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Hard Knock MBA (Personal MBA)
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Hard Knock MBA (Personal MBA)
 

My goals for what I’ll learn

Posted by Al Doan under Goals

13

Feb
Hard Knock MBA (Personal MBA)

This makes me a bit nervous to throw my goals out here like this, but them sitting on a sheet of paper on my desk isn’t helping anyone.  So over the course of the next year, the following are what I’m trying to do, defined by an overview (meaning), a reason (why), and a plan (how).

Post your thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, and so on because I expect these to focus in a bit more, and become more defined as I continue to learn.  Also, if you decide to do something similar, I’d love to see what you’re doing, and we can encourage each other, so share away!

Goal #1 – Building a business on an advertising model

Meaning?

Blogs, review sites, customer content providers, or even ad supplements.  I am interested in negotiating rates, identifying and securing partnerships, positioning value, and scalable contracts that won’t eat me in the end.

Why?

I’ve never done anything with advertising outside of adwords.  There’s a huge industry there of which I’m completely unaware.

How?

This should be relatively easy to attack, create something and go after the advertising deals.  Talk to people who have done it before, learn what a good set of terms would be and what would be unacceptable.  This goal depends on my tenacity in getting out there and chasing down the opportunity.

Goal #2 – Bringing in outside marketing/advertising/branding expertise

Meaning?

I need to know where the value really lies here.  What exactly is the benefit, at what stage do you look to bring them in, can you do it without them and make it just as good, at what point do I bring someone on fulltime (when is $70k a year going to be worth what they are paying out) as well as what to look for in an employee/firm, appropriate expectations, etc.

Why?

Knowing and having experience here can save a lot of heartache and money in my opinion.  It’s a field I’ve only ever seen in large corporations, but heard talked about with startups and smaller companies.  I need to be less ignorant here relating to small businesses and startups.

How?

This will come strictly through mentor conversations and work experience.  This next year I need to find a situation where a marketer/brander/advertiser is being seriously considered and walk through the process to determine the ultimate benefit.

Goal #3 – Blog / Podcast / InernetTV (New Media)

Meaning?

Leo Laporte’s This Week In Tech (twit.tv) enterprise he is building is a great example of how we can be participants in creating a new industry.  There is a shift in media production and distribution, and the strategy behind this will be of growing importance as niche markets continue to develop.  I want to learn the nuances of this strategy to take advantage of the exploding opportunity that will be/is in this arena.

Why?

Any opportunity to build out a successful podcast, blog network, or content delivery model for media would be very interesting to me, as I expect my expertise to gravitate to this front.

How?

Study those already doing it, try it myself.  This is one that doesn’t require a large investment to get into, just an ability to identify the opportunity and the time and energy to produce content.   Though this may be a simplistic view, we will see.

Goal #4 – Accounting and Tax Strategy

Meaning?

There are ways to leverage your assets and business structures that will pay out in the end.  Knowing what you’re doing here can give you a huge advantage, and confusion can really kill your confidence in surging forward.  I need to be able to speak to my strategy here with clarity and issue concise requests of my team.

Why?

I know all this in theory, I’ve read the text books, and in previous projects have done everything I thought I was supposed to do, but my uncertainty doesn’t allow me to capitalize on the strategy.

How?

There is more study that can happen here,  but in addition to that I am planning on going through the process one time with a mentor watching over my shoulder, or watching over the shoulder of one working through this same exercise.

Goal #5 – Patent Strategy (building a strong patent)

Meaning?

Patents can be weak or strong, what is the strategy and conversation that makes them defendable and valuable.

Why?

From negotiation of terms with licensing an existing patent, to wording and angles to strengthen potential patents, this is something that I need insight into in order to protect my assets down the road.  Even if I hire a lawyer to do this, I need to be able to make sure that what is in my head is adequately represented and defended in the verbiage.

How?

I have a few up and coming ideas that I can use in this area as practice cases, but essentially this will be books and conversations with lawyers or people who are in the profession.  A few good pointers will go far in helping me adjust my thought process as I evaluate ideas and opportunities in the future.

Goal #6 – Funding an Idea or Company

Meaning?

Everything I’ve done to this point has been funded by what I’ve saved up and spent personally.  Having never been connected to the social groups of investors and funding, I lack the experience that would make approaching this in the future a much more strategic process.

Why?

Investment rounds, angels, venture capitalists, vultures, capitalists, there’s a lot to know here, and big ideas depend on my ability to connect those ideas with the money and resources needed to make them a reality.  Ignorance in this area is death for momentum, and missteps are costly and could sink an idea for good.

How?

This comes from experience.  I’ve read the wiki article, it doesn’t help.  I need to see this happen with my own two eyes, and make it happen with my own two hands.  I will need to connect with someone in the industry doing just this, and play the grunt, but there are so many others going through this process, I may work to plug in to a project in the process of doing this and help them through this stage in exchange for the experience.

Goal #7 – Acquisitions and Exit strategies

Meaning?

This is one of the most important subjects relating to startups but rarely discussed in specifics.  I will be a much stronger entrepreneur/CEO if I have seen what the end looks like.  It’s a lot easier to take a company to a destination if you know what that destination looks like.

Why?

I have many projects myself that are just sitting on back burners waiting for opportunity.  I need the vision to grow them to a harvest, or at least know what it would take to invest in these companies and grow them to the point of being attractive to other companies.

How?

This is something that I am reluctant to jump into without having seen it happen once or twice.  The chance that I’ll sell the farm for nothing, or turn down great deals because I think I’m worth more than I am, that worries me.  There are entrepreneurs doing this all the time, I will scrap and find someone doing just that, and spend a few months to a year working with them on structuring the deal, sitting in on meetings, etc.

Hitting these goals will make this year the most valuable education I can imagine.  I’ll update this post with progress and completion marks.

Question:  What else is missing?  What should be added here?  What’s on your list but not mine?

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Hard Knock MBA (Personal MBA)
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