Zig Ziglar was one of the greatest sales people that ever lived! What made him great wasn’t his ability to close a deal but rather his ability connect with those that he was making a deal with. After a successful career in Sales, he went on to becoming a widely recognized author and motivational speaker. Unfortunately, he passed away last week but his lessons will leave an indelible mark in history.
Do Angel investors make money? An interesting question for sure! Well, I can tell you from first hand experience that being an angel investor is sexier than it sounds! It’s not easy, requires a lot of study, and most importantly – time. So, if you are looking to make a “quick” buck, Angel investing isn’t it – you may have better odds winning the lottery! What’s even more interesting is that most angels aren’t really qualified to be angels – sure, they have money but they don’t have the knowledge to define what constitutes an investment worth making. Now, add the ever changing dynamics of the entrepreneurial tech industry and you’ve got variables that can be challenging even for an experienced VC.
The venture capital industry, of which angel investing lives as part of the ecosystem, is very interesting and there is a lot more to it than most people understand. (To read my posts on becoming a VC, click here.) Remember, for every Google or Apple, there are 100 companies out there that don’t provide any real returns and that is all factored as part of the “bet” angels (and VCs) have to make.
It’s beautiful! Things aren’t going the way you’d hoped and along comes a knight in shining armor who proclaims with utmost certainty – “We will get through this time! We will go back to basics and restore ourselves to greatness!” Tell me that image doesn’t conjure up Camelot and everything that’s right in this word?
Words – in today’s vocabulary, are more powerful than they have ever been in our existence. Simple letters assembled together have the ability to make you feel like you are on top of the world; or, they can serve as a guillotine and do irreparable damage.
Depending on your intent, words can be used as a tool and if utilized wisely, could lead to one achieving the result they so seek. Knowing this, the responsibility to learn and choose words carefully, is great and often not treated with the respect it so deserves.
So what is the “hidden” value of an MBA program? My hint, in my previous post said, “it has nothing to do with education”.
Let’s try to look at this objectively. As part of an MBA curriculum, a student is required to learn the core functions of a business. Now, depending on the program itself, a student can specialize in a particular subject (e.g. finance), but generally speaking, the program will still need to cover other topics including, but not limited to, HR, Marketing, Finance, Ethics, Economics, and Strategy thereby providing the student with a broad knowledge base needed to operate a company. So, regardless of whether you go to Columbia, Berkeley, Stanford, or Pepperdine, you’re going to have to learn the same topics.
To start, we must all understand what an MBA degree is. As defined formally, “the Master of Business Administration (MBA or M.B.A.) is a master’s degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out scientific approaches to management. The core courses in the MBA program are designed to introduce students to the various areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, operations management, etc.”
In business, as in life, you come across many situations where you find yourself needing to address an issue of some sort. The challenge, often, is that many of us do not take a holistic approach towards dissecting the condition and applying a logical framework to move us towards resolution.
This is the concept behind the acronym N-A-B-C.
Now, before you can apply NABC, you have to implicitly clear on the problem you are trying to solve. Then, and only then, can you begin to apply the framework outlined below.
If there is one thing that I have come to learn, accept, and expect throughout my life, it’s that, whether in a personal or professional capacity, people will experience what I call, “life’s resets”. In fact, people will experience many of them and in some cases cause them. Basically – this is something that throws your whole world upside down – a S.E.E. (significant emotional experience), if you will. Often, these are things that you cannot prepare for. As one of my favorite song lyrics go, “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.”
At the foundation of any real relationship, whether personal or professional, is trust. In fact, a relationship itself cannot sustain or survive without it. Imagine asking a friend for a favor and not trusting in the fact that they would actually deliver – what’s the point of asking in the first place? Or, in a business transaction, when you verbally agree upon terms – if you don’t trust the other party to honor their commitment, why would you want to do business with them? It’s a pretty straightforward concept to get your head around.
Recently, I took some time out and watched the movie Moneyball. For those of you don’t know the story, it’s predicated on the thesis that a player’s ability to get on base is far more valuable then their ability to hit home runs. Accordingly, for every player that gets on base, it’s guaranteed that the 4th player is equal to a point (e.g. players on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd – in order for the 4th player to get on base, the player on 3rd base has to come in and score a point and the other two players rotate to the next base thereby vacating 1st base for the 4th player. The process repeats and points get accumulated).