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Although I own the book good to great and it has been recommended to me, I have never read it. There are simply too many good Sci Fi novels out there to make that happen.

When going through MBA you are usually relatively poor. You come from some mediocre job and you typically think you have far too much talent to be stuck as middle management at some unappreciative company. So you figure that for two years of education you are going to leapfrog to the top and have a party up there. All the while laughing at the suckers at your old job as they would have to work for the next thirty years to achieve what you did in two.

In many cases this is correct. In fact that's the case for most of my MBA friends. So why am I writing this as that seems awesome. You tripled your salary, you are flying around the world business class, have a fat expense account and are living like a rockstar. This is exactly what you wanted and aren't you clever?

What most fail to realize is that you are being paid a significant premium because your life sucks. Investment Banking is one of the higher paying jobs out there. Or at least it was before the crash. The reason you can use grade 7 math skills to make millions of dollars is that your grade 7 math is being used for the bulk of the day. You don't sleep, you don't exercise, you look ten years older than you really are and then typically you have a shortened life expectancy and your kids get to party like a rockstar when you are gone. This is a slightly different take on the high paying job that you landed from MBA. What more important is that any good job bears a massive opportunity cost. So if you are truly smart and capable why would you be solving business problems for others when you could be building businesses yourself? Typically people that stay in consulting for more than 4 years or so are the ones that aren't capable of building but they are better off advising. After all, why would you want to work the crappy hours and give up some of the best years of your life for a paycheck. You could be building your own business, making more money than any of the partners and having complete flexibility and control over your life.

So far what I have written seems to be common sense and what does it have to do with good to great? Most people are content with good jobs and good levels of success compared to the average joe. If you hang around a bunch of people that make 100k a year and you make 200k you are super star. But if you hang around with people that make $2MM a year you would be considered poor. The trouble is to get from the $200k to the $2MM there is typically risk involved and we all know that people don't like risk. So they typically stick to what they have as they are afraid of losing it. That's why there are far fewer people making$2MM than 200k. The people in the higher snack brackets are typically willing to take on more risk than their counterparts. In fact many have failed trying to attain their dreams and wind up below what they could have made had they stayed the safe course. In Canada 99 out of 100 businesses fail in the first 5 years. 90% of those fail within the first year.

So when deciding to take a job when graduating from MBA one must ask themself what your ultimate goal is? Is it good or is it great? If the answer is the latter than careful thought must be put into the skill set that is being acquired and how that fits into your ultimate goal. For example, you may be better off with a lower paying job that provides you with the free time to pursue your dream job. Or it may be to make as much money for a the next three years so you can go out on your own. Whatever your strategy is, make sure that you actually have one and that you are not just being satisfied with good and usurping a bunch of non achievers at your past employer.

Also, there is nothing wrong with consulting or investment banking if that's the path that you think you would be most happy with. I for one like working in my bunny slippers from home and vacationing at least three months a year all the while racing my car across North America. I think a lot of people would object to this lifestyle and that's why I choose to build my own businesses.

Andrew May 27 '14 · Rate: 4

When you have a great idea and get really excited about it you automatically assume that everyone else will automatically be as excited as yourself. Sadly, this is rarely the case. It is always up to the inventor to push the invention across the finish line and make it economically viable.

With very few exceptions, any invention I create that goes to a a middle man ends up dying a slow painful death in this sales channel. Even though I may be experiencing wild success with the same product going direct to customer. It never ceases to amaze me how incompetent and lazy people are. This is why there is always the "bottom half" and that there are few people at the top and many at the bottom with the pyramid of social structure. So basically, when we have new ideas now we typically go direct to oil companies where they are very quick to sniff out whether it's of economic importance or not. Me being lazy making a pile of money while someone is promoting my latest idea will never happen so I may as well not bother trying.....

Andrew May 27 '14

Going to the Richard Ivey School of business was a lot of fun. I was only 24 and it gave me an excuse to go around the world for 8 months before pursuing further education. How could I possibly pass this up.

What was interesting about the MBA is that the actual technical knowledge you gained was pretty basic and required about a grade 7 education. What was funny was that people had issues grasping these concepts and some of these people graduated in the top of the class. Too bad for there employers....But what was surprising was the case method and how invaluable it was.

Having run my own business successfully for 12 years I still quote MBA cases that I reviewed at Ivey. Its a bit like reading the bible. There are some good stories there but at the end of the day there is a pearl of wisdom that can be gleened in context. It seems obvious when you tell someone that a car dealership is in business to sell cars. When what is not apparent is that they are in business to finance the capital appreciation of the land they are sitting on.

These conceptualizations are still helping me today and I found it to be a truly enriching experience. I have to say that Ivey made a huge impact on the success that I have had in life.

Andrew May 27 '14

Coming from a 12 grade Alberta system and going into a 13 grade Ontario system in arguably the best engineering school in the country was no picnic. I still remember my first mechanics course when they went over Trigonometric calculus, thinking I was in trouble. What was concerning was that it wasnt been taught, it was REVIEW. I had never even considered what an additional years education would mean for me but I knew that i would have to work hard not to fail out.

It took me the better part of a year to get completely caught up on base knowledge and swim my way to the top of the class, but once there it was considerably easier than being a few steps behind.

Although most of the classes I took would never be directly applied to real life: control systems which was basically a fancy name for differential equations, learning FORTRAN which was a computer language designed in the 70s are a few that spring to mind. However, it did allow you to think in an analytical fashion and teach you the scientific method of solving problems. Thereabouts anyway.

It funny but having won both the Industrial Engineering thesis award and Engineering as a whole thesis award on software development you would think that I would play to my strengths by taking Apple's offer of a fully paid Masters degree. I was worried that I would be sitting in front of a computer writing code my entire life and thats why I passed on the opportunity. I still love all things tech and have some very successful software programs on the Google Play store and the iStore as well as the BB marketplace whenever we get it built, but I am happy with my decision to minimize the code writing aspect of my life.

I am quite certain that developing new oilfield technologies by being the master of the obvious has led to more success than possible with code writing. I guess I will never know but thats my justification for the path that I took. The MBA at Ivey also served to round out my skill set so that it was not just heavily reliant upon Tech.

Andrew May 27 '14
This was my first real job and it involved building Pumps and Mixers. It was a small company and I was hired in the throes of a recession from U of T so I was fortunate to have a job. Prior to getting the job at Hayward Gordon I had a three month European vacation booked and was supposed to go traveling with my engineering friends. Unfortunately, the job required that I start immediately and I had to forgo the trip to Europe. That was a very hard decision to make but with no job I would have to move back to Calgary as I also had no money!

I really worked my ass off as I was working most weekends. There was a lot of work that needed to be done and there were not enough hours in a day to get it done. This required coming in on weekends on a regular basis as well as starting early and finishing late. Even though I was only 22 years old the hours took a toll on me and I usually had to rest up

on the weekends I wasnt working in order to have enough energy for the rest of the week.

It was, nevertheless, a challenging environment to work in and I really enjoyed it. In fact I even thought of staying to work at Hayward Gordon instead of doiung an MBA as I thought the company had a lot of potential and could do with a streamlines manufacturing process. In order for me to stay though I wanted an equity stake in the company and the owner didnt go along with it. Big surprise!

Andrew May 27 '14
U of T was a ton of fun especially when coming from Calgary where the summers were short at best. I remember coming to Toronto and being able to wear shorts in September. This was the deciding factor in deciding to stay here for the rest of my life. U of T was very multi cultural and diverse. I lived in residence and had the pleasure of staying with students from the United Arab Emirates, USA, Dubai etc. They were all very smart and capable people and made a fantastic addition to our "house" which was defined by half a floor of the residents in New College. One of the first things I had to do was buy ear plugs as the music raged 24 hours a day. A small price to pay for all the fun that was to be had.
Andrew May 27 '14

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