My Home-Based Business Experience of Twenty Years Shattered in One Year

In business, experience speaks loudly. Textbook theory cannot come close to the value of experience in the field. Something took place, however, when I unexpectedly added textbook learning to my experiential learning. My business will now never be the same.After doing business from my home for over twenty years, I finally decided to finish my schooling and get my college bachelors degree. In my 40s, with five children at home and a cart full of chores to do each day, I did it by studying online, late at night after the kiddies were sleeping, and on weekends.The first question a friend of mine asked me – and now I ask of it myself – “Why did you do that?” Why did I spend $25,000 for a piece of paper? Albeit, it is a gold embossed parchment with my name stroked elegantly in calligraphy, embraced in a dignified vinyl blue presentation folder that now sits poised upon my fireplace mantle. Why?My degree is in Business Administration. Everything I learned in my business classes I had already experienced in real life. Nothing was theory to me. I was studying what I had done on my own. I was studying what I had figured out over the years through the grinds and grunts of creating my own business.I felt at times, I was teaching my teachers. Though now I do understand about statistics and managerial finance, I do not yet grasp the applicability of this newly acquired knowledge in my current business. Maybe later.This is why experience speaks so loudly. Experience means much more than anything business school emphasized. All the examples in the textbooks were good critical case studies. Nonetheless, in my home-based business, I deal with real decisions made in a confluence of real-time issues.Quickly. Get the right price. Talk with the supplier. What’s going on with the late shipping this week? Our customer has changed its requirements and needs different packaging? Why is our revenue down this month? Nothing like these immediate issues that mute textbook studies. Answers in life are demanded and not graded, except by profit margin, a ruthless teacher.Okay. School did teach me something, I have to admit. The college degree has allowed me to take a macro look at my business and at some of the methods I was using. I did learn from school to look more upon my business than merely to work from within it.The main lesson, however, I learned from taking my classes online did not jump out at me suddenly. It took about a year following my graduation to look at my business approach, evaluate its efficacy, and rewire myself. Only because I was slow. Literally, I had to re-”wire” my business brain.Why it took so long? Beats me. Since I was online, maybe I had did not realize how much I had become one with my online courses. But the shift I took, I directly credit to my online schooling. I did my schooling at home, as I do everything — at home.I had taken my entire college degree program online at home and thought nothing of it. The opportunity that that provided me, to finish school despite the schedule of family and business life was so close to my past business experience, I just kept going as if nothing was different.I get it now. Everything has changed in business. The online world caught up with me. I observed that the online world had changed schooling fantastically. And, as you must be fully aware, it has changed commerce, so much so that if I am not doing business online, then I will be churned into cottage cheese soon.My business school experience taught me that I must develop my business online. That’s not what any experience told me, nor was it any class I took. All the schooling hinted at it but did not directly point to it. When my home-based business experience conjoined in my mind with my online schooling experience, a brain-shift took place.All my twenty years of experience began to be shouted down by the online opportunity before me. “Wow,” I thought. “I have got to tap into the online world for my home business.” That future is happening now.Two reasons, real quick, why I must take my home-based online: 1. It is available to everyone. Whether you are big or small, you can create just as much presence online as anybody else. 2. The market is unconfined by geography. I can go worldwide. I, the home operator, can have a huge presence and an international market. Only online can that be so readily done.For me to learn this obscurely, it was worth the fat college bill. Only wish I could have learned it sooner, via experience, as now I am online

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