Is it worth an MBA? It depends on many factors, such as your money, time, and willingness to do it.
In 2015, I enrolled in the University of Florida’s MBA online program, all in full-time employment in finance. The diploma cost me $ 60,000 and took two years to complete, but it gave me the confidence to take business risks, improve my decision-making skills, expand my network, and even increase my salary.
It taught me a few fun and valuable lessons. Here are the ones that helped me the most:
1. Contracts don’t have to be complicated
Making any business deal will save you from depression and financial losses. It doesn’t matter if it’s with a close friend or family member – most of your time and money should come with a contract.
Also, offering a contract is a good stress test in itself: if the other party gives you long reasons not to sign, you should probably continue.
Even a short and simple handwriting can go a long way. Here are the most important elements:
- “Offer”: I have to suggest something.
- “Preview”: Something has to be exchanged for it (usually money, otherwise it’s not a contract, but a gift or promise).
- “Acceptance”: Both parties must accept the terms of the contract.
- “Relationships”: Both parties must agree to the terms and understand that they have entered into an agreement.
2. The trick of persuasion
The three main components of Aristotle’s persuasion, which I learned in the Business Writing and Negotiation course, gave me the tools and methods I needed to sell myself and win people over:
- Etos (ethical): Bring your own moral status and confidence.
Example: “I am a wife, a mother, and a taxpayer. I have served faithfully on the school board for 20 years. I deserve your vote.” [X]. “
- Pathos (feelings): Pay attention to the emotional impact of your argument.
Example: “My opponent wants to be upset [X] by doing [X]. Imagine that you are depressed [X] had to happen. “
- Logos (logic): Build your message with facts like facts, similarities, statistics, or even hypothetical scenarios.
Example: “We don’t have enough money to improve [X]. And without improvements [X] The system will break down and hinder our economy. Therefore, we must do [X] to pay better [X]. “
3. Too many options can be a bad thing
I went to the store several times and saw the colors, brands and sizes of the same product. They all seemed like great options, but I felt paralyzed and couldn’t make a decision.
Psychologist Barry Schwartz has perfectly documented this experience in his book The Paradox of Choice, and he says that the more choices people make, the more likely they are to be dissatisfied with their choices later or feel stuck. make a choice in general.
The number of options you offer to the customer is very important and can affect your outcome. Do not overload them.
4. Market time beats market time
In business school, we looked at research done with a simple understanding that was repeated in my head every time I made an investment decision.
Our professor quoted the legendary investor Warren Buffett, who wrote in a 1991 shareholder letter that “the stock market serves as a center for the transfer of money from the active person to the patient.”
I know, it’s not sexual. But it was a message from Jack Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group’s giant index fund: “Time is your friend, momentum is your enemy”. When markets fell and worries rose, his advice was “just don’t do anything, stay here.”
5. How to be a better negotiator
Advanced negotiation was one of the most challenging lessons I took because it pitted the students against each other and the results affected our assessments.
In one case, I was a representative of a Canadian zoo and wanted to borrow pandas from a Chinese zoo. Determining the cost and duration of Panda visits led to a long-running feud between me and my classmate.
But he taught me how to achieve what I wanted:
- According to statistics, the first bidder in the negotiations will do better (they will “tie” their numbers first). But if you are overly greedy, it can irritate the other side and hurt you.
- Before entering into negotiations, plan some scenarios: what could happen? How do you react? What are your walking conditions like?
- Tap things that benefit the other person and things that you can easily give them. Try to resolve it all in a negotiated way: “I can’t offer this salary, but I’ll let you work from home if you want.”
The ideal position is for both parties to feel like they have reached the agreement of the century.
Sean Kernan writer and former financial analyst. Follow him on Twitter @yurak.