Have you considered or dreamt about starting your own business after your MBA?
For a good period of time during my first-year of the MBA program at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Udaipur - I strongly felt that my destiny is going to be in business.
These were those initial days of the MBA program when you are thrilled with what you have achieved (after cracking a competitive exam) and when your thoughts are soaring high.
I forgot about it soon - obviously because I got caught up in the MBA life and also the upcoming summer placements.
A few months later - I did something which I can safely say is the only reason why today I am sitting on a 6-figure per month business.
And that’s what I do full-time.
So, what is this ‘something’ that I did in my first year that turned out to become such a beautiful business that satisfies me financially, emotionally, and socially?
Let’s talk about it.
Who is a Full-Stack MBA?
In my newsletter last Friday, I mentioned that I will be telling you why did I name it Full Stack MBA. Most of you who have been following me for a long time would have some idea of where I am going with this name.
First of all, what does ‘Full Stack’ even mean?
If you check the definition of a Full Stack Business on Google, here’s the definition that you will get:
Full-stack startups are built on the premise of offering a seamless end-to-end product to customers. Essentially what this means is that a full-stack startup is built in a way that they are able to not rely on other businesses or corporations to get their product to market.
Here’s the thing.
My objective is to help 100,000 MBA students make the best career outcomes without depending on their placements.
And when you are not depending on your placements, you have got to have some really good skills and knowledge for you to make a great career for yourself.
Let’s just look at what are the other career outcomes possible if we take the MBA placements out of the equation.
- Off-campus jobs
- Global Freelancing
- Starting up a business
And if you look at all three, each of them requires you to be damn good at whatever you are doing.
For finding an off-campus job, you need to be so self-sufficient that not only do you upskill to a good level, but also you are able to scout the market for jobs (I have a method to make it at least 10x simpler for you).
For doing global freelancing, you need the level of skills that can get your clients results and also get you paid. You need to be self-sufficient to be able to do this (I have a method to make it at least 10x simpler for you).
And finally, our topic for the day, starting up a business. Don’t even ask me, you know it already. You need skills not only that but, in the initial years, you need to be self-sufficient to do everything (I have a method to make it at least 10x simpler for you).
That is why a “Full Stack MBA” is exactly what you’ve got to become.
Now, that I have shown you the outcomes and opportunities, let me take you through, how to start a business as an MBA student, or how to start a business after your MBA.
Secret tip for MBA: Don’t think about ‘business’ when starting a business as a student
Let me get to the point here.
You want to know how to start a business as an MBA student. Or, how to become an entrepreneur during your MBA.
My personal experience and what I have seen around me tell me that you can almost never start a business when all you are thinking about is business.
There are these two things or origins that I know from where real businesses i.e. long-term, impactful, and strong businesses are formed. These two origins are:
- Solving your own problem (feeling of distress)
2. Solving someone else's problem (feeling of service)
This is mostly all that you will need to know about the mindset before you start thinking about your business.
Here’s why that happens:
And I can tell you why this happens. Why you can’t build a business if all you are thinking about is business.
Here’s what my story is, and this is where I will answer what is that ‘something’ that I did that made all the difference in my life.
So, here we go.
When I entered my B-school, IIM Udaipur, I had a pretty terrible speech problem - I stammered while I spoke.
My stammer was so bad that I could not speak one sentence straight without pausing or spelling my words out.
It was bad.
What that led to was that each day while I used to study for the next day’s class, in the classroom I used to be absolutely quiet for the fear of making a mockery of myself.
You know, talking with a bad stutter was extremely energy-sucking.
So, which means that while I knew all the answers most of the time, I kept it to myself and never did any class participation.
Now, out of this frustration - I started my blog Super Heuristics.
And the logic was simple, “Hey, if I can’t talk well, at least I can write well and express my thoughts”.
There was absolutely no aspiration of making this into a business.
Sure, I knew quite a few bloggers earned well but that was never what my objective was.
I was too much into my own mess and distress to think about money and a business around my blog back then.
So, just to satiate my need to express myself - I kept on writing everything I learned in my classroom (especially marketing classes) onto my blog as an article.
And I ensured that each week I am putting out at least one blog post.
Now, here’s the thing.
- I didn’t know SEO back then - which meant there was no way people would find my blog from Google.
- I didn’t have a social media presence back then - which meant that there was no one I could share the blog with and people will come rushing to it
- In fact, if I look back, I will tell you I was a bit of a recluse, to say the least.
All of this meant that for the first 6-8 months of me starting my blog, there was absolutely no one coming onto my blog to read it.
It will never see the daylight if you only think business
Building a business or a brand requires a lot of time. The gestation period is pretty decent and starting as early as your MBA college days always helps.
Why should I continue writing when there’s no one coming onto my blog to read it? When I am making no money from it?
And had I stopped doing all of that, this blog and this business would not have seen the daylight.
The only reason why I kept on writing and building this (which eventually) turned into a business was that — I was in despair!
And I had to solve it for myself, I had to scratch my own itch.
Only because I could solve the problem for myself - that despite my stammering and everything, I could blog, build a brand and get job offers from outside the campus before my placements started - it is only because of that that I can teach you this.
Either solve your own problem or be of service to someone
While I was solving my own challenges, the same thing can be applied to a situation where someone is committed to solving other people’s problems as a form of service.
Because when your source of doing something is service - your expectation for monetary gratification is low or even nonexistent.
And those are the only two ways you can ever start and build a business being an MBA student.
Action Pill: 3 steps to start a business this weekend
I have told you above that how you should ideally be thinking about starting up your business during your MBA program.
The reason why I spoke to you about the mindset is that - for you to sustain this for the long-term, you need to have the right mental programming.
Now, once that is done and now you are starting to think like someone who is in it for the long-term, I want you to take this exercise this weekend.
Step 1: Think of what problem of yours you can solve or what problem of others you are willing to solve.
It could be as simple as that I want to solve my problem of getting hired and therefore, I will start something in my field of interest so that I can escape the placement mad-rush, It could even be that.
But define it better.
Step 2: What is the target industry you want to be in?
It is again important because just like you would pick a target industry for a job role that will be coming onto your campus, in the same way, you are here finalizing your niche.
Step 3: What are the 10 categories or broad topics in that niche/industry that the people would be interested in here about.
This will give you the topics of what you will stand for. Your content is going to be around these, your products are going to be around these.
And by the way, this is the same exercise that I ask my students to do inside my community Five Steps Ahead. My entire course Skill Clarity Blueprint is based on this.
Do these three things!
Comment below: Who is your favorite?
If you have ever thought about doing business, i.e. starting up after your MBA, then who is that one person, or who are those people who have inspired you to do so?
Please reply back and I would love to connect with you and know about you more.
And frankly, it could be anyone.
It could be a famous influential business tycoon.
It could be a recent MBA graduate who you can see doing really well in life
It could even be a family member, a relative or a friend who inspires you to do better in life.
Just comment below here and let’s connect to help you get started with your business while you are in your MBA 🙂
Talk to you again on Friday, 8:00 am next week!