Submitted by Davina in November 2012
There are three superpowers that run the world: politics, religion and business. The first two often spark debates, anger, anguish and war, but the latter has only positive resounding effects: economic diversification, stability, employment, security. Welcome to the wonderful world of Business! Embarking on an education in this field is a brave and wise decision for there are many personal benefits that follow entrepreneurs and business leaders; above them all is the great and mighty: self-actualization. However, before you begin this long and rewarding journey, there are several things that you should know, such as the importance of information technology and the health of your business or that of the firm you may be employed in, in the future.
You have or will soon learn that a starting firm should follow industry best practices. I learned this too, but I had a problem with this principle: it is inherently flawed. For one, the field of business is filled with variety. How did this variety come about if the same best practices were always followed? Secondly, how can we exist and progress without improvements and innovation? My first piece of advice is that there is no room for homogeneity in the world of business, so do not accept the position of follower. Best practices have their place, but innovators and risk-takers are often the CEO’s of such best practice firms. Be an innovator, an inventor, a free and creative spirit within the boundaries of reason. As the world continues to progress, we as future business leaders must stay one step ahead to ensure that we are a catalyst to future advancements, we help to increase efficiency and we do all we can to reduce waste. Push the envelope, because the risk you take today may well be tomorrow’s best and most successful business practice.
A happy and healthy business leader makes for a happy and healthy business. When I did all-nighters at school, the result the next day was utterly catastrophic. Sleep deprived, weak and lacking a proper meal, I was at my limit and beyond, sporting the worst possible mood. This may not be the case with everyone, but the physical and mental effects of poor health management are generic to the human body, so if you own a body, beware of unhealthy practices! Long-term, it would severely limit your ability to care for your business seeing as you may fall sick often or may lack overall stamina. Short-term, you may be unknowingly clouded by fatigue and make poor decisions, treat others unkindly or project a poor example of leadership simply by falling asleep behind your enormous, mahogany CEO desk. On the other hand, people who eat balanced meals, exercise and smile often tend to make better leaders, and even if you do not intend to own a business, a leadership quality always shines and can lead to early promotions. Your work ethic will not be clouded by TV dinners and bad moods and your ability to think logically and quickly will set you apart as a prime employer/employee, worthy of great internal and external recognition.
Thirdly, bring nothing but your pay-check home. Train yourself from business school to leave the business at school. I do not recommend that your turn off that prized business mind that analyses and gathers information constantly towards future goals; I am talking about mixing your personal life with the firm. Not only will this turn-off potential friends and relationships, but it robs you of your youth. When out of class, why not think about family? Or going to the movies? Or vacationing in the Caribbean? People rather hear these things when out in a restaurant, instead of business plans and yearly projections. Maybe, once in a while, you may feel moved to drop a line about your classes or your business, but do not let it control your life because your business does not and should not define you. You were an individual before business school with dreams, a personality, likes and dislikes, and it would be remiss of you to lose all of that due to overexcitement for your future firm.
Fourthly and finally, “business”, may sound cold and calculating and may conjure up words such as: protocol, corum and punctuality, however, there’s much more to it. That much more is: people. Business, like the other two superpowers, is made up of and run by people with ideas and emotions. These people can excel or destroy a business in a heartbeat. Often times, the collapse of a firm begins at the head with poor management or bad spending, but a disgruntled or unmotivated workforce is just as toxic. When people despise their job, the work environment or their co-workers and superiors, they often subconsciously express their feelings verbally and through their work performance. However, when people are motivated, content and challenged on the job, they excel because they are fulfilled and their needs are adequately satisfied. It is our job to make the people content. Through strategic management and tactics that promote recognition of good performance, employee satisfaction can be achieved and maintained. This aspect of business is so vital, that if you are not a people person, I implore you to become one quickly! Make friends, acquaintances and good alliances, and, most of all, get into the business of people.
Permit me here, as I conclude to add the importance of increasing business efficiency through the use of up-to-date technologies. Often, when our pockets feel the economic pinch, we may sacrifice efficiency by using the out-of-date equipment we possess but this is no longer acceptable. We must spend money to make money, and the long term returns of using modern technology far supersede present costs. In order to make a good business student and future business person, it is important to know the importance of business to today’s society. Without it, we may feel empty as we lack our destined career, and others will suffer socioeconomically. The ramifications are great, which is why we must be as successful in the field as we possibly can, and employ the practices outlined in this essay. Happy entrepreneur-ing!