MBA ASAP: This article is about who I started my company, MBA ASAP, to serve.

John Cousins
February 7, 2023
6 min read

I am an engineer by trade and I have an Ivy League MBA. I have started and ran a number of companies. For quite a while now I have been teaching college and graduate level business courses. This trajectory of life experience, coupled with an increasing awareness of the potential power of new tools now available to each of us, is what has motivated me to write down my ideas of what the essential business knowledge and skill sets are to get going and be successful.

Business education and MBA curriculums in particular tend to break the topics into discreet classes that then go into great and exhaustive detail in that particular discipline. This approach is certainly valuable but I see a lack of an overview that provides a general sense of how all these discreet disciplines fit together and how one can orchestrate and bring them to bear on meeting goals and getting things done. I put this company and materials together to give a sense of the forest through all the trees. This roadmap can be helpful in a number of ways depending on where you are in your life and what your goals and aspirations are:

· Career opportunities and career development. This is a great way to brainstorm and scan the horizon for potential fields and specialties that you may not have thought of as careers. Taken in total, this can help you to plan and become a generalist and general manager and start the process of procuring well rounded C-level management skills developed.

· Knowledge and Skills Assessment. Use this material to identify and soar with your strengths and focus on developing your weak spots.

· As a primer before you jump into a full time MBA program and get caught up in the details: this can help as you go through a program of discreet courses so you have a context and general understanding of how they fit together. This approach can help you remember the material from your classes better as you will have a structure in place in which to slot specific detailed information. It can also help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed as you navigate the deluge of information.

· It can help you prepare for the various subjects ahead of time. If you are committed to getting an MBA and are going to start a program, one of the best things you can do is to bone up on the material ahead of time. This will give you a head start and help you keep your head above water when the onslaught of material starts flowing and you feel like you are drinking from a fire hose! This is especially important if you are coming from a non-business background such as engineering or philosophy, where you had no business classes or training in you undergrad program or in your career. I recall my first accounting class and we hit the ground running and I felt panicked and lost because I didn’t know the jargon and wasn’t previously familiar with any of the concepts. I could have really used this! I felt the same way in economics when we immediately were assigned technical papers by Milton Friedman on monetarist policy. I didn’t have a general context into which to fit that kind of specific detailed technical information from academic research papers.

· As a summary reference after you have completed a program to help synthesize all the specific information you have gathered and help marshal it towards the tasks you face. These materials can also be a refresher for subjects you studied decades ago.

· This primer can act as a starting platform to point you in the directions of further learning. After I completed my MBA program I had the feeling that a lot of what I learned was fundamentally common sense at base and I could have learned most of it on my own. On the other hand, it has been a life long project of reading and studying and thinking about these concepts. Even a full time two year program is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many great books on the various subjects, along with articles and videos and blogs to keep you busy for the rest of your days.

· You have to be seriously disciplined to be an autodidact and a formal academic program can help immensely in providing the impetus, urgency and schedule to get through the subject matter and materials in a timely and consistent fashion. This is not to be discounted. That being said, not everyone has the time, money, or is limited by logistics or commitments, to spend two years full time in school or four years in night school, to get an MBA. Or at least right now, and you want the knowledge now so you can put it to use; right now.

· As technology lowers entry barriers in every industry and field of endeavor, and expands possibilities, many of us can think of feasibly turning our dreams and ideas into viable businesses. Few of us are anointed on a mainstream track to being a CEO of an existing company. The rest of us can use some business skills to complement our creativity and intuition. And we want to apply it all ASAP!

· There is a lot of junior high and high school age computer savvy talent, older individuals with experience and insight, and people in the developing world with new found access to mobile platforms, computing devices and connectivity. If you fall into any of these categories, and are ready to innovate now, this primer is for you.

· The skill sets and disciplines involved in creating and running business are broad, varied and can go very deep. And the power tools available to assist you and augment your efforts are constantly evolving along with the landscape. This isn’t a subject that you study for two years and then feel confident that you know it all. This is an ongoing project of self actualization, development and re-education. This book can help with tips of where and how to keep continually improving and developing.

· It is of general interest to anyone thinking of starting a business or desirous of a quick overview of business administration. It is designed to make you energized, optimistic, and newly purposeful.

Just the facts Ma’am

“A successful book is not made of what is in it, but of what is left out of it.”

Mark Twain

These materials are distilled overview of a business school curriculum and the skills you need to develop to run a company.

Jump Start your Startup

This is an attempt to provide a bricolage of various specialists’ information in a clear manner so it is easily comprehensible and gives an opportunity to get one’s arms and head around the entire field. This book will help you get a sense of the forest through the trees; a 30,000 foot view of the terrain. This is a quick way into the world of business in order to understand the arcane terminology and concepts that can easily intimidate a person into thinking they can’t understand how to read and analyze a 10K financial report or craft a business model and strategy or create a powerful marketing plan. Review them and keep them handy as a quick reference and go start or run your company!


Here is a page from my website with online courses and books to check out.

I would be really interested in any comments about what resonates with you regarding this post and what I might be missing. Thanks!

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John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

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