Converting Academic Knowledge Into Success | Business Coach Advice

The Real World is Vastly Different from the Academic World

There is nothing more valuable than education.  I am a firm believer in this.  Conversely, how you obtain knowledge is no longer relegated simply to the classroom.  As part of a formal education, you are measured by your academic achievement.  Score a 95% on a test and you are considered an “A student.”  However, when you graduate school and enter the workforce, you quickly discover that your academic prowess and test-taking abilities are not held in the same high regard.  Success in the real-world is measured differently.  Just because you are the smartest person in the room – at least on paper – doesn’t mean that you’re the boss.  A bank will never ask to see your report card when you’re asking for loan.  You may have a Master’s Degree from an expensive university, but your colleague – who makes twice as much as you do – only went to a community college.  Let me state the obvious… life is not fair.  In fact, as Don Draper so famously remarked in an episode of Mad Men, “the universe is indifferent.”

How to Win in Business and Use Your Knowledge

I always like to refer to the quote by famed negotiation guru, Charles Karrass, who titled one of his books, “In business as in life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.”  Results in business are not given, results are earned.  In the real-world, success is measured at the end of the day by your profit and loss statement, rather than the diploma that hangs on the wall behind your desk.

Great Coaching Advice for Business and Life

I had the good fortune to play college football for famed Michigan State football coach, George Perles (he was also the architect of the “Steel Curtin” – the defensive line of the Pittsburg Steelers team that won four Super Bowls).  If there was one attribute that George Perles stressed over any other in life, it was toughness.  He would tell us that when we graduated from school, we would have an advantage because we would be mentally tougher than our peers.  Since we were subjected to intense pressure to perform, and had to endure daily physical and mental stress, the real-world would be easy.  At the time, I hated it.  But as I grew older, I began to realize that most people (unless they went off to serve their country in war), were frankly soft when it came to matters of competitive performance and managing stress.  Every time I came up against one of these fancy Ivy-League kids I would simply remember something Coach Perles would scream at us in practice, which was: “F*@K potential… I’m more interested in productivity!”  This mantra – coupled with a relentless fire to succeed – allowed me to blow past the competition.

What Makes for Great Consultants | Business Coach Advice

Everyday, I come across “consultants” who struggle to win business.  They can’t figure out why it is that clients are not beating a path to their door… especially when their “pedigree” is so impressive.  They want clients, but they are not willing to suffer the humiliation of rejection.  They are too proud to cold call.  They are not prepared to conduct a tough negotiation across the table with a person from another country.  They lack hunger and are merely expecting results.

The truth is… the universe is indifferent and the real world is vastly different from the academic world.  If you’re going to make it you gotta be tough!