Creating a free MBA

Once upon a time I went from a retail sales clerk, to a store manager in a beauty supply store selling shampoo and makeup.  From there to my next job, as general manager for a jewelry design and manufacturing company with clients like Nordstroms and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  From the the jewelry company to general manager of a real estate and mortgage loan company with five branches, where I helped expand and create mortgage banking division.  It wasn’t by accident.  But I did it without a degree.

When I started working at the jewelry company I was initially hired as an office manager, to be trained under the general manager.  On my first day, the general manager gave notice.  She was pregnant and choose to stop working and become a stay at home mom.  Tah Dah! I was GM.  When given a task I had no idea how to do – I would google it.  My bosses, the owners were endlessly impressed.  Eventually they just assumed I knew how to do anything.  One important note though – when after doing my research, I still had no clue how to do something – I said so.  Please don’t take my words as an excuse to BS your way through life.

In today’s world where many, like myself, won’t be able to afford college, there is still no excuse not to acquire the skills needed to get where you want to go.  All barriers have been removed from our path.  I have heard/read a number of times that a free MBA worth of education is available just by listening to podcasts.  I haven’t done the research to validate my claim but I would say there is a college level education out there on thousands of subjects – for free – if one is dedicated enough to find it.  Google is your friend.  Search, download, print, read, dissect, note-take and become the master of your subject.

So no new podcast episode this week, I had a couple sick days and my voice has not recovered fully. So rather than rasping in everyone ears I will take a break.

I’ve been spending a bunch of time catching up on my favorite podcasts.  I am a podcast junkie for sure.  Side Note – If your curious I once posted my top 9 podcasts on Instagram.  See them here.  Of course I couldn’t stop at 9 so I added a few more in the comments.

Today I enjoyed Tim Ferriss’ podcast. He is promoting his new book Tools of Titans.  In the episode of his show he is reading a sample chapter and mentions one of his tools from an old blog post How to Create Your Own Real World MBA.  He tells his own story.  Summarized extremely, Tim chose to invest the money he would have spent on an MBA, instead investing, as an angel investor in Silicon Valley.  He hoped he could learn just as much as he would in school by instead spending the amount on his education – he would learn by practicing.

Warren Buffett once said,  “Investing in yourself is the most important investment you’ll ever make in your life… There’s no financial investment that’ll ever match it, because if you develop more skill, more ability, more insight, more capacity, that’s what’s going to really provide economic freedom… It’s those skill sets that really make that happen.”

Now you may think “investing in yourself” = College.  But the context of Warren Buffett’s quote above was in answer to a question from Tony Robbins, “What was your all time greatest investment?”  Warren’s Answer,  a Dale Carnegie course on public speaking.

To bring it back to my subject line today. Creating your own MBA.  It doesn’t have to be about business it can be about anything you choose.  Just choose to invest in yourself, even if it is only an investment of time.  The education might be available for free.

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