Getting an MBA ruined my life.

I used to live a life of leisure.  I had a decent job, with decent pay and decent benefits.  I had a flexible schedule and 3 weeks of vacation.  I was happy working to live and had no interest in living to work.  I spent my evenings binge-watching on Netflix and weekends focused solely on fun, friendship and the pursuit of more fun.  YOLO (you only live once) was how I rolled.

When my company decided to extend its benefits to include tuition reimbursement, I had no interest in going back to school.  Why would I ruin my YOLO style with homework, group assignments and exams?  Well, somewhere in my childhood I must have been deprived of something because I am one of those ‘Yankee Types’ that jumps at the hint of ‘Free Stuff’…

I am the person that leaps from my seat on an overbooked flight when they ask passengers to give up their seats.  I troll the FREE section on Craigslist and pull my car to the side of the road to pick through what’s been left at the end of a driveway with a “Free Stuff” sign.  When I go to a $12 all-you-can-eat buffet, I waddle out after consuming $24 worth of buffet.  Some are entertained by my attraction to free stuff, I am often embarrassed at my uncontrollable excitement.

SO with the offer of free tuition, I signed up for the most expensive college that would accept me.  Two years of night classes and 16 courses later, I graduated with an MBA and suddenly my YOLO life, Netflix binges and weekend flings were gone.  Instead, I become the CEO of ME inc.

When I became the CEO of ME inc., I did a thorough SWOT analysis (strengths, weakness, opportunity and threats).   I learned I had untapped potential and saw a path on how to maximize my impact both professionally and philanthropically.

In my MBA studies, I was introduced to the value of a “Purpose Driven Life.”   I researched many entrepreneurs, leaders and the Social Enterprise (B-Corp) business model so when I caught my cap from the air at graduation, I had a plan.   I dumped the YOLO and created a longterm vision for ME inc.  Now, everyday I wake up with focus. I have goals to accomplish, impact to make, and followers to lead.

My final MBA course project was to help a nonprofit with their business planning and development.  Through this assignment, I discovered that making an impact and changing the world wasn’t hard, and for some social entrepreneurs, it can be profitable!

While philanthropy was the path I choose, I saw my fellow students take different profitable paths.  As I watched them get promoted, change jobs and climb corporate ladders.   I noted our conversations evolved from bragging and embellishing of our last YOLO adventure to collaborating on business projects, sharing entrepreneurial ideas and business expertise.  My tribe had changed.  I am now surrounded by like-minded professionals driven to set the bar high and reach for higher.

While I miss the YOLO, I accept that living beyond the moment fuels my soul versus overloads my senses, and since, time is the only true currency, I prefer to spend mine wisely.


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