The 3 Most Important Lessons I Learned in Business School

A teacher once called me a “scholar, just because she loves learning for the sake of learning.” But really, I’m just intensely curious. Certain topics resonate with me-I love learning about leadership on the web, going to Chamber of Commerce functions like Professional Development Fridays, and Excellence Exchanges where CEOs share their struggles and their business journeys with key takeaways . Others don’t–I’m not a fan of learning about accounting. I doubt I’d ever long to be a CFO, although I highly respect the position. I just want to make something. I want to solve a need. I’m drawn to social-entrepreneurship.

Briefly some of the most important lessons I gleaned from business school were to learn from others; mirror the greats; embrace free education from top ranked institutions, and don’t let fear prevent you from change. 

The first most important lesson I learned in business school: opportunities exist to learn constantly. Once you graduate not only will you have the opportunity to network but we want to show you a sliver of what you can learn on the web about business for free.

At business school, Professor Mike Haynie, said and I paraphrase to the best of my recollection, that he rather enjoyed studying businesses run by hippies. I remember he was teaching us at the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities program at Syracuse University, and he started telling us about this company out in Colorado that makes beer. He talked about how they were faced with an interesting issue: should they abandon their way of life with their business and sell it to a larger company for millions or did they value culture more? Well, I hate to spoil the end of the story but I will. They chose people over profits.

Now Professor Haynie did something I thought was interesting. He let us discuss the topic. He helped us make our own decisions before revealing the company’s answer. And through that I learned a business’ story is powerful and you can learn a lot from them by reading the Harvard Business Review and Inc. Magazine along with going to Chamber of Commerce sponsored events like Excellence Exchanges and Professional Development days.

The first lesson: Learn from other’s examples. Mirror the greats. 

The second most important lesson I learned was that there are numerous opportunities on the Internet to learn for free. Haynie’s presentation included numerous outlets that I didn’t know exist: like Standford’s Carly Fiorina: The Dynamics of Change and Fear.

I learned two important lessons from this speech.

One: Ivy League presentations are available online. For free.

Second, fear holds all of us from change.

Embrace the fear and do it anyway because the only way you can help them overcome their fear is to give them a bigger vision to achieve.

Scoff if you will, but in my opinion Disney’s The Croods is an excellent example of how to lead a family to a a greater vision and it’s also a great example of how to lead through fear in business.

Managers–like the Dad–wanted to maintain the status quo. He ruled by fear. Fear of death. The change for the family came from the vision of a young “Guy,” a  leader, inspires them to reach past their fears and hope for a greater vision.

And really as entrepreneurs that’s what we want to do: we want to proverbially leave the cave and explore a new world.

So in the end, some of the most important lessons I gleaned from business school were learn from others and mirror the greats, there are many ways to learn as an entrepreneur for free while still learning from top ranked business institutions, and fear prevents all of us from change. 

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 inUnder 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.