Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the most rewarding—and terrifying—things you’ll ever do. I started my own business, a business-planning software company initially based in Palo Alto, California, three years after graduating from business school. I’ve succeeded through several decades, but it wasn’t always easy given that I struggled with student loan and mortgage payments, and took care of my family at the same time. But today, I’m financially secure, my business is healthy, and I employ more than 60 people at our new location in Eugene, Oregon. Because I’ve dealt with startups and entrepreneurs for a long time, I’m well equipped to outline what you can expect if you’re planning to start your own business.
B-school has given other entrepreneurs exactly what it gave me: business fundamentals, including basic finance, marketing, and administration. An MBA program also teaches you how to plan and, most importantly, how to understand cash flow. But what school doesn’t teach you is how to wade through the entrepreneur clichés to get to the unvarnished truth.