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 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

The Best Undergrad Tip I Applied In B School

Pin It

Allow me to illustrate how deeply my hubris blinded me. Back when I was doing my undergrad on a scholarship from the Hortatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans at Missouri Valley College studying for my B.A. in English and Mass Communications, I had a teacher named Professor Virginia Kugel-Zank. She was one of my favorite professors because she challenged my thinking. She made me think deeper and differently and this one time in class she said that our assignment was to doodle. I was aghast. I could not believe that she would suggest such an idea. I was so pompous. I thought it was ridiculous that I was going to college to learn how to doodle.

I soon ate crow. Not only did I begin to doodle all the time but I found that it enhanced my thinking. She told us about the lady who discovered the old doodle program on the computer that allowed you to sketch out ideas because she was a visual learner. She was planting a seep of entrepreneurship and doodles.

As a doodled, I found that I could imagine something, come up with a rough idea of what it looked like, sketched it out and than began to create something from the ground up. I did this when I created a digital magazine, when I imagined how I’d want a room decorated or if I wanted to zone out I began to take my doodling a little more advanced and I took an art class. I’m not any good—granted—but I can get the message across. Plus, it’s therapeutic.

As I grew older, I realized how right Professor Zank was about doodling. I learned in the Harvard Business Review that “People who doodled while listening to a monotonous message recalled 29% more information than non-doodlers on a surprise memory test, according to a study in Applied Cognitive Psychology cited by blogger Eric Barker” according to The Benefits of Doodling.

Furthermore I have used in it in a business I developed at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. It’s called Ruby, Inc. and it’s a doodle I use to drive business results.

As I said before I was blind but now I see: Doodling works in entrepreneurship.

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

Get a B School Education from a Professor You Can Be Proud Of

Pin It

I’m here today to tell you a simple story about one of my favorite professors.

To say that Dr. Mike Haynie is passionate about veterans would be an understatement. He’s been known to shock bystanders on planes by telling them about the suicide rate of our nation’s all-volunteer armed forces. But just as much passion as he exudes for veterans he finds room in his heart for arguably his second love: entrepreneurship. His doctorate degree focuses on entrepreneurship with an emphasis in social innovation, decision-making, self-identity, and cognition. Before he was an academic, Haynie served for 14 years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. So you can see how the two loves intersect.

Haynie was, hands down, one of the best teachers I have ever experienced at Syracuse University. I remember he didn’t teach in the typical PowerPoint manner. Rather, he stood in front of us, telling us stories of businesses in an engaging manner. He made me want to learn because he understood that our brains would remember bigger concepts before they’d remember details. My favorite tale was about the crew from New Belgium Brewing Company.

Haynie said:

I love hippies. I love beer and this is a story about both.

He talked about how Jeff Lebesch, the brewery’s founder, took his homebrewing passion commercially and was so successful that he rallied an entire crew of hippies to keep his company going. They were so passionate and so successful that a large brewing company wanted to buy them. The company was faced with a critical decision: sell the company that they were passionate about and all become millionaires or continue to build their empire based on their hippie culture.

I won’t tell you the end of the story. I’d much rather you sit back and ponder what you’d do in the same situation. Would you sell or would you develop a culture? Would you pick people or profits?

I think these are the sorts of teachers that budding entrepreneurs should pick in B school if at all possible: teachers who don’t tell you the answer, but rather allow you to explore the possibilities in the safety of a classroom first before you have to make those real-life decisions later. They’re the sorts of teachers who plant a seed and wait patiently for it to turn into innovation in the real world through the lives, actions and companies of his students. He created a veritable innovation factory for families of veterans and veterans themselves and so, bit by bit, person by person he’s creating a world that’s safe for vets to come home to, a place where they don’t feel anonymous, and a place where we can spawn the next generation of ideas that will change the post 911 world.

Don’t believe me? Just listen to his Ted Talk.

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

5 Things I Wish I Would Have Learned in Business School—But Didn’t

Pin It

I learned a ton when I went to business school. Don’t get me wrong. I wish that anyone would have been privy to the free education I received from the colleges and universities like Franklin & Marshall, Missouri Valley College and Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management and now that I have a few years under my belt post grad, I wish I could take some of these lessons and infuse them into my educational system so I wouldn’t have had to learn the hard way as an entrepreneur. Well, who am I kidding? I suspect I would still have to learn the hard way—that’s part of the reason why I’m an entrepreneur in the first place.

1) Everyone will tell you to get a job.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have been told to just get a job. It’s not that I object to working hard and for someone else. I don’t. I think it’s a viable option for tons of people and at certain stages of my life I was perfectly happy to work for someone else. In fact, I enjoyed it and I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to try to make it on my own because I believe I can do it. People tell me to get a job all the time. If I run into a health insurance problem—which is a huge problem for entrepreneurs—people say, “Why don’t you just get a job?” If I have to contact the government for any sort of information and I can’t make the system work for me, they tell me to just get a job until I make $3,000 off someone else and then get fired. When a client doesn’t pay quickly enough or cash flow is tighter than I’d like it or an unexpected financial hit comes my way, I’ll be sure to hear it: Get a job.

2) A job is no more or less stable than entrepreneurship.

Companies exist to solve problems. It doesn’t matter if you’re working for someone else is working for yourself and starting your own company. As long as that problem exists and you can solve it then you’re in business. But, as an example, big companies are yearning more lean manufacturing so that leads to greater efficiency and less people to solve their problem for their customers. As a second example, the media industry is changing and countless previously employed workers are without wages because they’re not needed and as a third example, the national unemployment rate is at 7 percent for people who are older than 16. These three facts illustrate that there are countless problems that have either reached their demise or have become supremely efficient and unfortunately, job loss occurs which illustrates my point: a job isn’t more or less stable than entrepreneurship.

3) Entrepreneurship is all about solving problems.

Now the fancy explanation of entrepreneurship is: “the process of identifying and starting a business venture, sourcing and organizing the required resources and taking both the risks and rewards associated with the venture.” Dumb it down: solve a problem, collect money for it, repeat for more people with a similar problem who are willing to pay a similar amount or more.

4) Anyone can solve problems.

I know it sounds ridiculous to think that the process of entrepreneurship is this heady adventure fraught with all of these perils and somehow at the end of it you’ll triumph and become the most amazing leader of all times. Well that’s not so. Allow me to illustrate it like this and if you have kids you’ll relate: One night I found my stepson sleeping in the hallway. I picked him up and put him back in bed. A little while later, he came into my room, told me he didn’t feel well and then puked on the bed. I cleaned it up and put him back to bed. There was a problem, so I solved it. Entrepreneurship is that simple. Look around at the mess in the world and go clean it up. If you can clean up puke from a sick child you have proven that you’re capable of solving problems. Making a decision to clean up puke from the carpet is no more or less difficult than filing paperwork with an attorney to start a company. It’s just paperwork. Putting a child back to bed is no more nerve wracking than filing an EIN number and opening up a business bank account. You can solve problems. You do it every single day.

5) People are inherently scared.

You know anyone can solve problems. You know that entrepreneurship is about finding a problem and solving it and you know that entrepreneurship isn’t some daring feat: it’s just a choice. So why do so many people tell you to get a job? Why is that their go to answer for self-fulfillment? I think it’s because of fear. They’re afraid of what will happen for you if you can’t collect money on time, if times become lean or clients don’t pay immediately. They’re afraid of the consequences. They’re afraid of how you’ll judge them because you own a business and they don’t. They’re afraid of how you’ll look at them in times of plenty and want. They’re afraid of the idea of entrepreneurship and they’re afraid when you fail because somehow they might catch the failure too and they’re afraid of your success because if you succeed and they don’t then somehow they have failed, too. But none of these things are true. It’s just fear. And out of the five biggest things I wish I had learned in business school but didn’t, I wish I had learned that fear is riddled with all sorts of falsehoods that stand in the way of solving problems.

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

How to Develop a Safe Space and Grow Professionally

Pin It

When I was working on my undergrad degrees, I had a professor named Virginia Kugel-Zank who has the most magnificent office. She had these lush purple chairs that faced her desk and the room smelled warm and inviting. She had a little gargoyle seated on her large, classic desk and to her right her room was lighted with a stained glass window. It was amazing. Professor Zank championed to have a Learning Center developed at Missouri Valley College.

As I originally wrote on the college website:

The Learning Center, nestled on the third floor of Baity Hall, was renovated in the summer of 2002. Students are invited to study in this gorgeous environment complete with the original vaulted wood ceiling, cozy seats, and glorious stained glass windows. Students have access to lightning fast Internet service, tutors in a variety of disciplines, and an open door policy to the office of the director.

The history of this room is the history of the college. MVC alumni knew this room—at various times—as a chapel, a classroom, and a lab. Former students who come back to MVC have wonderful stories to tell about the events they experienced in this room. Current students will, no doubt, add their stories of success to that history.

Today, just like it did when I was in school, The Learning Center provides academic support and encourages students to achieve their full potential.

I asked Professor Zank why this place was so important to her and she said it was important to develop a space that gives people a safe place to learn. Yes, it was a quiet study environment and yes, it was staffed with tutors, students and staff. But more than that, that space that she envisioned became the hub of the college.

Which leads me to my point: regardless of where you’re exploring and learning in the world, it’s important to develop a safe place to learn, fail and grow. Professor Zank did that with stained glass, comfortable seating, and a welcoming environment but I think it’s important to find a space that allows you to do the same regardless of the college or university you attend, which office you choose to set up as an entrepreneur or manager.

It’s important because if you don’t feel safe in your environment, how are you going to test out new theories to drive your business forward? How are you going to be compelled to do research when there’s no one looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re on task? How are you going to give yourself the opportunity to learn new tactics to implement in your programs? How are you going to engage if you don’t feel connected?

What elements can you borrow from The Learning Center to set up your own space?

  • Give yourself a quiet area. Maybe music is your thing. If so, bring headphones. But keep the space peaceful.
  • Keep contacts readily accessible. Think of them like tutors in college. If you get stuck, just call.
  • Keep it clean, clutter free, well-lighted and comfortable.
  • Make sure it’s beautiful—really beautiful so you remember the space long after you’re gone.

If you make yourself an inspirational environment, you’ll reach your business potential.

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