my smartphone. I can text them instead of picking up my pen. They catered to the fact that I’m admittedly spoiled and they’re giving me an instant education. I can go to class while I eat my microwave dinner, whip through the fast food line and I can use their lectures as fodder for my step children. Their lessons gel. I hit a button and I get instant educational results. It’s shaking the hell out of the educational system and they’re giving me real world opportunities to learn how to become even more engaged and an even better team player so why wouldn’t I be optimistic about that? The only part of me that doesn’t find it appealing is my inner Trophy Kid because I know I won’t receive a degree just for showing up to practice. So yeah, in that regard I’m a little bratty. But these institutions appeal to me: they’re tech savvy and they’ve given me at instant access to Ivy League and tier one educations and I am confident enough to learn in their classes even without being in their classes. I’m receiving my ongoing education in a transformational way so that I too can transform the world around me or at least a market segment of it.

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.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

Pin It