Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Payoff from Dropping Business School

Last fall I started the Executive MBA program at Vanderbilt University. I quit at the end of the first semester. Had I continued, I would now be finishing my second semester and would be halfway done with earning my MBA. Here are the things that happened as a direct result of not being in school this semester.

1. I trained for and ran a full marathon – 26.2 miles in 4:10.
2. I lost the fifteen pounds I gained while in school, plus five more.
3. I learned to snowboard and discovered that I LOVE it!
4. I became actively involved at a new church and began developing several meaningful friendships there.
5. I attended my first Tony Robbins seminar. It dramatically impacted both my personal life and how I run my company.
6. I tripled the size of my advisory team.
7. I walked through fire.
8. I read ten new books relevant to business and leadership, a few of which have had a profound impact on my effectiveness.
9. I spent a week mountain biking in Moab, Utah.
10. I helped a friend change the direction of his life.
11. I dropped everything for a week to assist a family member during a time of crisis.
12. I started this blog.

There was plenty more that happened during these last five months, but those twelve items are all things that I can say absolutely would not have happened had I been in school.

At the time, the decision to quit Vanderbilt was one of the most difficult of my life. I agonized over it for months. For some of us, quitting is really hard. Frankly, it should be. Sometimes, though, it is absolutely the right thing to do.

None of the above was why I quit – at least not directly. I may write about my reasons more in another post, but it did seem that I was paying a huge time cost for what was a small amount of useful knowledge (for me). In that sense, I suppose the list above was the reason. I knew I would be missing out on a lot of life by spending my days in classes that I didn’t find useful. If I’d realized just how much life I’d be missing, the decision would have been a lot easier.

1 comment:

Christy G. said...

Heh, heh...what a fabulous way to prove that SOME things just are not for everyone. Kudos to you, my friend, for having the guts to quit. I know it was a very hard decision, but it was so obviously the right one. You are one wise man... :-)