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If You Want to Know Whether College Graduation is Necessary

If You Want to Know Whether College Graduation is Necessary

1) Is Graduating College Absolutely Necessary?

a) AOL ran an article about Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates this year which was geared to help motivate the college dropout or near dropout to make a really poor decision….little did they know they already making an innocent slip by reading AOL as a credible business source.

b) I don’t know the person as an individual, but I would venture to guess that the person makes less than $40,000 a year without benefits.

2) Regardless of How Bad College May Be to You:

a) The freedom of not having to go to class gets a little less exciting when you go back to live with your parents.

Also, fresh made pancakes get old when your father is chewing you out during that entire hour.

I went to University of Miami for my first two years of college and a bunch of kids had to leave for a semester and go back to the cold.

Only a very small percentage were seen again because once you drop out 1x, you unknowingly come down with a malicious disease that kills careers called complacency.

b) You won’t get a job that you involves predominant or total mental output, forever.

I am the CEO an executive search firm and I could give case study after case study where qualified, intelligent people missed a good career simply for not finishing college.

Some of the most personable people whom I’ve dealt with were non college graduates.

They were versatile in their overall business knowledge; one would even say that they were impressive people.

I used to dread breaking it to them that the HR rep. or hiring manager would not even have a 1min. phone call with them because it didn’t make sense to me and it seemed very mean.

As I got more experienced and knowledgable about my industry, it hit me as to why they don’t even take a minute.   It’s not a perverse hatred of non college graduates like I thought it was when I was young.

2. Why Non-College Graduates Don’t Get Interviews

Here is why 99% of potential hiring managers and HR employees don’t want to even interview non college graduates:

Employers don’t hate people who didn’t graduate college; that’s a misconception.

Some may look down upon it, but if don’t graduate college, that’s something you’ll have to get used to as well.

The real reasons why a HR rep or hiring manager would not interview them is because….

a) The hiring manager is afraid of being fired for hiring a non college graduate who doesn’t do well.

b) Hiring managers and HR reps. are employees; they don’t think like entrepreneurs and take fliers on someone who wasn’t able to finish school.  I don’t agree with it, but you can’t judge someone for not acting on the aforementioned.

If you are working more than 12 hours per day on a project that is technology related, you’re an exception go drop out.  But rich people put in at a very minimum 60-hour weeks so you’re already at a disadvantage by doing so.

If you want to hear the other side out:

In Closing

If you do get in touch with someone, please tell them that my modem is giving me that flashing yellow light which is hurting my iPad speed.

Thank you.

From Stem Cells to Sermons Why Eric Cartman Defines Entrepreneurship

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From Stem Cells to Sermons Why Eric Cartman Defines Entrepreneurship

Emulating Eric Cartman on Business


Fat, foul-mouthed, racist? call him what you want, but Eric Cartman is, without doubt, an entrepreneur.


What traits make the young Colorado inhabitant both so lovable and so entrepreneurial?


Here is where Cartman excels where most entrepreneurs fall short:


Cartman is no stranger to hitting the phones and making the sale.


To some, the term cold calling is a bad word that amounts to unfocused marketing in order to blindly sell a product. Not so to Eric Cartman, who focuses on its positive aspect and knows that sometimes you have to hit the phones to get the word out regarding your newest product.


Cartman Sells Stem Cells


In episode 78 entitled “Kenny dies,” Cartman mistakenly stumbles upon a vast number of unborn fetuses and immediately attempts to make the most of the situation and monetize his new discovery.


While many would have done the moral thing and return the fetuses for the good of mankind, the fat fourth grader opens a phone book and begins to call institutions that buy stem cells. Cartman skips over morality and jumps straight to figuring out who will pay the highest price.


Cartman showcases a very rarely used negotiation technique to increase his profit margin.


Every potential buyer who tries to underbid is informed by Cartman they are by “Breaking his balls.”


His persistence to sell at or above market price via cold-calling goes even further when he informs one potential buyer that “Just like the fetuses, I was not born yesterday, either,” a very offensive phrase that was followed by a devious chuckle.


Ultimately, Cartman is able to tap an unsaturated market and find clientele.


Being an entrepreneur is about success and making the sale. Do not be afraid to use old techniques, but reinvent them to fit your needs and services.


While some sit around, Cartman will take advantage of any money-making venture.


My Future Self ‘n’ Me”


In Season 6’s “My Future Self ‘n’ Me” the parents of South Park hire actors who pretend to be their children from the future.


These future versions of the young South Park children are complete losers who have health problems from consistent drug and alcohol use.


When young Stan Marsh becomes skeptical regarding the authenticity of these future replicas, he seeks revenge in conjunction with another little boy popularly known as “Butters,” a widely used nickname throughout the Colorado town for Butters Stotch.


Recognizing the demand for parental revenge by the boys, Eric Cartman springs into action by opening a “Poop Swatch” revenge store where his main business consists of smearing poop all over parents’ walls to remind the parents that tricking the youngsters in unethical.


Opening this business is already entrepreneurial in nature, but Eric takes it a step further and clearly displays an ability to make his business customer-centric when he brings several colors of poop to the table in which potential clients Stan Marsh and Butters Stotch can choose from.


Although his customers want a weird and disgusting product, Cartman nevertheless caters to their needs.


Know your clients, and tell them what they want. Even if they do not need it, they will buy it if you market it as a must-have item.


Cartman ignores taboos to find new, profitable industries.


Most young children would mourn a friend who is hit by a bus, but most young children are not Eric Cartman.


Do The Handicapped Go To Hell?


In the episode titled, “Do The Handicapped Go To Hell?” the overweight entrepreneur starts his own church after death-prone, Kenny gets hit by a bus and ends up in Mexico. Cartman, seeing this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, puts on his best preacher voice and uses a bullhorn to reach the children of South Park.


While many see Cartman’s rants as an alternative to the adult run church, Cartman has dollars and cents on his mind. He almost succeeds in making his church profitable, but when friends Stan and Kyle find Cartman rolling in piles of money like Scrooge McDuck, the gig is over.


While many see religion and monetary gain as mutually exclusive, the fat 4th grader sees only the bottom line. Being an entrepreneur means breaking into new fields and industries. Obviously, religion may not be the best example, but ready and prepared to grab an opportunity when it arises.


Don’t rule out Eric Cartman simply because he is a 10-year old cartoon character. Take his techniques and employ them in your field to start becoming a successful entrepreneur.


The Awful Genius of Black Friday: 12 Hours at Lacoste, BestBuy and Modell’s

Due to a shortage of cabs, I found myself walking from the West Side of Manhattan through Central Park home to my apartment on 2nd Ave.

As I was walking home, I walked past lines of people waiting over-anxiously for 12 a.m. to come around at the Best Buy near me.
Even from across the street, I could feel a palpable tension in the crowd. (I would later be told by a girl at Best Buy that there were 2 arrests made before the doors opened.)

The mere fact that people would be willing to hurt one another and go to jail over electronic prices made me decide to go shopping today.


Here is what I take away from shopping for 12hrs on Black Friday:


Retail creates an atmosphere that gives the buyer the illusion that if they don’t buy mass amounts of items on sale, something bad will happen to them.

For a few minutes the atmosphere was enthralling, but then I watched two different people go into what I would call a full-fledge state of mania. That isn’t enthralling, but it is sad.


What happened to these shoppers?


Many of these individuals had special “Black Friday” books of coupons with them that employees would not give out in the store (unless you really charmed the right people) making the books appear exceedingly valuable.

You can almost say the shoppers became psychologically dependent on a booklet that any other day of the year would be worth the paper it was printed on.

The first person I watched felt as if she was not getting enough good deals. As she approached the register, she started frantically grabbing things like odd sized batteries and blank CD disc packs by the armful.

It was not the type of buying that someone who wanted bargains would do.

It was different. The woman began to sweat and as she approached the register, it just got worse.

I watched another shopper buy a Sony camera for about $130, only to be sold 4 of the same cases for that camera.

I watched him touch about 20 different, very random items while he waited his turn to pay.


The Illusion of These Coupons


Back to the coupon booklets. Only the most charming and patient receive them in-store, with the store employees acting as absolute gatekeepers.

Since half of them were recent college graduates looking for a real job, I soon had an audience asking me questions, and giving eventual discounts, but they did not give me physical coupons because it would have created a stir.

After my first 20 minutes at Best Buy, I could understand why these employees would rather put input what seemed to be an endless amount of seemingly complex codes to the register rather than be caught with something that could be potentially harmful to them like the coupon books.

The manager at Modell’s did give me a physical coupon to get a $160 pair of Nike’s for less than $80, but she put it directly in my coat pocket (folded up) as if she was selling illegal narcotics.

It’s not about saving money, it’s about compulsiveness. Being from New Jersey, I have spent my fair share of long nights with old high school friends sitting at a Blackjack table at a Trump Casino in beaten up Atlantic City with random gamblers who were loosing their life savings $5 at a time.

They were more in control mentally than the people I saw today.

Also, after all was said and done, the opportunity cost of Black Friday is so high that it’s almost like you’re working on minimum wage, but things like coupons, frantic atmospheres full of people who will punch one another for a Nintendo make it seem that you’re getting a bargain that won’t come around for another 365 days. (At least we get the one extra day, 2012 being a leap year.)

Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement an executive search firm in New York City. Ken’s articles have appeared in the NYTimes, WSJ and many others.

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The Foundation of an Entrepreneurial Company That Works

Tips for Interviewing With Smaller, Entrepreneurial Companies
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Tips for Interviewing With Smaller, Entrepreneurial Companies

"Ken Sundheim"

Interviewing With Entrepreneurial Companies

Entrepreneurial companies are entrepreneurial in nature because they have one focus in mind: making money and doing it quickly.

Working For An Entrepreneurial Company

Entrepreneurial companies are exceedingly fun, yet taxing to work for. They have a different agenda than corporate, and they’re going to expect that you take on more aspects of the business than just one particular role.

They won’t be sending you to a formalized training and putting you in a cubicle.

As a job seeker, if you choose the right firm and learn, execute and work accordingly, you can make much more than a “nice living” at an entrepreneurial company. However, remember that entrepreneurial companies aren’t an entirely different beast: it’s still business.

In order to reap the benefits, you have to be in a work condition and mental state that is sharper than you’ve probably needed before in your career.

In the end, entrepreneurial companies are not weight down by useless intangibles including bureaucracy, lack of leadership or frequent turnover that might otherwise cause firms to lose focus on their drive for high-end market share.

At the same time, entrepreneurial companies have to work harder – and they expect you to work harder – to obtain that market share.

2 Examples of  Common Questions You May Be Asked When Interviewing with Small Business 

1) Q: In what ways can you help us grow this business?

Entrepreneurial thinkers don’t just want an employee who can sing, they want one who can sing, dance, act and make it all look easy. So, when asked this question, have the mentality that you are ready and that you have some expertise, but you will work overtime to gain more expertise and fill in the gaps necessary for the company to be successful.

While this answer may scare away corporate HR personnel seeking one thing and one thing only, this is the only answer that will not scare away the entrepreneurial hiring decision-maker.

2) Q: What would you do if a client was very unhappy, and they wouldn’t listen to you and your boss was out of reach?

This may seem like a typical situational interview question that you would get with Google, etc. But it has a different meaning for the business owner themselves, and they look for a different answer.

Because entrepreneurs have a scatterbrained way of thinking, it may be best to answer this question saying, “This is how I would do it at my old job… How do you think this methodology would work here? What are your preferences as the owner of this business?”

Remember that small business owners have a lot more stress than corporate human resource managers, and use that fact to answer more intuitively than the other job seekers seeking the same position.

How Do You Choose the Right Small Business to Work for?

Choosing the right entrepreneurial company is crucial on the job seeker’s part.  If the job seeker has multiple turnovers due to entrepreneurial companies going out of business, their value on the open job market is going to get lower with each job that doesn’t work out.

Look for an office that is busy, people who seem very engaged in their work, and the complete antithesis of cubicles full of people just punching the clock and the keyboard.

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The Foundation of an Entrepreneurial Company That Works

How to Start a Business That Works


Upon meeting some individuals who come to my firm to either interview for a position or to interview us as a recruiting firm, I am asked about my background.

That is fine, but the question typically translates into how I successfully started my company.


The formula for starting a business that works is quite simple on paper, yet very hard and sometimes tiresome and requiring of luck to execute.

To start and run a successful company, the business owner must have a few things in place, none of which come easily, but all of which become easier with hard work, dedication and passion.


Employees – Good employees are very hard to find. By “very hard” I mean there is a whole industry dedicated to doing so, I happen to be in that industry, and they’re still hard for me to find.

Companies can go through a multitude of employees, however when the entrepreneur finds those good employees who are not only loyal, but who do their jobs skillfully and are pleasant to be around, it makes the searching hours all worthwhile.


Marketing – The web can make or break a company. Startups need to get their foot in the door when competing with companies that have been dominant their industry space for years.


This is quite hard, but it can be accomplished in a few ways. The most cost-effective is search engine optimization, which is a key component of any company that can make money through potential customers finding them on the web.

While many think search engine optimization is a very complex proposition, it is simplest when the entrepreneur begins writing and having their professional articles syndicated on the web.

If there is one piece of advice I have for the aspiring entrepreneur, it is to learn online marketing and learn it well.


Sales – To get to the next level, the entrepreneur must have a firm understanding of what makes their potential clients tick and what type of contracts and/or negotiation techniques are conducive to winning business in their particular sector.

The only way to reliably gauge this important variable is to study various successful sales techniques and see which fits best in your industry, and with your customers.


Some spaces are much more compatible with a value-based sale or solution-selling rather than strict consultative sales, for instance. Don’t know what those terms mean?

Then your first step had better be to find out not just the basic definitions, but the nuances that differentiate each of them, and make them appropriate to different settings.


In the end, the entrepreneur can outsource things such as accounting, technology, payroll services and other tangible business needs, however the above three intangibles are priceless and should be learned by any aspiring business owner looking to take their company to the next level.

Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement an executive search firm in New York City.  Ken’s articles have appeared in the NYTimes, WSJ and many others.


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How to Start a Business During the Recession

Open a Business in a Bad Economy


As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, a business or stock is cyclical if its value fluctuates heavily with the economy.  While there are many economically proof industries, the majority of small businesses can be defined in some way as cyclical or reliant on the general economy.

Therefore, when the economy takes a dive, many small businesses tend go with it.

It might therefore seem like listening to good sense when a poor economy scares away a potential business owner from opening their own company.  But appearances can be deceiving: the economy doesn’t have to be scary to every potential small business owner.

I am living proof as the CEO of a recruiting company whose bottom line is very dependent on the hiring fluctuations both in the U.S. and abroad, as well as on the general health of American business.

Due to the cyclical nature of recruiting, running an executive search firm in today’s economy required me to develop a new thought process and approach to business.  While other staffing firms have been going under or downsizing immensely, my company is currently hiring and leasing additional office space.

How am I able to do this?

Below, are 4 rarely discussed tips for those aspiring to successfully open any business in today’s economy.



1. Avoid negativity –


As the owner of an executive search firm, you think that I would be glued to the job reports every week.  It is quite the opposite.


I don’t have time for bleak news.  We have broken internal recruiting records on the same days as horrific job numbers were reported.


I know that as the CEO, if I don’t remain positive, I risk the negativity spreading through my subordinates.


I’ve learned that the key is to stay around positive, upbeat and successful people.



2. Follow your passion regardless of how bad you think the industry may be 


When choosing which business to start, you must only consider those industries that truly interest you regardless of how badly they may have suffered.


Many young entrepreneurs make a big mistake by letting the current economy decide what type of business they should open instead of the other way around.


Good economic conditions are always helpful to the success of a business, but a favorable economy pales in comparison to a passionate CEO.


3. Regardless of the unemployment rate, good employees are hard to find; appreciate them –


Some companies that come to us think that they can get employees on the cheap simply because the jobless rate is high.  Reality soon sets in.


Exceptional employees are still exceptionally hard to locate, procure and retain and, despite the economy, the talented are not going to work for free or on a discounted rate.


When you find the right employees, make sure you pay them well and do not allow the current economic situation to justify you treating them with anything less than absolute respect.



4. Keep a stiff upper-lip –


Entrepreneurship is hard; it is often frustrating and, just when you think you have everything in place, a setback comes your way.


The current economic conditions do add to the frustration, but you can’t let outside factors determine your success as an entrepreneur.  When things don’t go your way, it is imperative you keep fighting.  A bad economy is no excuse for an entrepreneur to quit fighting.  There is always light at the end of the tunnel.


In closing:



Despite the current economic conditions, now can still be a great time to start a business.  As young entrepreneurs, we can’t wait for another economic boom like the late 1990’s, we must create an economic boom for our generation.  After all, the economy is reliant on us more than we should be reliant on it.


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The 5 Most Important Entrepreneurial Lessons I Learned In My 20’s


The 5 Most Important Entrepreneurial Lessons I Learned In My 20’s


Being a young business owner has its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


However, after turning 30 and continually learning, maturing and correcting mistakes, I’ve learned that there are a few small business lessons that both young and old aspiring entrepreneurs should pay attention to:



1. If You’re Not Setting Goals and Relentlessly Pursuing Them, You’re Not Moving Forward – I’ve been lucky to achieve a great deal in my early professional life.  Part of the reason is that I continuously set goals for myself, each harder to reach and more complex than the last.


I’ve learned that if you’re not setting constant goals for yourself, time can waste away and so can a business.



2. The More Bridges You Burn, the Harder Your Fight – Learning how to deal with people is priceless.  Looking back, I was a little too aggressive upon chasing after things that I wanted and I failed to think about the perspective of others.


Dealing with people takes a certain finesse and, until you cultivate that skill, you are going to have trouble forming relationships with the people who are beneficial to your professional life – and the life of your business.



3. Virtual and Home-Based Offices: Great for Starting Out, but Not Feasible in the Long-term – As an entrepreneur, it is imperative that you start out at home, but aim to get an office.


Having a physical location is more important than most young entrepreneurs credit. My firm’s revenue saw over a 30% increase the year after moving from my home office, and this in the midst of the Great Recession.



4. Anyone Has the Potential to Open a Successful Business – I have little doubt that all aspiring entrepreneurs can create a successful business.  Hard work, dedication and creativity make up for any current lack of experience or intelligence.



5. No Employee is Perfect, They Become What You Make Them – Entrepreneurs will never get the perfect employee.  Nobody will because the perfect employee doesn’t exist.


Employees are what you make them.  As the CEO, it is imperative that you show patience with your hires and give credit where credit is due.


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