How business school killed the entrepreneur

“Don’t use graduate school, or any other course of study, as a form of life avoidance. Pursue the course only if there’s a good reason.”

~Chris Guillebeau

Important Note: This post is intentionally in depth. It’s meant to be a resource you read, bookmark and come back to as your life situation demands. I also think it could  save you $150,000.

I had first planned this to be a PDF guide, but I wanted to get it out to you all right away as I know a few people need it now. This topic warrants serious attention. If you know someone considering business school, please send it to them. And if you a solution of your own, please share it with us in the comments. 

Let the action begin…

The Systematic Killing of the Entrepreneur

Lately, I have become the go-to guy when it comes to transitions.

When someone’s peering over the edge thinking about taking the leap to a more meaningful existence, I get an email, a blog comment, a coaching inquiry or a request to meet. I love it!

That’s why I’ve created this site and it’s the most passionate topic I’ve come across. It’s impossible to truly make your mark if you aren’t spending your working hours doing something you give a damn about. But first we must learn to give a damn…

Dinner with Harvard.

A few weeks ago I had dinner with two very good friends who are finishing their final semester at Harvard Business School. I couldn’t wait to hear about the ideas being thrown around and the businesses being built by their classmates. By the end of our dinner I was less than impressed. Disappointed in fact.

I listened in awe as they explained that 90% of their classmates came to business school to go right back into banking and consulting (thankfully my two friends were among the other 10%). These folks had spent 3 years (including admission time) and $100-200k attending Harvard, possibly the most prestigious school on earth, just to get a raise.

Something tells me there are easier ways out there to make a few extra bucks.

Why question business school?

In full disclosure I have never been to business school. I used to consider it. It even used to be part of my plan. Then I started working on things that lit me on fire and realized at this point, it’s an unnecessary step. Although, I have spent a great deal of time considering the positive and negative implications of such a decision and discussed the plans with dozens of friends and clients on the subject. I’ve lived vicariously through their experiences. Hence, I feel it’s worth covering.

Business school no doubt has some big time merits. And for some it may be the right move (although fewer than one would imagine). I think a couple years at Harvard or Stanford would be mind-blowing (All I’d have to do is get in…;). But for a decision as time and financially intensive as this, a contrary view is important.

In many cases I believe there are more efficient ways to get a similar (and potentially much more valuable) experience. Better to realize that before you spend two years and one hundred and fifty grand, than after. I do not have all the answers but I have seen too much to stay silent.

Business school as an escape – beware the breaking point.

Most people who’ve come to me have hit a breaking point. They can’t stand it anymore. A change is a must. This is an empowering place to be. It gives you the best chance of taking action. If the pain is great enough we’ll do something about it.

But the danger is that when your job makes you feel like you want to jump off a cliff, then often anything in the world looks better. So you’re likely to jump onto the first thing that comes to mind. And many a time the easy next step (that requires very little actual thought or work) is to say “hmm, why don’t I go back to school?”.

The problem is we forget to stop and ask why.

Realize this is your chance to do something Meaningful.

Making a change is not about just finding the next thing. Odds are if you don’t understand yourself, what you want and what you’re naturally good at, then you’ll be in the same place 6 months from now–or even worse, you won’t totally hate it so you’ll sit in that meaningless zone of complacency for even longer.

I call that negative progress.

Recognize the opportunity you have. This is your chance to do something that matters. To take the world by the horns and figure out what you are here to do. You might not figure it out but you’ll at least have an idea of what you’d like to try. And that’s as good as you can ever get.

As long as you’re trying what you think you are meant to do, you will constantly be learning and refining and getting closer.

If you turn straight to business school (or any advanced education) you risk missing this holy grail of discovery altogether.

How to no waste 3 years and $150k

Why Business School Can Kill Your Dreams:

1. Schools aren’t teaching what you want to learn.

Many MBA programs have become factories for making consultants and bankers. This may be the surest route to making a ton of money (and probably hating your life), and schools like when wealthy alumni give money back to their university. This is why many students come, so that’s what they teach. It’s also a lot harder to teach how to be an entrepreneur compared to simple business theory. And it’s even harder to teach (and test) what your purpose is – how you can best impact the world. So they don’t.

Every year at Warren Buffett’s annual Berkshire shareholder’s meeting in Omaha, someone asks him, “I just finished business school and want to follow an investment path similar to yours. What should I do?” His response is usually something like “Well first unlearn half of what they taught you, and then…”

He’s serious. Almost every business school teaches that value investing (Mr. Buffett’s method) is impossible. How crazy is that? This is why my partner and I took his advice, didn’t get an MBA, and instead created our own curriculum with books, businessmen, mentors and good old trial and error.

This is just one example but it’s representative of a greater problem. Be careful with your expectations of what you’re actually going to learn and how applicable it will be. Can you find a cheaper and richer source of learning the same curriculum?

2. The people you meet might not be who you’re looking for.

From what I understand, business school was meant to be a place where people learned how to create and run businesses. If most people are there to get to the next rung on the corporate ladder and not to build things, you might not relate as much as you hoped.

Is school the best place you can go to meet the people you want to impact the world with? Are there other places to find this inspiration and camaraderie? Could you create a group of some sort in your city?

This is what my business buddies and I do with our monthly Tea Sessions at Samovar in San Francisco. It’s what World Domination Summit is doing for web entrepreneurs, what Summit Series is doing on a more global scale and what Live Your Legend is doing with its live meetups all over the world. The Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting does the same for value investors. These events are around and they’re awesome. But they aren’t handed to you like they are in business school. You must seek them out.

If you need help finding the right group, you’ve come to the right place. Surrounding yourself with the right people is at the core of what we believe at LYL. Start here: A Beginner’s Guide to Anti-Networking: 13 Tools & Articles for Building Real Relationships

3. There is almost no time spent on yourself.

Why is the focus on how to get certain jobs instead of what jobs you actually want to get or are best at? Who cares if you can land the job if you hate it or suck at it?! A while back I had dinner with Dick Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute – the ultimate career change bible.

His book has been a best seller for 40 years and has sold over 10m copies. No, that’s not a typo! Over dinner he explained to me that universities routinely reject his book as part of their curriculum because it’s “too elementary”. Does it get any more elementary than “spend time doing things you enjoy and are freakin awesome at?” Then why isn’t the focus there?

Could you create your own curriculum that would actually give you a real shot at finding your Great Work? This is where I spend most of my time with people and its the focus of our Revolution at Live Your Legend. Some places to start are Strength’s Finder 2.0 and our Live Off Your Passion Guided-Discovery career course.

4. Your standards and expectations will be too high.

The more time and money you sink into something, the more committed you are going to be to putting it to serious use (see story at end of this post). It’s very possible you’ll feel entitled to a big time job with a big salary. You spent two years earning it. Plus everyone else around you is doing it. But is that how you actually want to spend your life?

5. The cost of going out on your own will be huge–too huge.

Not only are your expectations too rich when you’re done, but you literally won’t be able to afford it. Most people leave business school with $100k+ in debt. Do you have any idea how much riskier and more difficult starting your own business is with that kind of load on your back? You could either get a job earning perhaps $120k+ a year or you could start your own businesses with an entry salary of $0. Makes entrepreneurship a pretty hard choice.

“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

~Tom Bodett

Perhaps there’s a cheaper, more efficient way.

Before doing something drastic, do some looking to whether you could have gotten that education for a bit cheaper (or possibly free) by some alternate creative means. A lot of times you can trade cost/money for hard work–you just need to be motivated enough.

There are incredible programs sprouting up all over the place. Not only are they cheaper and faster but you’re likely to get a ton more focused and practical education as a result.

A few include:

Don’t expect business school, or any typical path, to figure something out for you.

No matter how much you pay, nothing is going to figure out the important stuff for you. It will always be on you. I suggest you take some ownership.

The Solution: Go to School on Yourself First

You could start with the exercises in What Color is Your Parachute, Strength’s Finder 2.0 or Live Off Your Passion. Or you could just wander the world for a few months with a journal and an open mind–recording the things that strike a passionate chord.

Either way, it starts with you. Do this before you do something extreme, that will take years of your life and cost a fortune. If afterwords, you still decide school is the path, then great. Go forward intentionally.

If you go, go in prepared.

So you already got accepted, are currently attending or for some crazy reason, still plan to go? Awesome. It’s not too late to get everything you can from it. Know who you are and what you really want from the experience.

Did you honestly agree to pay $100k+ for the chance to get a raise and better title? Seriously think about that. I doubt it (and if you did, then this post isn’t for you). I bet you did it to get closer to putting your dent in the world. This could be the perfect opportunity. Use it wisely. Do the above and welcome the experience with open arms.

Small decisions can have huge, lasting impacts – a personal story.

I once had a very smart friend who didn’t know what to do with her life after university, so she decided to take the LSAT just to see what it was like. She happened to score in the 99th percentile. She thought “well if I did this well, I have to at least apply to law schools.” So she applied.

She got into Georgetown.

Then she thought “Georgetown is an awesome school. Since I got in, I can’t waste this opportunity that so many would die to have. I should at least go for the experience.” So she went. Then she spent three years getting a law degree. Once she graduated she had offers from a few prestigious firms. She thought, “I just spent 3 years getting a bad-ass education and I can’t just let it go to waste.”

So she took the job as a lawyer. She spent a year or two practicing law. Every once in a while she contemplated leaving but didn’t because she couldn’t give up the $200+/hour she was making at her firm.

Then one day she called me and said she was considering a massive shift. Music to my ears! We spent a few hours talking through ideas and I sent her a copy of the 4-Hour Work Week.

She quit her job 2 months later. Now she’s spending her time doing things she cares about.

Yes, the story has a happy ending, but remember, she never had the interest or intended on practicing law. It was in her confusion of what to do, that she decided to do something easy, something small (take the LSAT) thinking “what harm could this do?” As a result she spent five years working on something that was never who she was in the first place.

There’s no question that the experience was still a success–she made unreal relationships and learned a skill set that will serve her no matter where she goes. But you have to at least wonder what could have happened if those five years were spent on something that embodied who she truly was. Now she gets to find out.

Don’t underestimate the ripple effect a small decision can have.

Understand yourself and be intentional about your path. It takes a lot more work but the reward is priceless. Just remember it takes even more work (and pain) to make a decision for the wrong reasons and then try to reverse years of poorly invested time and money. Not impossible, but much harder to stomach.

There is no quick answer to the “what am I meant to do” question. No one will do it for you. The sooner you can start testing and learning, the better.

Don’t convince yourself you need expensive schools and degrees to find your way.

You don’t. Especially in the beginning. No matter your age or stage, the education starts inside you. Only once you’ve done that work will you know whether something formal is necessary. For starting businesses it usually isn’t.

Often all you need can be found through the things right in front of you. For some reason we tend to look for a more glamorous and complicated answer. But those are just excuses in disguise. Sorry to disappoint.

Doing things to build your resume and get experience is kind of like saving up sex for old age (Buffett’s favorite way of putting it). Life’s too short to build a resume. Do what lights you on fire and your resume will turn to gold.

The world will thank you and you’ll never look back. By then the resume won’t matter anyway.

It’s time to start building.

-Scott

“Some people get an education without going to college; the rest get it after they get out.”

~ Mark Twain

But what about the awesome connections that business school provides?? In my eyes the relationships are the biggest benefit of advanced education. That’s why I created this massive resource: A Beginner’s Guide to Anti-Networking: 13 Tools & Articles for Building Real Relationships

Check out Our other Self-Guided Education Tools:

For the comments: Do you know of other alternate MBA programs? Share in the comments and I hope to add them to this post

At this moment, 1,000′s of people we all know are facing the business school decision. Take 4 seconds and tweet or Facebook share this with someone you know could use it. Just use the links below…

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Images courtesy of Cerenious and EdeFoto


Leave a Reply

102 Responses to “How Business School Killed the Entrepreneur (and some worthy alternatives)”

  1. Stepan says:

    Amazing post Scott!
    Every article I have read since finding Readingforyoursuccess has had tremendous value;you should add your own site to the inexpensive resources to get a real-life MBA

    Regards,
    Stepan.

    • Scott says:

      That’s quite the compliment Stepan! Huge thanks. To be honest, I am doing my best to provide as much non-official and free education and experiments as I can over here. That is going to be an even bigger focus as I develop my new site in the next few months and years.

      Glad you’re in for the action!

  2. Robert says:

    Hi Scott,
    This is one of the best posts I have ever read.It’s not only inspiring but food for thought as well:)

    Great work!!

    • Scott says:

      I can’t tell you what that means to read! Thanks Robert. To be honest, I was hesitant to post it as I’m sure it will upset a fair amount of people. But it’s just so important to objectively talk about.

  3. Drew says:

    This is such an awesome post Scott!

    From being in business school for the last three years, I’ve found that the most important things I’ve needed to learn could be done with in less than a year. It seems like everyone is having the same repeated conversation, “I just have to get these classes out of the way, but then I’ll be doing fun, relevant things.” I don’t think that will ever come in college.

    I’m just so thankful that I will (hopefully) graduate without any debt. I’ve got one more year of overloading classes to go. $0 in my bank account and freedom is so much more appealing to me than $100K+ of debt and trying to get myself into whatever position pays the most.

    -Drew

    • Scott says:

      Hats off For nailing the best of best of both worlds. We’d love to hear more about your experience if youre keen to share. What were the top three awesome things and the top three wastes of time?

      Can’t wait to see what you build.

  4. Paul C says:

    “Doing things to build your resume and get experience is kind of like saving up sex for old age (Buffett’s favorite way of putting it). Life’s too short to build a resume. Do what lights you on fire and your resume will turn to gold.”

    Brilliant

  5. Mook Merkin says:

    How many “entremanures” make it? 1 in 10? 1 in 20?

    How many HBS make it? 8 in 10? 9 in 10?

    Scott, if y0u cannot make the grade, no need to mock others. Admit your shortcomings, and sell some more snake oil. For every Koresh, Manson, Rev Jim Jones, there are tons of fanbois ready to drink the KoolAid ™.

    • Drew says:

      Hey Mook,

      How are you defining “make it?”

      If making it means making $100K a year, living a comfortable life financially, and having the “security” of a good job, then yes, of course the statistics are going to strongly favor business school. I believe Scott made this very very clear in the post, and isn’t mocking those who take that route. He pointed out how his friend was a successful lawyer, but was stuck in a rut because she wasn’t getting any joy out of it.

      Most entrepreneurs don’t do it for the money, and definitely not for the security. It’s about building something and controlling your own destiny. The successful entrepreneurs I know don’t care about the statistics. They just DO.

      And as far as mocking goes, I’m not sure how to interpret “entremanures.”

      • Scott says:

        I love the discussion fellas and thanks for helping clarify Drew. Defining success is always the first step. Unfortunately it’s one most people skip.

        “an entrepreneur is someone willing to work 24 hours a day for himself to avoid working even an hour a day for someone else”

        Theres no other high like it!

    • Justin says:

      I believe Scott’s point here is that an MBA is not the best route for entrepreneurs. HBS is great if you want to go back into banking, or want to continuing climbing the corporate ladder. And you can be VERY successful in all of those pursuits. But that is the opposite of an entrepreneurial pursuit.

      The problem with B-school is you amass a great deal of debt that, in turn, encumbers your ability to take the necessary risks to launch almost any entrepreneurial venture. And to pay down that debt, you usually end up taking a job with one of the major companies recruiting from the top B-schools. You move up that ladder, but you’re not jumping off of it and trying to fly up on your own instead. If you’re independently wealthy, do the B-school thing and then fund your own venture and you’ll have the best of both worlds. Everyone else, pass on B-school and save the room in your debt leverage calculation (you’ll need it).

      • Scott says:

        Spoken like a true and successful entrepreneur! I couldn’t say it better Justin. I love the idea of waiting until you have a bunch of cash before you go to Harvard. Doing things in the reverse a bit–usually that’s what makes most sense these days. Maybe we can apply together in 10 or 15 years ;)

        And I personally am so glad you chose the road of building rather than school a few years ago. What you’ve created with Choice Lunch and the way you have and continue to change the way that kids and families look at health and what they eat, is something that no business school education could have set you up for. As a result I have a huge source of inspiration in what you’ve built.

        For all you other readers, if you’re curious, Justin, as the founder and CEO of Choice Lunch) is pioneering the new paradigm for healthy children’s school lunches without high fructose corn syrup and all the other crap. They also educate kids on how to cook healthy and why to eat that way. And they are on fire. Check them out: http://www.choicelunch.com/

        Congrats Justin. And I know you’re just getting started. The world is no doubt better as a result.

        -Scott

  6. “Some people get an education without going to college; the rest get it after they get out.”

    ~ Mark Twain

    My favorite quote..how did you know? lol.

  7. Kevin Olega says:

    Thanks for putting in the effort to share this. I was also considering going for an MBA a few months ago. I was already half prepared to enroll and your post made me realize that it may be just an excuse on my end to to escape from just focusing on what I was doing and getting started on great things that I can accomplish. School may be a peachy idea but nothing beats just getting started, self-study, mentors, and good old trial and error.

    • Scott says:

      Awesome to have caught you at the perfect time Kevin! My goal of this post was not to say no one should go to business school – they should just have a very clear and good reason and have done all their self study before. If you do all the other stuff first, it’s likely you’ll no longer feel the urge to go, as you’ll be so damn excited about what you want to build.

  8. Eugene says:

    “A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don’t have a J.O.B.” – Fats Domino

    • Scott says:

      My wife and I were laughing out loud reading this. A bit sad, but true. It’s the people who feel they have nothing to lose, who often say f* – it and just start going after what they care about. What’s the worst that can happen?

  9. Jared Harris says:

    Scott – Definitely one of your most impactful, inspiring (and perhaps controversial), posts to date. And, extremely relevant for me personally, as Ive been on the fence of this decision for quite some time, as have many others I’m sure. Incredibly insightful and well done. I look forward to more chats on this topic!

    Jared

    • Scott says:

      Awesome to hear you on this one Jared. I actually had you specifically in mind as I wrote it. I know how much you and I have talked about this and that you’re about to attend and I didn’t want to offend you. I think you’ve made a very intentional decision about it and have spent some great time exploring yourself and what you love, so I think you’ve likely already done a lot of what I mentioned. With that said, let’s get on the phone and get each other up to speed. I want to hear your plans and I’ll fill you in on la tierra de Patagonia.

      It’s crazy how many people have mentioned this was one of the most impactful posts they’ve read from me. I was so hesitant to even hit publish because it was so long and I knew it would piss a lot of people off. Tim Ferriss has said numerous times that it’s usually the posts you are most nervous about publishing that do the best. Guess this is a good lesson to do it anyway.

      To what’s ahead,
      Scott

  10. Great post!

    I just hope the people who need it most understand that they shouldn’t skip an education all together, but that they, themselves, have to take responsibility for what, how, where and when they want to learn, experience and be inspired by – instead of paying Harvard to make those decisions for them.

    You shouldn’t avoid going to school because you’re too lazy, but because you’re not lazy enough.

    • Scott says:

      Absolutely right Christian. The point is not to avoid education. I’d say that’s the most important ingredient to life! It’s that now you have the choice of creating your own, totally targeted curriculum and it’s on all of us to put it together and attend our own university. We’ll call it University You for now. That’s where it starts.

  11. Ashley says:

    Hey Scott,

    I’m pretty new to your website, but with every post I’ve had the pleasure of reading I’ve gained tremendous insight. I was one of the many that continued on the B-school…basically to avoid “real” life. I have no clue what I really want to be or do because I was too focused on going through the motions & focused too much on what I felt like I should be doing. Thankfully I graduated with zero debt, but the I feel like I’ve wasted way too much time.

    Thanks for the inspiration in my search for the right path for ME & success on my terms!

    • Scott says:

      Welcome to the action Ashley! I really appreciate you sharing your experience. It adds so much to our community here. Seriously.

      Don’t worry about wasting your time. You now know a lot of things others don’t and now is the perfect time to start using it to do something you actually care about. Good luck and please keep us posted on your adventure! I am here to help however I can.

  12. Scarlett says:

    Thank you for the interesting and useful post.
    I’m also one of the many that want to go to business school. I agree that the benefits that business school brings may not worth the time and money we spend on it. Business school is probably not the best choice.
    However, after reading your post, I still have some concern. I’m planning to go abroad to study MBA. (I live in neither Northern America nor Western Europe). The point is, not only I want to get better education (my country is a developing one and its education is not good) but I also want to gain international experience and broaden my mind. Do you think that’s a good idea? Or should I do something else?

    • Scott says:

      That sounds like an incredibly worthy adventure. International travel is one of the first things I recommend to someone wanting to learn more about themselves. If you can combine it with meeting some awesome people and learning some useful tools, it sounds like a great way of doing it. You’ve clearly given this some though.

      But still please be sure you’ve done all the self study you can before attending, and that you’ve looked into all possible ways of getting the experience you are seeking with school. There are a lot of alternatives out there that could involve less theory and more application.

      Let me know what you decide!

  13. Jenn says:

    I think this is an awesome and thoughtful post, and having gotten my MBA, I definitely agree that b-school doesn’t put enough of an emphasis on “going to school on yourself” before getting to the part where you have to decide what to do with your life. But I do think it’s a mistake to say that b-school is “killing dreams.”

    I am a web entrepreneur, but came from what they call at business school a “non-traditional” background. Without my MBA education, I wouldn’t have any idea how to start a business, nor would I have the amazing classmates and alumni network I’ve been tapping into since I graduated. There are certainly opportunity costs, both financial and time-wise, but what I have learned is invaluable and will hopefully make my business successful. In fact, there’s an article today about why you should start a company *while* you’re at b-school:

    http://mba-social.com/2011/03/things-to-know-before-you-go-start-a-company-at-business-school/

    • Scott says:

      Awesome to hear all these MBA educated folks chiming in Jenn! That’s what makes this material so useful and ‘real’ for readers. Thanks for that.

      ‘Killing dreams’ is no doubt pretty strong language, but that’s usually what gets people’s attention. No question that there are plenty of instances where that’s not the case. Your experience is a perfect example. Congrats that you have taken so much of what you learned and used it to build something meaningful. That’s the best of both worlds!

      Stop back by soon and let us know how it’s coming.

  14. Danny Hile says:

    I studied marketing at University of Western Sydney because I was excited about the prospect of starting my own business. I then went back to study my Master’s degree, which I really enjoyed.

    At the end of my Bachelor’s degree, I had learned from several different disciplines but I knew nothing about business in the real world.

    My Master’s degree started to draw the bits and pieces together. I have to say that the old idea of an institution based on rigid lessons is starting to dissapear -and being replaced with innovative courses, real world examples, as well as practical assignments and sometimes even work placements.

    I do not regret studying at uni but that’s because I have a passion for most (not all) of the things I studied. It’s not about the money -it’s still about the journey for me. The bottom line is if you can’t find the joy in something don’t do it! That includes an MBA.

    • Scott says:

      Right on Danny. The journey is all we have. As long as you’re always doing something you thoroughly enjoy, then that’s all that matters. Congrats on living a congruent life in that way. That’s a big as success comes.

      As for what’s ahead for education, I cannot wait to see what people develop (and I plan to be one of them!). There is so much potential with everything online and the collaboration. The thoughts gets me so excited I can hardly sleep!

  15. Scott, this definitely resonates with me, particularly the part about the opportunity cost of taking on so much debt. At this time last year I was rigorously preparing myself to apply to top business schools, studying GMATs, attending admissions consulting sessions, taking extra classes to fortify my transcript, and so on. All the while I was pretending that my enthusiasm at the time would continue to motivate me through all three years (including admissions).

    However, in the back of my mind I knew that as soon as I encountered a required class that seemed useless my motivation would slip and so would my grades. I had to admit to myself that I was taking the easy way out and in doing so drastically limiting my options. Like you say, once that $100k debt is sitting there you are basically stuck at the 80 hr/wk consulting or banking job until it is paid off.

    At the same time I realized how absurd my (and everyone else’s) notions about money were when it came to education. I would wait for a hardcover to come out in paperback to save $15, or spend countless hours perusing the web to avoid spending $50 on a comprehensive ebook/ecourse. Yet, I was willing to adopt debt that would have been thousands of times greater simply because I had accepted the social norm that financial common sense doesn’t apply to educational loans.

    I actually wrote a post on this just a few weeks ago. I would love to get your feedback:

    Liberate From The Rat Race – Don’t Get Educated

    • Scott says:

      Incredible to have that much foresight for yourself Gregory. That’s huge and it no doubt has made a monster difference for you.

      Your point about “the social norm that financial common sense doesn’t apply to educational loans.” is so huge too. Thanks for putting it so well. This is something the world needs to take very seriously. The implications are farther reaching than one thinks.

      The title of your post is right on. I will check it out. I actually just watched that TED talk on work life balance. Good stuff!

  16. Daryl Gerke says:

    Twenty seven years ago (Yes, I’m and old coot) I began an MBA program. I had just started a new job. My new boss had an MBA, and encouraged me to do the same. Besides, it was an evening class, and the company would pay for it.

    But nothing is really free — there is always a cost in time and effort. After one semester, I realized that I’d rather spend the next three years getting a part time engineering consulting firm off the ground. The MBA was aimed at making me a better “cog” in the machine — and not at making me the entrepreneur I really yearned to be.

    So I quit the program, and three years later, launched my business. No regrets about the “lost” MBA — only joy that I followed my own calling. It has been great fun. And, financially I’m probably better off as well.

    Today, I’m still an independent consulting engineer. I also blog on starting small consulting firms, in appreciation of those who helped me along the way. My suggestion — do what makes you happy — life is way to short not to!

    PS – Just ran across your blog. Nice job!

    • Scott says:

      This is what I call success Daryl! Awesome story, awesome transition and congrats. This stuff is music to my ears. Hat’s off to have recognized that the MBA route probably wasn’t for you and instead using it as a way to find the work that actually matter to you. Inspiring stuff.

  17. Neil Keleher says:

    Hi, Scott, I didn’t got to business school, nor did I ever think of doing so but I did go to university after a five year break from school. While I was in Grade 12 I remember not having a clue what I wanted to do with my life, let alone decide what to do in university so I quit and moved to england to join the army. It was what I thought I wanted to do with my life. (I even asked if I could sign on for 22 years.) While I was in the army I learned how to fix guns which on the outside (outside of the army I mean) isn’t a highly sought after skill. However, I did learn to work with my hands. I also continued my education in the army doing correspondence courses, which I loved. Based on my enjoyment of those courses, I left the army after five years, deciding that I did want to go to university. I decided to study engineering because I figured it would be a practical way to do what I loved which was maths.

    Incidentally I loved my time in school, kind of like the time I had in the army but without the guns.

    I only lasted a couple of years as an engineer, but I learned a lot of problem solving skills, sort of continuing what I learned in the army, and then I found myself teaching yoga. Actually I thought I wanted to be an actor but I was well aware that I loved working with the human body. It took me about 3 years to realize that I loved teaching yoga.

    At every stage, joining the army, going to school, and eventually teaching yoga, I let myself be guided by doing what I loved. And each step provided some thing I needed for the step that followed. (The university degree helped get me into Taiwan where I now life and teach yoga… actually I teach people how to feel and use their body. Yoga is the context for doing so.)

    • Scott says:

      Ha! Army = school without guns. Good stuff Neil! I think your story tells it perfectly – as long as every step of the way you are doing what’s fulfilling and what feels like your calling, you can never go wrong. You clearly have let that guide every decision you made. That is what makes for an Epic Life.

      How awesome is it to see where you are now and then look back at where you started? Could you have ever imagined the dots would connect as they did? No way! And that’s the beauty of living a congruent life.

  18. I remember presenting to an MBA class once when one of the students asked me if my not having a college degree made me a better entrepreneur. I wasn’t quite sure what to say with all those MBA students looking at me. I told them that in my rise from assembly line worker to CEO, I had to be a self starter, I had to work extremely hard, I had to hunt out answers no matter where they may be, and I had to learn to never give up no matter what anyone said. Those are all skills that have stood me in good stead as an entrepreneur.

    But would I recommend my path to anyone else? No way, it worked for me, but I’m not you. You need to know what your weaknesses are and figure out the best way to gain those needed skills. I think you said it so well in this post. An MBA might be exactly what you need (or not), but you need to go into it knowing what you want to get out of it.

    Thanks for a great post! Love the follow-up dialog.

    • Scott says:

      Hey-o! This dialogue with all you has been the best yet. I love it!

      I think one bonus of not having an MBA (or even a college degree) is that you don’t have that sense of entitlement that you deserve some hot shot job or startup or whatever. You are humble and know you have to work your ass off to learn and create and become successful (however you’ve defined it for yourself). So you just put your head down and start doing it. You don’t wait for the hand out you think you deserve. I love it.

      Most importantly, know what you’re getting into before you get into it. This often requires more contrary thinking than one would expect. That’s exactly why I wrote this post.

      So fun to hear your story Barbara!

  19. Justin says:

    You nailed it, buddy.  I get asked this question a lot as some one who had a goal of attending a top tier business school very early on, and have since gone the entrepreneurial route. The way I frame it based on my experience and from talking with countless friends who have gone the B-school is this – most business school entrepreneurs are looking for their idea, or trying to find other people with ideas that they can team up with.  If you already have your idea, you’d be better off spending the two years  working on it and bringing it to market than working on case studies for someone else’s business.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think I could have learned a ton in B-School, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes just trying to figure out “how things should be done”. I also LOVE academia.  I had the grades, credentials, and the GMAT score (yep, I even took the test) for both Stanford and Harvard, which were the only two I was considering.  But I was at a turning point of “do I go to B-school, or do I go try my own thing with this business idea I’ve been kicking around”.  I chose the latter, and the rest is history. I joke that someday when I retire and am independently wealthy, I’m going to go back and do a JD/MBA program just for fun and because I’m interested.  I actually serious considered this.  But screw it…when the time comes, I’ll probably prefer just golfing.

    • Scott says:

      Ha ha -Yes! This is perfect Justin. The rest is no doubt history. What you have created (and continue to build) in ChoiceLunch (www.choicelunch.com for all you other readers who want to be inspired) is changing the world in such a major way. I mean that as literally as I could.

      I freakin love that you were totally peering over the edge, ready to jump (gmat scores and all) and instead back flipped off an even more profound ledge to pursue an idea you knew had to see reality.

      Agreed. If you have your idea, there is no time like right now to make it real. Anything else you decide to do is putting off what you’re most scared of–taking action. And remember, that which scares you the most, is generally what will lead to the greatest success.

      Keep it up my man!

  20. Lars says:

    I really enjoy your blog, and I typically agree with you. But not so much this time.

    In 1999, I started an executive MBA program at night, and finished in 2000. At the same time I was working a part time job (which paid part of the tuition) and getting my own business off the ground.

    My business took off about a year into the program, and I had to quit the part time job and pay the rest of the tuition out of my own pocket. I would consider it money well spent.

    I sometimes tell a story to people about how just ONE THING I learned in a marketing class about pricing paid for the full cost of the MBA in less than a year. (Mine was a “cheap” $30K MBA from a second tier school.)

    I was a liberal arts major, with zero experience in running a business. I was selling my products at super low prices because I thought “it’s supposed to be cheap on the Internet.” I didn’t realize that price also signals quality, or that using a “low price” strategy can easily send you right out of business if you aren’t making enough profit to stay afloat.

    I raised my prices on three of my top products after that lecture, and I quite literally paid for the entire MBA with the additional profit that I made in a year as a result of that one pricing strategy lecture in a single class in my MBA.

    11 years later, my company has been in the Inc. 5,000 fastest growing companies 3 times.

    Imagine what else I probably learned during my MBA that I can’t directly attribute, like I can with the profits on those products?

    An MBA is not for everyone, and you can definitely learn a lot of these things on your own.

    But it’s so easy to “not know what you don’t know” that you might not ever figure out what you missed when you try to learn everything on your own. The MBA structure takes you through many facets of business. A lot of it didn’t apply to me, but some of it sure did!

    My MBA was a turning point in my life, and I believe it has helped me significantly, and is probably one of the reasons why I’m still in business and am reasonably successful.

    I’m conflicted about the educational system. I also feel to some extent that it tries to make you a cog in the system, and I am extremely independent.

    But it didn’t make me a cog to get two different master’s degrees. So why should I assume that everyone else is so lame spineless that they’ll be made into a cog by getting a formal education?

    One last thing. During those two years of my MBA, I literally worked, slept, ate and studied and didn’t do much else. It was crazy busy. But that also had a major positive impact on my life, because it made me LIVE the 80/20 rule just to get by, and taught me how much I can really get done in a day when success depends on it.

    • Scott says:

      You are so right on with this Lars. I actually don’t think we disagree on this one at all.

      You cleverly figured out a way to take out almost the entire risk of business school while retaining every benefit (and maybe even more than usual since you were building a business and applying your lessons in real time while in school). You made the time investment and cost not an issue since you were working and doing it at night. If an MBA was a required part of life, this is how it should be done (at least in most scenarios). I can’t imagine how useful it must have been to be in business and building something while learning all that.

      It has clearly made all the difference for you and I congratulate you on “hacking” the system in a way that served you big time. Let this be another worthy lesson for the readers and something I forgot to mention in the post. There is always the option to do it part time while you also pursue your idea or whatever else is important to you. Be sure of all your options before taking a jump.

      Nicely done!

  21. Allysilky says:

    Scott,
    This is a great post. It is so inspiring, but it leaves me really uncomfortable with my conscious.
    Here is why.
    I am applying for MBAs , because I falsely believed that an MBA could fulfill my life and change everything I wanted. This is what you here described as taking the easy way.
    I thought that an MBA could:
    1) Make me become a great entrepreneur
    2) Give me startup ideas to experience them and allow me to
    3) Allow me to travel and to experience global business.
    4) Allow me to meet other cultures and learn other languages.
    5) Give me tools to learn business.
    6) Get recognition from my peers, family …
    7) Escape the “the rat race” and the 80hr /week engineering work that I do.
    I took the easy way and walked forward blindly toward MBAs , it seemed . I started the process two years ago with the following:
    1) I have spent hundreds of hours preparing the GMAT, TOEFL test and the essays
    2) I ‘ve spent all my vacation on the project since 1,5 year.
    3) I attended numerous MBA campus presentations and MBA fairs since two years.
    4) I spoke to countless alumni from the desired MBAs. Few of them became entrepreneurs since they had to pay back their loans and worked for big firms… they are the equivalent of the LSAT girl in following things as they are coming to you, rather than choosing.
    5) I was targeting top recognized schools from rankings (FinancialTimes, business week, us news…). I knew that ranking has little to do with meeting my entrepreneurial goals but I didn’t want to admit it.
    6) I was convinced that would find a way to finance both the loan after graduating and the difficult early years of an entrepreneur.

    After reading your post plus few months of reading other good entrepreneur-oriented books or blog stuff (4HWW , Seth godin, Collins, Guy Kawazaki, …) I concluded that without attending an MBA, I could:
    - get the business skills I need, by reading “how-to” books from top thinkers , and put those into practice immediately .
    - Learn tips from great entrepreneurs by attending some of their conference (online or offline),
    – be adviced by them on specific topics or even meet them personally. And that Is not necessarly within the MBA campus.
    - Learn additional languages by CD/ methods / podcasts/ attending to polyglot and language clubs.
    - live the international experience I wanted through traveling or working abroad.
    - Meet potential investors, VC, business angels…to get financed without being an MBA.
    - not invest so much money in a 1 or 2 years program when you know that a hard reflection on you and your fears could make you get to entrepreneurship directly.
    - get recognition for things done, for acting , not from learning how to act.

    I think that I can get everything I expected from the MBA with personal commitment.
    my way to entrepreneurship need to be simplified and straight forward.

    Therefore I think I will not apply anymore. And start my entreprenarial life right now.

    Allysilky

    Ps: forgive me if my English is not as fluent as what I read above, it is not my native language.

    • Scott says:

      What an awesome thought process Allysilky (and great English too). I hope that more than anything, what listing those two different paths out did for you was show you that they both have awesome merit in their own ways. Either route, will be full of experiences, rewards and results that will be well worth the investment. I say this given that for you an MBA is also a way to get into another country, culture, language and way of life. Those are big benefits that US people looking to attend US MBA schools won’t get. That adds a lot.

      But you are right, with the right motivation and self discovery, you can create an awesome curriculum yourself. But I do warn you that this path takes massive hard work and self discipline. Much more so than the MBA route where you are told what to do and you just have to do it. On your own you will have to create the actions and make them a part of your life. It’s sounds like you are up for the challenge and the results will be worth their weight in gold no doubt.

      So excited for you regardless of which path you choose!

      Scott

  22. Mark says:

    Good post, Scott. Your advice applies to other fields too. For example, I’d tell anyone thinking about film school to forget it and instead buy some decent video equipment and just start making as many films as they can, supplementing it with extensive reading about filmmaking and how-to videos (all free on the web), and meeting up with other local filmmakers.

    If they go that route with full effort, they’ll get a lot more practical experience and end up with a larger body of work than they would with several years of film school. They can devour more information online than they’d get with the school’s assigned reading list, and they can make a lot more connections with local filmmakers which will help fuel their progress. There isn’t anything taught in film school that can’t be learned through experience or reading/watching the output of accomplished filmmakers – you just have to make the effort.

  23. Scott says:

    You are so right Mark. Thanks for sharing from a specific field. The key point you make is “If they go that route with full effort”. That is the hump that school helps so many get over. Too bad they pay 50k-150k+ to get the kick in the pants! ;)

  24. ~R says:

    Excellent post! I will send to all my friends who are considering MBA.

    I’m an immigrant to the US. I applied and got into a top 10 business school a few years ago. I had already planned the loans and such, but then a dear friend told me in passing – “Dude you don’t learn in classes, why are you going to school”. That hit me just right, and I invested the next 2 years building a business.

    As expected, I learnt by doing (and failing several times) and somewhere along the way, I got over my fear of failure. No amount of $ and studying could have made that happen. I’m onto my second business tomorrow !

  25. Thank you for your message. I thought you may be interested in how I applied this perspective to children.
    http://www.mychildsgardener.com/1079/primary-school-is-the-new-mba/

  26. Hugh says:

    Scott, I agree with others here in saying that this is one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read (from any author). I only recently stumbled upon your site and I love it. Your insight is awesome and your passion shines through with everything you write.

    I am 8 years out of uni and have been working in small business for almost all of that time. I’ve considered many times to go to school for my MBA part time while working full time. After analyzing it over and over, I concluded that I’ve learned so much more since I left uni than I did in my four years at uni. With the Internet, there is so much to learn that I don’t see the point, personally, to go for the MBA. And I say this knowing that my employer would probably pay for 100% of it so I wouldn’t be incurring any more debt.

    It’s great to read something like this when I second guess myself once in a while when so many of my friends are going back to school. I’m not sure if you mentioned it in your post, but I feel that the value of an MBA degree has been diluted. There are so many people in our generation (I’m 30) who will have MBAs in a few years that it won’t be as prestigious as it once was.

    Thanks again for the awesome content! I’m hooked…

  27. Johnny Shieh says:

    Great post, sir. I am in the process of bschool right now, and yes, the questions you’ve posed have been bugging me for a long time.

    Regarding your friend though, without the training and discipline of law school, and without actually going through the whole process, perhaps there would always be doubts in her? I feel like it is “monkey see gorilla do.” Many people want to “get to the end” of either making a lot of money, or doing what they care about, right from the top. But without trial and error and experiencing what you don’t like, maybe you wouldn’t appreciate what you sincerely care about?

    Sorry, just a thought I had… But I sincerely thank you for the post. The post made an impact on me and how to approach the remainder of my bschool experience.

  28. Jermaine says:

    I just read this post and was considering top 100 business school with the mind frame of getting my MBA and then starting my own business thinking this would give me the edge I needed over myu competition. My faith in myself and my strong will should get me further than any degree. Thanks for the post Scott

  29. Ems says:

    I just found this website today and read the article and some of the posts regarding this topic. I thought you hit the nail on the head, Scott, particularly point #1. I also like your alternatives. I thought I’d just comment about our experience (my husband’s more so..I’m a SAHM but am a “consultant” in the business :)). To make a long story short, he was accepted into Duke’s MBA program, but after a lot of thought, ended up turning it down, and putting the money that it would have cost us into starting his own service based business from scratch by himself (no partners or investors). It was the best decision, hindsight of course. At the time, we thought we were crazy and so did everyone else! My husband read a ton of books and he credits “The Millionaire Next Door” for the inspiration to start his own business. This year we hit $1.5M gross revenue and am projecting $2M by the end of 2012 (6th yr in business) with our net income a very comfortable % of that. He makes more than some people that have been in this type of business for more than 30 years to give you an idea of how aggressively he has grown the business. Granted it isn’t an internet startup making $20M it’s first year, but it is a solid and steadily growing business despite the poor economy. My husband wasn’t always business savvy and made some mistakes, but taking the leap (and calculated risks) to be an entrepreneur has paid off and it has been the best “schooling” he could have ever gotten. The learning curve has been huge but other owners in the same industry are blown away at how he runs his business and the progress he has made in such a short amount of time. He has learned way more than he could ever have learned at Duke or Harvard, etc. about starting and running his own business. The potential is endless where we will be in 10 years. If someone wants to climb the corporate ladder, then business school could be a good way to go, but to be an entrepreneur, it really could be a waste of $$ and time. That is just our own opinion/experience. The best thing is, he loves what he does (growing a business) because it challenges him and he can see the results of his hard work: a good quality company, hardworking employees, and yes, a great rapidly growing (practically limitless) income. Don’t get me wrong, he has worked his you-know-what off and it didn’t come easy. I truly believe that anyone can start a business and be an entrepreneur. There are many levels of “success” that some entrepreneurs don’t ever reach because they don’t have the personality type to take it to the maximum potential. Hence my example of those in the same industry for 30 yrs making the same or less. I guess the point is, you just have to find out if you really want to be an entrepreneur and really think about how you will spend the money: on an MBA or your own business. The end.

  30. Darryl says:

    Wow.. i accidently came to this site, and when i started reading, a hour passed. lol… good iformation! love it!

  31. Elmer Barrera says:

    good site!! You should start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned.

  32. Wow! This is truly a well-written and inspiring article. I made one of the mistakes you listed here…getting fed up with a job so much that I decided to go back to school (with a full-time job I didn’t like, a new-born, and a wife). Big mistake! Figured out I really didn’t want that either and now have more debt…for nothing! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have now starting making positive changes and have a blog up and running that is truly my passion. Thanks again for this post!

  33. [email protected] says:

    I really love this article.

    I have been thinking about going back to school for an MBA but
    had a situation give me a revelation that an MBA wouldn’t make me more well
    rounded if I already obtained a BSBA. But I find myself with this great tech
    and website idea with no technical skill. So the idea of obtaining an
    Information Systems Degree crossed my radar. That program is Half Business and
    half programming. They would accept my degree for the business portion and I
    would have to acquire the rest. But would that be a waste of time or is there a
    better option for learning the skill needed to build this very much needed idea
    that I have?

  34. Being a business graduate I absolutely second with what you say. B-School I attended didn’t gave me anything other than a few opportunities to do presentations but did it really help me become a business man, an entrepreneur? No.

  35. Kate says:

    I know this is pretty old, but I just stumbled on your site tonight and absolutely LOVE this article! Thanks for sharing and validating my sentiments. I quit my high paying sales job in NYC to move to SF at the beginning of 2012 and have coined my time on the west coast as my own personal MBA as I’ve had some great opportunities and learning experiences out here that will never be able to get in the classroom and still plan to expand my skills, but at a fraction of the price and in a more practical way. I’m still trying to figure out what the end goal will be.

    There is definitely value in B School IF you know exactly what you want to do (brand management, banking, consulting, change careers completely, etc). But if dont have that end goal in mind, there are way more effective ways to figure that out.

    Thanks again for posting, looking forward more of your content in the weeks ahead!

    • Scott says:

      Congrats on taking the lead like that Kate. Your personal MBA sounds awesome! And thanks for joining us here. We have a lot of fun to come. Here’s to the adventure!

  36. Sebastian says:

    I agree with this 100%!

    My experience in a business school is the following: Everything you do is to get a JOB!

    Teachers would constantly say stuff like make sure you do this and this so your employer hires you and likes you.

    The whole time I’m screaming, “what if I don’t want a job?!?!”

    GENERALLY, a business school puts you into a square way of thinking. It doesn’t allow you to think outside the box.

  37. Marcos Moura says:

    “I have one great passion that lives deep within my loins like a flaming, golden hawk.” – Thought Leader Ron Burgundy

    Talk about “writing epic S***”!!!!!

    I loved my MBA and I love this post. The idea is, at least go into an MBA with eyes wide open. The degree is not going to change who you are and what lights a fire inside of you. Once you get the diploma that flaming, golden hawk will still be there burning a hole in you gut. Let him fly… let him fly…

  38. Ivo says:

    Hey Scott and others,
    about alternatives to MBA’s, check out Kaospilots, YIP, Team Academy and Knowmads in Europe. All of them entrepreneurial education with a focus on the personal development it takes.

    Kaospilots.dk
    Yip.se
    tiimiakatemia.fi/en
    Knowmads.nl

    Thanks for the amazing post!
    Ivo

  39. Gonzalo says:

    Once again than you Scott. I love these series about education. I’m very passionate about this topic and sometimes I refer to it in my own blog too. I think the learning topic is essential to understand in order to make changes, not only in a way to look for the new learning we need to change, but to understand how we’ve got to the points we are now in our lives. I think we need to ask more what we want to learn and do in our lives and less what title we want to get.
    I love it. It lits ne on fire and it feels like is an essential pillar in your work that you are developing more and more. Congratulations.

    • Scott says:

      Thanks for that Gonzalo. And we’d love to see the stuff you’ve written on the topic too. We can only tackle this massive issue as a team!

  40. Charlotte says:

    Hello Scott,
    Thank you for sharing your perspective. I think these are wise words indeed -in fact, I just dropped out of business school because as you mentioned, the schools teach us too much about baking and finance, and too little about how to actually start and manage a business. I wish I had read this beforehand, but now I feel a little more confident I made the right decision.

  41. Got my first letter yesterday! Loved it. I feel like I’m a element of something terrific that is definitely just starting to occur. Feeling a strange perception of community around it all. Maybe you might be on to something here! Who would have ever thought that people would really print out words on paper just to have it sent throughout the mail to another person’s mailbox. Next thing you know, peoe might be growing their own food and walking or riding bikes everywhere. It’ll by no means operate, damn progress.

  42. Parker says:

    Hey Scott,

    Thanks for all the awesome content and tools. You really are making a difference.

    Where the heck is the 2014 Goal Setting and Action Workbook? It’s already November and I’d like to get started before the holidays.

    Much appreciation and regards,
    parker

  43. Peter Zugaj says:

    This is a truly wonderful article. There is a lot of valuable information as well as inspiring resources to utilize. Thank you for what you do!

  44. Amelia says:

    I just found this site by this blog in the wake of fighting tooth and nail for financial aid for business school. In short, I didn’t get it. I want to be an entrepreneur, but I’m afraid to fail. I keep reading self-help books and books on starting businesses and no matter the little successes I make working for myself, I’m still scared, especially that no one will take me seriously in the work environment because I’m so young. Could you offer any practical, hands on advice I could try?

  45. Kristi says:

    Attractive component of content. I simply stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually
    enjoyed account your weblog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds
    and even I success you get entry to constantly fast.

  46. Mane says:

    These are the words I’ve been looking to hear (or read!). I recently quit my job after 3 years or working long days week after week. I have been contemplating higher education for a long time but it just never seemed to be the right answer to me, despite what I was seeing happening to my peers around me. I feel the fire burning inside me to go after what I want to do in life and this article has helped me see that I don’t need a higher degree to attain my goals. Taking the initiative to take action has always been hard for me but ever since coming across your blog a few days ago….I feel more motivated than ever! Thank you so much for your insight and putting this out there for all of us!

    Mane

  47. Hiral says:

    I really wished somebody had told me this earlier

  48. Job choices are usually made with little thought outside the social conditioned mind-set. Many in college or in life for that matter don’t know what they really want in life.

    Influence is a powerful thing and often times causes people to become molded into what others think they should do and be. For example family traditions, social influence, and friends can unintentionally cause a disastrous job choice with lasting consequences.

  49. Marion says:

    The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she
    has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  50. Julia V says:

    Hi Scott,
    I know it’s been a few years since you wrote this but I hope you’ll read my comment and respond. My boyfriend is in the iron working business. He’s been an iron worker for over 10 years so he knows the ins and outs of the business, the importance of insuring one’s own safety, and how to take charge when people (even bosses) don’t show up. He does not have a degree but wants to start his own iron working company. Before reading your post, I didn’t believe that he needs to go to business school and get an MBA in order to achieve his dream. Your post confirmed my belief. Would you recommend he takes a few online classes, however, to learn how to start and run a successful business? What tips could you give him? Your response is greatly appreciated.

  51. willis says:

    I have been lately dealing with my 3×3 program. It is even more targeted in a way than the Top5, but allows certain independence. steve holman bodybuilding

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