Business Administration Education Guide

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

10 Things They Don’t Teach In College

Inspired by Michael McDonough's The Top 10 Things They Never Taught Me in Design School

1. Do not rely on talent alone

Talent is only one-third of success. While talent is important in any profession, it is not a guarantee of success. Only a combination of hard work, talent and luck (in that order) will create success. Hard work means self-discipline and sacrifice. Luck means, networking, working hard, social contacts and timing.

2. Be willing to start at the bottom and earn your way to the top

“95 percent of any creative profession is shit work.” Michael McDonough

College will teach you the creative aspects, the legal expectations and summary of what to expect. However, most of the career opportunities boring grunt work, drafting, research, negotiating, sales and collecting and stupid parts of your profession and perform them with diligence, you will never succeed.


3. Not everything is equally important

You must decide what is important. Everything is important, yes but not everything is equally important.

4. Don’t over-think a problem.

Give yourself 20 minutes on something completely different and than return to the problem with a fresh look. If you can improve upon it, make it a “pet” project.

5. Separate the known from the unknown.

Begin at the beginning. Make a list comparing what you do know or think you know compared to what you don’t know. Then work on each unknown, solving and removing them one at a time. In Zen it is expressed as “Be where you are.”

6. Remind yourself of what your goals are

Never forget why you are working on a specific project. Keep your goals near by so you an always read them at a glance.

7. Don’t be overconfident

Some people have said that overconfidence is no confidence. Be humble in approaching problems. Realize others who are older or younger may have a fresh look that you never thought of. Accept your moments of ignorance and work diligently to educate yourself out of it. Ask questions.

8. No good deed goes unpunished.

Good deeds and brilliant ideas go against the grain of the social contract almost by definition. They will be challenged and will require enormous effort to smile beyond other’s ignorance and selfishness. Through self confidence is where you will succeed. Work hard, expect to fail a few times, and expect to be rejected.

9. It all comes down marketing

Get out in the world and show people what you have. This is the time to be a bit egoistical, because no matter how fabulous your creation is, if you don’t get it out there for people to see (and buy), it doesn’t exist.

10. The rest of the world counts.

A suit and a ivy league education doesn’t make you a genius nor does it make you an instant success. No matter how good you are, somebody has to construct or manufacture it. Somebody has to buy it. Respect people and you will succeed.



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