I began my MBA program at The Citadel in May 2010. For 32 months, I spent evenings in the classroom and Sunday afternoons in the library. Balancing a part-time class schedule with a full-time job was challenging. I finally finished my degree this past December. For the first time since I began the program, I feel like I can breathe easily.

As I reflect on my time at The Citadel, I can't help but remember my favorite course - entrepreneurship. My professor never called himself an academic. He was a self-made business man. With an MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU, and a PHD from "The Bronx," his non-bullshit approach to teaching was one of the most refreshing experiences I had in graduate school.

Business is one of the only disciplines that you can’t learn out of a textbook. You learn by actually doing it. Through a series of guest speakers, my classmates and I learn how entrepreneurs think/operate/work.

As a gift to you, I’ve decided to share some nuggets of wisdom. For those of you interested in starting your own business or organization, take notes.

  • It takes time and experience to overcome the rejection factor
  • How do you recognize opportunities? Observe, observe, observe
  • Everyone you encounter in life is a prospect
  • Figure out what you’re passionate about and learn how to make money doing it
  • You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate
  • ABC – Always Be Closing
  • You are as you are perceived
  • It’s not what people say, it’s what they don’t say
  • Place yourself in the near occasion of opportunity
  • Work for the dignity of choice
  • Be courageous in your convictions