Here’s How an MBA Can Help With Personal Development

An MBA is a great way to develop hard business and finance skills, but technical skills aren’t all you’ll learn in an MBA program. Soft skills like communication, public speaking, stage presence, writing, etiquette and confidence are just as important for success in the business world, and most MBA programs focus on helping students develop them. As you advance in your MBA studies, you’ll find that these skills become key components of your personality as you grow into a more effective leader.

You’ll Gain Credibility

Is credibility really a skill that can be cultivated? It sure is. As you attend MBA classes and learn more about the world of business and finance, you’ll gain confidence, charisma and a persuasive influence that will give you credibility in the eyes of colleagues and employers.

Just having the MBA credential will increase your credibility, because recruiters know how much work it takes to complete one of these difficult degree programs. Just the fact that you chose to do an MBA at all speaks to your work ethic, drive and ambition. You’ll come across as someone who sets, and achieves, goals for his or her career. You’ll develop your work ethic and sense of corporate responsibility, too, both of which will make you seem more credible.

You’ll Learn More About Business Etiquette

If you’ve been in the work force for a while, you likely already have some sense of proper business etiquette. You may already know how to dress, how to listen actively, how to behave at business lunches and professional meetings and how to prepare for presentations and conferences.

However, attending business school will help you hone and develop your business etiquette. For example, many online MBA programs in California and around the country offer their students study-abroad opportunities, where they’re able to travel to major cities around the world, network with business professionals from different cultures and pick up some cross-cultural understanding of business etiquette. That’s an opportunity you may not have already gotten in your professional life. You’ll also have the chance to develop your interview skills, learn how to ask the right questions in a conversation and improve your business email etiquette.

You’ll Become a Better Communicator

Communication skills are so important in business, whether you’re giving a presentation, writing an email or congratulating Tom from accounting on the birth of his new baby. MBA programs are excellent at helping students grow their communication skills, especially since they expect students to carry themselves as managers and leaders from day one.

In your MBA program, you’ll learn stage presence and public speaking skills from classroom presentations and, later, from giving presentations during corporate consulting projects. You’ll learn how to modulate your voice and practice your gestures to become a more effective presenter. You’ll also attend writing workshops that will help you develop your written communication skills – and taking classes online will help with this, too, as writing will most likely be your primary method of communicating with classmates and professors.

Of course, you’ll also learn collaboration and negotiation skills. Even online MBAs place a lot of emphasis on learning to work well with others, and you’ll become extremely familiar with communications technology if you go the online route. You’ll also develop the ability to present strong arguments in negotiations with employers, vendors and clients.

You’ll Cultivate Excellent Time Management Skills

Just about any graduate school program will teach you time management skills, because almost all of them are extremely rigorous. In an MBA program, you’ll be on a tight schedule to prepare, present, and submit assignments, and deadlines will be non-negotiable. By the time you’ve finished with your program, you’ll have great self-discipline and rock-solid time management skills. You’ll also learn the fine art of prioritizing, whether it’s to decide which assignment to work on first, or which events and electives to participate in versus which to leave out of your busy schedule.

Earning an MBA is a great path to a higher salary and a better career, but it’s also a means of deep and meaningful personal development. You won’t be the same person on graduation day that you were on the first day of class – and that’s a good thing because the person you’ll become will be a better, smarter, more confident and knowledgeable you.

The Importance of Finding The Time For Fun

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Time is an incredibly precious resource, much more valuable than money, and one of the best ways we can consume our time is to use it having fun… yet, we live in such a busy and chaotic world that fun is often pushed to the backburner of life, with productivity, making money, and getting things done seen as a much higher priority.

In addition, we are so digitally connected today that it can be hard to switch off from checking emails and social media notifications, even when we should be relaxing for the night or doing something relaxing with our family.  We now, seem to always be on the go as our work life balance has certainly been knocked off kilter.

Whether you work for someone else, yourself, or own a business many people don’t seem to be able to find the time to fully switch off, disconnect from work and enjoy their lives – it’s like we’ve stopped making time for fun and replaced this with being on a constant treadmill of work that is often referred to as the rat race.

The reality is that we need to proactively make time for fun stuff.  Here’s some tips on how to make the best use of your time in order to get things done as efficiently as possible and therefore have free time and headspace to fully enjoy your life.

  1. ORGANIZE YOUR TIME

The convenience of online working and online studying means you have much more time to enjoy your life.  We spend far too much time living in reaction to work – trying to fit our lives in, yet it doesn’t have to be that way; the amount of time you can save by having a good planning system in place is phenomenal… a lot of “time management” comes down to first planning your tasks so that you can keep on top of things with ease.

  1.  OUTSOURCE

The power of outsourcing is huge from a time management perspective.  There are many things you can outsource from having people write up your audio recordings, to managing social media presence and web development.  However, outsourcing isn’t just about outsourcing tasks to people; today there are many ways that data can be incredibly useful to our business growth, but rather than struggle and get to grips with it yourself, it can be a time saving, and therefore money saving, idea to outsource the learning to cloudstream partners for instance as you are essentially reducing your learning curve.

  1.  THE PARETO PRINCIPLE

The Pareto Principle, often referred to as the 80/20 rule suggests that twenty percent of our activities account for eighty percent of the outcome.  You therefore want to focus on the tasks that are going to have the greatest impact and get these done first.

In summary, it’s important to make time for fun, and not to focus solely on work, but the only true way to be able to enjoy your time is if you have got enough done to enable you to relax, rest and have fun rather than for your mind to be preoccupied with work.

Why Routines Should Be Mandatory

daily routine

People ask me all the time, “What’s the biggest difference between having a boss versus being your own?

Besides a steady paycheck, my response is: a lack of routine.

Parents stress how children need routine and structure to survive (it’s true I have 2 kids under 3 years old). But what works for kids also works for adults.

If you work for a company your routine is taken care of during the day, but if you’re an entrepreneur or even work remotely it’s up to you to set a routine.

I’ve been on my own since 2007 and through much trial and error here’s what works for me:

Morning workouts – I try to exercise 5 times a week in the mornings between 6:30-8:30 AM. I don’t consider myself a morning person, but with 2 kids I don’t have much of a choice. Since I’m up anyway, I force myself to go to the gym regardless of how I feel. It’s become my morning coffee and when I don’t stick to this routine I literally get cranky and feel lethargic.

Task time – I know I do my best work from about 10 AM-2 PM. As much as possible I try to find a quiet place with minimal distractions and accomplish as much as I can. Since I’m a pretty organized person I schedule everything into my phone with alerts so I don’t have to think about what to do next. This uninterrupted time is when I plan my workshops, speeches, marketing, etc. Protect this time, it’s necessary.

People time – Around mid-afternoon I usually hit a wall, so meeting with people, Skype or phone calls are scheduled between 2-5 PM. Conversations energize me, so whatever creative juices I am lacking usually get rejuvenated through interactions. Of course sticking to this schedule isn’t mandatory, but over time you pinpoint what flows best for you and go with it.

Routines promote productivity. Without them distractions will rule your life. I’m a planned person, but don’t consider myself Type A. The nice thing about routines is they can change. Tinker with them to see what works best. What matters most is to have them.

Routines are like boundaries. They determine what is useful and help us decide what to say yes and no to. That’s why they should be mandatory.

3 Reasons Why Parenthood Is A Great Time To Start A Business

parentpreneur

At first glance the title is perplexing, but starting two separate businesses while each of our children were born gives me some credibility to speak on this subject. The timing seems illogical, but if you’re an action-oriented person like myself, ideas only become reality if executed quickly. Here are my thoughts why juggling a newborn and a startup makes sense:

1) Efficiency – Time is fleeting as a new parent. Newborns need their parents to install routines even though initially they resist them. Transition to entrepreneurship and you can never have enough time in the day to accomplish your dreams. As a new parent you could be working on your business plan in the dark while baby is sleeping. Since you’re up from the crying it’s a perfect time to research and e-mail on your mobile phone. Meetings are a perfect excuse to find extra help so you can make progress on your business while gaining some rest and sanity from your little one at home. Parenthood forces you to be creative when it comes to spending your time. The lack of free time means you’re wiser with the little you have. Nothing makes you hyper-focused more than the fear of your baby waking up from a nap.

2) Parallels to Learning on the Fly – The most unprepared you’ll feel as a parent is when you arrive home from the hospital. The most unprepared you’ll feel during launching a business is when you start. Both responsibilities can be studied, but nothing is a substitute for experience. Parenting is about trial and error and you only get better by doing it. That’s very similar to the success rate of starting a business. First time owners have a less than 30% chance for success, but if you keep trying your chances increase on the next business. The message here isn’t to have 5+ kids, but to understand that both parenthood and entrepreneurship are about adapting and pivoting accordingly. The more rigid you are in your thinking, the harder it will be to thrive in today’s changing market. Commit to a learning mentality and you’ll figure out what to do next.

3) Teaches Kids Entrepreneurship  – When my kids get older I’m going to tell them we started a business when they were born. Whether it’s a success or failure isn’t as important as following your dreams. Skill sets such as: sales, networking and communication aren’t taught in school. They are taught in the “streets.” We are moving towards an economy where it will be mandatory to have a side hustle, so age shouldn’t be a factor when experiencing entrepreneurship. My wife and I have talked several times about giving our children their “college fund” for school or starting their own business. As college graduates, we don’t de-value education, but we also believe it doesn’t guarantee you anything either. What our kids decide to do when they grow up is their decision. We just feel our job is to provide them with choices.

Becoming  a new parent may be the most inopportune time to launch a business, but then again…you’ll never know until you try.

Look Up In the Sky! It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…

Skywriter

Did you know that skywriting is usually an advertisement: personal, business or celebratory? It’s kind of like a modern-day status update on your favorite social network. You’re letting the public know something about yourself.

When’s the last time you answered “busy” for the question, “How’ve you been?” We say it like it’s a badge of honor, but why? Does it make us feel more important if we don’t have enough time in the day to do what we want? Seems contradictory doesn’t it?

What if I told you a program could help decrease your “busyness” and give you more control over how you spend your time? How much would that be worth to you? Well that’s why I’ve designed an 8-week online bootcamp geared towards achieving work life balance. Enrolling in this course means you want control of your most valuable currency: time. Get your freedom back and have more free time to do what you want!

Who’s in Charge Of Your Time?

time management

You control your time or your time controls you. A lot of people run around like a chicken with his head cut off because achieving can be intoxicating. There’s nothing wrong with accomplishing goals, but at what expense?

If you work for a company, your schedule controls your time. If you own a business, your time is controlled by what you have to do. But what about a compromise between the two?

Time management is all about having priorities, setting boundaries and reevaluating the process. You can’t control everything, but you can choose to eliminate some “lesser” things in your schedule for more important ones. During this 8 week course I’ll show you how to manage your time better because it’s the currency that matters most.

Are You Really Rich?

time

Time, not money, has become the most valuable currency. As professionals we spend a third of our waking hours at work. There’s nothing wrong with being career driven, but if you don’t value personal time at an early age, once you starting thinking about dating, marriage or starting a family it may be too late.

Think about it. You don’t look back on your life and say, “I wish I had more money.” You wish you had more time to spend it with your loved ones. That’s why time management is so important. You work hard, so you can play hard. Freedom and flexibility of schedule is what matters. Aim to be “rich in time” and through this 8-week online course I’ll help you do that!

The Soccer Shots L.A. Story

I met Rian through my wife, Lisa who hired Soccer Shots when she was a Preschool Director. She raved about how professional and fun the staff was so when we were looking to add vendors to Community Perks, we didn’t even bother approaching their competition. Rian and I decided to grab coffee not too long ago and we talked “business” for hours. There’s always commonality with entrepreneurs and it helps to talk to others in a similar boat. I hope you enjoy hearing Rian’s story told from a prior post from his blog.

Way back in 2008, when the country was in the early stages of the greatest recession of our generation, my wife Alyssa and I were in our first full year operating Soccer Shots. After months of careful consideration we decided to purchase the 16th franchise in the Soccer Shots system (today, there are more than 100 franchises in the system).

We knew the challenge that confronted us, not just the odds that face all new businesses, but given the turbulent economic times we knew we had an extra steep hill to climb. Looking back, I think we were also somewhat blind to the odds (either consciously or unconsciously, I am not sure) as we only focused on succeeding. We had a business plan, financial projections, and the desire to do what it took to succeed.

soccer shots los angeles, rian heim, orange shirts, preschool programs

Alyssa and I knew we wanted to work with children and in the field of education.

Given the importance of physical fitness in children and their ability to learn and excel in school, Soccer Shots seemed like a perfect fit. Having previous experience working for a privately run charter school, global agencies, local companies, and Fortune 500 businesses we also knew that we wanted to start something of our own. And an opportunity that would support the family that we planned on having and that would succeed or fail based on the effort, decisions, and dedication that we invested. And of course there is always some level of luck involved.

In early 2008, not a single child in Los Angeles had experienced Soccer Shots. This year 10,000 children will experience Soccer Shots. In 2008 it was Alyssa and I handling every task, starting every relationship with schools, scheduling every season, coaching every class, and completing all of the administrative tasks. We were very much learning day to day and improving little by little with the intent to survive and hopefully grow. Today our team consists of 11 full time salaried employees and 10-15 part time employees. Virtually every hour of every day of the week there is a Soccer Shots class running somewhere in Los Angeles!

When I think about the growth that we have been so fortunate to experience, I can’t help but think about the future and where Soccer Shots will be in years to come. As a small business owner my focus naturally shifts to looking ahead but it is important from time to time to reflect on the past and how we got to where we are today. Looking back I realize that from day one we have been very intentional about our vision for Soccer Shots and truly believe that this vision and our success are directly linked. Every decision that we have made has been answered by thinking about our vision and who we are.

Our goal has always been to offer a quality program for the families in Los Angeles.

This goal has not changed, however we have learned that in order to survive in an increasingly competitive market, we must continue to strive to be remarkable and that part of achieving this was identifying the ways to make our program truly unique.

WHAT MAKES SOCCER SHOTS UNIQUE?

Employees, Not Independent Contractors

Our directors and coaches are all employees of Soccer Shots. This means our entire team is covered under Workers Compensation and Disability and many receive health and other benefits. Many programs farm out services to independent contractors. However, due to the nature of our work with children and the quality we wish to uphold, we prefer the conservative path of fully trained and screened employees.

Character Development + Soccer

Character development is the foundation of our program. Our professionally designed curriculum is structured around our 10 character building words. Each class utilizes our innovative curriculum which extends beyond physical activity to incorporate values like respect, honesty, teamwork, and encouragement.

Family Owned & Operated Since 2007

Soccer Shots is owned by myself and my wife Alyssa. Together with our team we make every effort to deliver a remarkable program that children, parents, and schools will bene!t from and enjoy. As parents ourselves of two young children (Charles and Amelia) we understand the many needs of families.

Our primary focus is and always has been to serve the needs of the schools that we partner with. We understand the unique challenges and are experienced in meeting and often exceeding the expectations.

Trained & Certified Coaches

All coaches have successfully completed extensive group and one-on-one training by Soccer Shots. This means up to a couple of months of training alongside an experienced Soccer Shots Director/Lead Coach as well as ongoing professional development.

Squeaky Clean Records

Our entire team has successfully completed live scan fingerprint background checks through the State of California, certified FBI and Department of Justice agencies. Copies are provided upon request.

Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Many of our coaches have completed or are working toward fulfilling at least 12 ECE credits. We seek individuals with backgrounds in education and child development first. Soccer skills and experience are second.

Certified Mandated Reporters

Our entire team is aware that by law they are Mandated Reporters and are all certified by the California Department of Social Services. The safety and well being of the children are always top of mind.

Rewards Program

At the schools we serve we offer scholarships & all-play policy in an attempt to include children who want to participate regardless of their ability to pay. Many schools have fundraisers throughout the year and we make donations, typically in the form of gift baskets which include certificates for a free season. Another form of fundraising for schools that we serve is an incentive where we give a portion of the registration fees back to the school.

Maximum Levels of Insurance

Soccer Shots is fully insured with above required levels of coverage.

“Our primary focus is and always has been to serve the needs of the schools that we partner with. We understand the unique challenges and are experienced in meeting and often exceeding the expectations.”

In the end, our vision is to offer an experience that will leave a lasting effect on the children and families that we serve.

Switching to Auto-Pilot

Have you ever driven somewhere so many times that after you’ve reached your destination you completely forgot how you got there?

Believe it or not that happens at work too, BUT it can be a good thing.

airplane the movie, auto pilot, cruise control, auto park, distraction free driving, leslie neilsen, kareem abdul jabbar

Similar to athletes “getting in the zone,” when distraction-free, your mind produces at a phenomenal rate. There are different ways to arrive there, but let me share what’s worked for me the past several years:

Schedule everything into your smartphone with reminder alerts (and I mean EVERYTHING).

There’s a reason why iCalendar has three categories: home, social/out & home. You’re supposed to use them all.

Start with reserving “pockets” of work you need to get done (it doesn’t matter if you work at an office or at home). During that period don’t answer the phone, check emails, play games, etc. (unless that’s you’re actual task)

Next, put down the outings you’re planning on taking: chores, shopping, pick-ups, etc. (basically anything where you have to travel to).

Lastly, what needs or can be done at home? It can range anywhere from washing dishes to calling a friend on the phone.

I know it might sound a bit ridiculous, but here’s the payoff…

If you pre-schedule everything you have to do, you don’t have to remember anything. Even when you get sidetracked, your alerts remind you what to do. I’m obsessed with efficiency so that’s probably why this method works for me, but it really comes in handy when I need to pay a bill online because that’s something I would normally forget to do.

I probably take it too far since I even schedule where we are going to eat and do on vacations, but it actually saves time because decisions are made in advance. Of course there are times when things happen out of your control and you have to adjust, but at least you can re-schedule what you originally planned to do and continue to function on auto-pilot.

Even if you’re a free spirit, creative who hates structure this can work for you (type A’s love it). Running on auto-pilot saves time so you can spend your actual free time on what you please.

Looking for more time-hacking strategies? Check out this month’s free webinars!