The Entrepreneur vs. The Strategy Consultant

The Entrepreneur is very different from the typical McKinsey-esque strategy consultant. Both are extremely smart, driven, persistent, creative, and determined. But I have found that there are some major differences.  
    
First, entrepreneurs tend to take more ownership  
of their jobs. My definition of an enEvSC phrenology-of-the-entrepreneurtrepreneur is someone who steals office supplies from home and brings them to work.  
 
Second, most entrepreneurs I know tend to be B students in college. The entrepreneur never got straight A's because either: 
(a) She didn't care a lot about her grades, or 
(b) She was too busy doing other things to worry about her grades. 
 
I say "she" in this example, because most entrepreneurs are women. Far more than 50% of new businesses started in the U.S. are started by women. 
 
Entrepreneurs tend to be street-smarter than strategy consultants. Entrepreneurs are more practical, more focused on the bottom line, and more attuned to real-world contingencies.  
 
A typical strategy consultant job interview might go something like this: 
 
"I toss a coin. Heads you win $10,000. Tails you lose $6,000. Do you play this game? Why?"  

And a typical strategy consultant answer would go something like this:  
 
50% chance I win, 50% chance I lose. So my decision calculation goes something like:

 

Winnings: (0.5) * $10,000 =  $5,000EvSC coin_flip1

Loses:    (0.5) * $6,000  =  $3,000

                             ——

My net value of this game is $2,000

 

Therefore, even if I am very risk averse, I'll still play this game, because I can afford to lose $6K when the payoff is so much higher.  
 
A typical entrepreneur would look at this game totally differently and would ask a series of questions:  

* How do I know the coin is fair? Maybe tails is much more likely to come up. Can I test the coin by flipping it 500 times to see if it is consistent? Do I really want to waste my time performing and recording 500 coin tosses?  
 
* How do taxes affect my wins and losses? Is Uncle Sam going to take a huge chunk of my winnings but not recognize my losses? Can I only apply my losses to gambling gains? How are state and city taxes affected?  
 
* Do I have to pay in cash if I lose and do I get cash if I win? If that is the case, are we going to show up at the location with all the money? Will I be secure? Can I pay by credit card to get frequent flyer miles?  
 
* How can I be sure I will collect from you? Are we going to hold the money in a third-party escrow? How much will that cost?  
 
As you see, the entrepreneur lives much more in the rough-and-tumble real world where spreadsheet models don't always happen.  
 
Let's take another interview question as an example – this one straight from a major strategy consulting firm:   EvSC paperclip
 
"You're flying from London to New York and you are sitting in first class (because we only fly first class, of course). You happen to be sitting next to the CEO of the largest paper-clip company in Britain who is traveling to the U.S. to give a speech. He needs to know how many paper-clips are sold in the United States ever year. What is your answer?"  
 
The typical strategy consultant would use the basic plug-and-chug algorithm that every other smart interviewee would answer:  
 
"Well … there are 300 million people in the U.S. and they each buy on average one box of paper clips per year … and they each get six legal documents per year … but now less paper is being used than last year because of electronic mail and all of us consultants saving paper by writing everything landscape … so therefore there are 2.79 gazillion 
paper clips sold each year …"  
 
The entrepreneur responds much differently:  
 
* What about those plastic triangle clips? Binder clips? Do they count?  
 
* Mr. CEO — can I ask you how many paper clips are sold in Britain? Why would Americans use more paper clips per capita than Brits? UK has about 60 million people, the U.S. has about 300 million – that means we are about 5x bigger than you. So take the number of paper clips sold in Britain and multiply it by 5 and voila!!  
 
* This guy is an idiot … He's in the paper clip business and he doesn't even know the number of paper clips sold in the U.S.! Is he just playing golf all day?? I hope he goes to the bathroom soon so I can call log-on to my E*TRADE account and short this guy's stock. No time to waste … 

 

73 thoughts on “The Entrepreneur vs. The Strategy Consultant

  1. Neil P.

    Having been in strategy consulting eons ago and then later an entrepreneur, I have a few thoughts:
    a. Most consultants like to study, study, study rather than act. And then they want to do a follow-on study. That’s because they are paid for studying. Entrepreneurs focus on delivering/shipping a product or service and getting paid for it.
    b. Some strategy consultants are not industry-centric, which means they don’t have as much of a gut feel for trends related to technology, regulation, etc. — on the other hand, they may be more likely to find interesting parallels in other industries.
    c. Most consultants don’t usually focus on organizational and personal politics in a company – yet that drives decision-making as much as outside facts in many cases.
    d. Most consultants are selling a Brain-for-Hire, and a fair bit of arrogance comes with that as part of their shtick. That arrogance doesn’t work as well in some facets of the business world.
    e. Some entrepreneurs dream farther and wider – inventing entirely new products and services and processes. Consultants try to synthesize existing data sources (books, articles, experts, stats) to make recommendations that are inherently penned in by these sources.
    f. Many entrepreneurs are poor listeners – while consultants are oftentimes the ultimate listeners. These tendencies can be a strength and weakness. There needs to be a mid-point in a thriving company.
    All this said, there is a wide standard deviation within the category of entrepreneur and consultant. We shouldn’t only think of silicon valley folks as entrepreneurs – the guy/gal who owns and runs your muffler shop is an entrepreneur too. Likewise, a minority of consultants have lots of hands-on operating background and don’t solely rely on computer models and interviews with “experts”.

    Reply
  2. Steve Musher

    The B students couldn’t get good jobs that satisfy them – the many women you note below primarily start hair dresser and other companies (including PR and other professional stuff, too) where they probably can’t do as well elsewhere. I suspect your reasons are dominant, but there are probably other factors at work, too. I also know lots, maybe most, entrepreneurs who are just not that bright.

    Reply
  3. Matt Cook

    Coin Flip — other questions an entrepreneur might ask… “what is the burn rate while the coin is being flipped”, “can we get rid of that said person flipping the coin to save money” the entrepreneur also might ask why are we even playing this game… why don’t you invest that money that you were prepared to lose in my new idea…

    Reply
  4. John Girarde

    Entrepreneurs believe in evolutionary approaches to business. Vary, select, and copy (aka throw it against the wall and see what sticks, then do it all over again with mutated copies of the stuff that sticks). Consultants believe in design/engineering. The former model is messy and relentlessly effective (just like evolution). The latter is, well, presumptuous (guess which model I believe in?). Another pop-culture induced thought: with truly brilliant entrepreneurs, I sometimes get the sense that they see the world like Neo did at the end of the first Matrix — straight through the façade to the way that the world really works.

    Reply
  5. Ben

    Auren
    I am tempted to write a long consulting analysis on this but I will resist. As a former partner in a top strategy firm where I guess I was pretty successful since I was one of the youngest partners ever and was selected by the industry as one of the 25 best consultants in the world the year beore I left, I get questions from successful junior consultant and partners about once a month about “trying a start up job”.
    Here are my quick bullets on the issue:
    2-4 years as a strategy consultant is useful for organized thinking but you better stay connected with the entreprenuer world in the mean time.
    Consulting has no risk financially or personally, you don’t really put yourself out there. You move on to the next engagement, you are not a public person.
    Consulting is about helping companies decide what to do, what is the right answer. Building a company is about getting sh*t done and refining it to make it right over time
    You don’t try a start up, you commit to ten years of doing startups because no one start up ever works. If you want to “try a start up” stay away from it.
    Former consultants who have reached a senior level, partner, may never make a risk adjusted return versus thier consulting compensation; it is a calling, a mission, a lifestyle, not an economic decision.
    As a consultant you get to help drive decisions that change industries overnight, change what 20,000 sales people do, etc. As a startup, you may change things that big but it will take ten years to do it.
    I could go one for pages on this..

    Reply
  6. Tamara

    A GREAT strategy consultant will ask all the questions you listed above as those asked by an enterpreneur. Strategy consulting is no longer differentiated by the ability to “crack the case.” We are challenged by our clients to get to the heart of the issues and drive innovative solutions. I advise my client not on only HOW to get their project / initatives done. I also question if this is the right project / initative and the right focus at this time. A good consultant is not an academic, but a trusted advisor who asks tough questions and provides provocative and unexpected answers.

    Reply
  7. Auren Hoffman

    Ben: great thoughts. You make a very good point that “Consulting has no risk financially or personally.” And consulting is not about failure — many consultants rarely fail. And failure and dealing with failure is one of the key points of being a successful entrepreneur.

    Reply
  8. Allison Lear

    I work as a business advisor to entrepreneurs and would be entrepreneurs, so I have my feet in both worlds. Main difference? As a consultant, I can tell people what to do…. as an entrepreneur, I live directly with whatever choice I do or do not make. It’s kind of like the difference between reading a Choose Your Own Adventure and actually living it.

    Reply
  9. Scott

    Entrepreneurs are change agents. They embrace risk, innovate, and quickly learn from failure. The best start-up entrepreneurs I know are also cocky, rule-breaking, obsessive personalities who flaunt convention. They are also often assholes. I’m not sure they got B’s in school, but they definitely got in trouble.
    Entrepreneurs create wealth where none existed before by driving revolutionary technologies that brilliantly scale in new markets (and by doing so drive progress and world history).
    Strategy consultants are overpaid MBAs who make marginal improvements on already awesome ideas. They didn’t have the chops to take the personal risk themselves, but have the smarts to opine on them from the sidelines. Entrepreneurs are in the deep end of the pool with no life jacket, strategy consultants dip their feet in the water at the pool’s edge. In the hierarchy of value creation, they’re just above lawyers which are mostly transaction costs.
    (This entrepreneur definition applies in other contexts as well – social entrepreneurs such as Ghandi or MLK; political entrepreneurs such as our Founding Fathers; or religious entrepreneurs, namely Jesus and especially his disciple Paul.)

    Reply
  10. Ben

    From a conversation with one of guys who worked for me at the firm and now runs a country for the firm when he was doing VC work with me at the firm and kept talking about being VC or startup guy.
    “You don’t get it starting a company is all about doing the improbable or the impossible, there is always competition, there is always risk. You get up every morning saying, I am goign to do X even though Google has 1000 people who could try X. In the consulting world we spend out time helping to to say no to crazy ideas and do things that are adjacent markets and “managing risk”, it is a huge change to get up an ignore the facts, ignore the impossible, and Get Sh*t Done. Name me three consulting partners in the firm who think like that…there are not many (although they are ussually super successful if they ever make it to partner) and the rest of the firm thinks they are crazy. You have been trained for 10 years on analysis, what makes you think you can throw that away or even that you should..if it is because someone made a fortune at eBay who used to work with us, that is the wrong reason”
    He stayed, probably makes a millon a year, has a dramatic impact on huge companies we all know, but as an entrepreneur…??? not sure it would have worked….
    It is not that one if different or better than the other, it is about what people really want to do with themselves.

    Reply
  11. Matthew Doondon

    The consultant responses you mention seem more to be the stereotypical lawyer responses to those kind of questions. A thoughtful and well-educated consultant (or a lawyer who went to Chicago!), would ask the question that go to the true end of strategy … the delta in the person’s concerned utility, or, in consultant-speak, the risks and benefits in terms of the clients’ ultimate strategic objectives. When you ask that question, you can see how it is possible, in fact, even likely, for the rational person to reject the wager. The simple reason for that is that it can be far, far worse to lose $6,000 than it could be to win $10,000 — $10,000 won isn’t enough to transform most people’s lives, $6,000 lost is enough to be a huge disaster for most people. It’s not just poor people, it’s anyone married. “Hi, honey, I just won $10,000,” might get one a kiss. “Hi honey, I just lost $6,000” might inspire a visit from the divorce lawyer. Think of it in the corporate sense, as well: a windfall profit simply means you get one good year, without affecting expected earnings for future years. A terrible loss can mean liquidation, which is forever, or, applying public choice theory, the loss of the decision maker’s job, which signifies in strategic gaming exactly the same as the liquidation of the company (since the company’s sole value to the decision maker is his own salary and expectations for future salary).

    Reply
  12. Karen

    As an entrepreneurial consultant today (who worked for big brand corporations as well as founded & ran an 11-year-old marketing firm with over 70 employees during the 90s and 00s), a couple of quick thoughts:
    1)most traditional consultants that go straight from grad school to consulting gigs have NEVER actually worked within a create-it/build-it/sell-it/deliver-it/support-it business world. Why companies continue to hire people who have never sat in any chair within a real-world business environment … an willingly take advice that is usually based on airy-fairy concepts, is still a mystery to me.
    2)having actually hired several such “brand name” resume consultants to join our entrepreneurial venture (thinking they would add great value because of their resume’) always was a disaster because in the end, all book smart/theory driven experience doesn’t equate to the true skills needed within an entrepreneurial environment: being “scrappers” … constant willingness to move/try new things, drive to survive, and eat what you kill vs. wait to be fed;
    and 3)until you are responsible for personally making payroll (whether just for you or the other hungry baby birds in your group), no one can ever really understand or call themselves an “entrepreneur!” Flying without a net and pulling miracles out of thing air is the DNA of an entrepreneur, which is the opposite DNA of most “traditional” consultants I’ve met, who are risk adverse and thrive within repeatable models and structure.

    Reply
  13. DD

    why compare them? What’s the point? They’re doing different jobs which add value in different ways, of course they’re different types. Seems this article’s aim is to praise entrepreneurs at consultant’s expense.

    Reply
  14. Denise Brinkmeyer

    I am an entrepreneur who got the biggest chuckle out of this post.
    B’s in college, check. I was too busy working for others and myself.
    Anything I need for my job that I have at home goes to the office with me.
    Testing the validity and importance of the evaluation before answering the question. We just won’t be suckered into a setup or a time-waster. I gotta know if triangle clips are included.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the entertainment. You nailed it.

    Reply
  15. IVgroup

    Nice post. And definitely fuel for thought. While delineating the differences between entrepreneurs and consultants helps us understand what appear on the surface as conflicting perspectives, the reality is that successful entrepreneurs and consultants have far more similarities than differences.
    There was an interesting article by Malcolm Gladwell in the January 2010 issue of the New Yorker (I’ve linked it in PDF form): http://www.allianceofceos.com/documents/forum/2010-01-Malcolm%20Gladwell%20-%20The%20Sure%20Thing.pdf
    In it, he argues that the most successful entrepreneurs are actually predators – and risk adverse. Like their successful consultant sisters (or brothers), they have an uncanny ability to analyze the situation, calculate the risks and take advantage of the situations that work in their (or their clients’) best interest.
    “The economist Scott Shane, in his book “The Illusions of Entrepreneurship”, makes a similar argument. Yes, he says, many entrepreneurs take plenty of risks  but those are generally the failed entrepreneurs, not the success stories. The failures violate all kinds of established principles of new-business formation. New-business success is clearly correlated with the size of initial capitalisation. But failed entrepreneurs tend to be wildly undercapitalized. The data show that organizing as a corporation is best. But failed entrepreneurs tend to organize as sole proprietorships. Writing a business plan is a must; failed entrepreneurs rarely take that step. Taking over an existing business is always the best bet; failed entrepreneurs prefer to start from scratch. Ninety per cent of the fastest-growing companies in the country sell to other businesses; failed entrepreneurs usually try selling to consumers, and, rather than serving customers that other businesses have missed, they chase the same people as their competitors do. The list goes on: they underemphasize marketing; they don’t understand the importance of financial controls; they try to compete on price. Shane concedes that some of these risks are unavoidable: would-be entrepreneurs take them because they have no choice. But a good many of these risks reflect a lack of preparation or foresight.”
    I would hazard a guess that regardless of which hat you choose to wear, whether an entrepreneur or a consultant, if you’re successful at what you do it’s because you have the ability to wear both those hats interchangeably.
    And for the record, I prefer a fedora.

    Reply
  16. Steve

    Auren, this really fits:
    > My definition of an entrepreneur is someone who steals office supplies from
    > home and brings them to work.
    I never submitted expense reports for the countless things needed to get the company going. Not that it didn’t cause other pains, but the focus overrode that. I knew that if we succeeded, it wouldn’t matter, and I didn’t give myself time to think about or plan for any other scenarios. As they say in poker, you have to go All In!

    Reply
  17. Auren Hoffman

    Steve: I really appreciate your comments (especially coming from you, a cofounder of Zynga: one of the fastest growing companies in history).
    entrepreneur should be all in!

    Reply
  18. www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=18811629

    What if you are both an entrepreneur and a consultant? We power the Facebook marketing for a number of brands, leveraging that money to pay our bills. Plus, the product we’re building for a fast food chain with 5,000 locations can be reused for a small business that has only 1 location.
    We deal with “strategy” and meetings during the day, while at night we move at hyper speed. Most of the folks in our company have two jobs. While VC funding would solve working capital issues, the scrappiness of entrepreneurship force us to be creative and very selective in what we do, which I believe results in a better product.
    But like Auren and Steve said– we’re all in!

    Reply
  19. Ian

    You know you could’ve left gender entirely out of it by using the word “they” or done “s/he” or “she/he” or “he/she” instead of “she” only to pointlessly throw in the fact that more women on average start more businesses than men.
    Do you have the statistics which gender starts the more businesses that make $50,000,000+ annually? Or which gender creates more innovative new ideas? I’d be significantly more interested in knowing that than how many women have opened their own coffee shop or something similar.
    Please find those statistics if you’re going to unnecessarily throw gender into the mix.

    Reply
  20. Dan

    I’m both an entrepreneur and a consultant. Both the entrepreneur and the consultant described in Tim’s post sounds like accountants to me. You could spend more than four hours a week just working on the maths. Flip the damn coin or go and do something else.

    Reply
  21. Colin

    you’d think if the entrepreneur was concerned about his tax liability in the coin flip, he’d have a pretty good understanding of the value his business has in purchasing office supplies with pre-tax money.
    When he’s taking office supplies at home and bringing them to work, he’s bringing supplies into his office that cost him 30%-50% more than if his business purchased them!
    I’d say these two characteristics of an entrepreneur contradict themselves…

    Reply
  22. Chandresh Adhiya

    George Bernard Shaw reflects the true philosophy of entrepreneurs in his statement
    **I hear you say “Why?” Always “Why?” You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”**
    I guess entrepreneurship is not choice, but its passion

    Reply
  23. Christian

    In the coin example, a REAL entrepreneur would not ask ANY question but grap his wallet, take out a coin, hand it to the interviewer and say: “Let’s go!”

    Reply
  24. Amalia Hoffman

    Auren,
    I love your definition that an entrepreneur is someone who steals supplies from home & brings them to the office. Most people need to have a routine which is standardized by someone else. The problem starts in early education- kids are schlepped from one activity to the next instead of inventing their own activity. When they are not programed, they watch TV when someone entertains them instead of coming up with their own stories & develop their own ability to create.
    Love the images you chose to accompany the article- very clever.
    Mom

    Reply
  25. Salvatore Greco

    Sick analogies in this post dude. It was like fresh air to read something that original.
    Great Job!!!!
    p.s. I know this comment was not very constructive and part of the conversation… But sometimes people have to say GREAT WORK!!!! Keep kickin ass…
    Surfs up,

    Reply
  26. Joshuanair

    Thanks for the post and the comments.
    I’m graduating from business school in 2012 and i’m deciding between strategy consulting and running startups (which i’ve been doing for the past year)
    Some days I relish the freedom of running ‘my own thing’ and the risks and rewards that come, other days I wish for the stability of more structured problem solving.
    Would love to see this as a deeper debate, because by proxy the consultant v.s entrepreneur question reflects the strengths and weaknesses of two different approaches to business.

    Reply
  27. Christerine Ooi

    Joshua, definitely a consultant. Too much analysis, too little gut feel. We have a saying in Singapore, analyze until paralyze. Heed Nike’s call.
    Nonetheless humurous article, enjoyed it.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  28. Henway

    My answer to the first question would be:
    1) Do we need to arrange a meeting for this game to take place? Can we do it now? Can we do it more than once? Can we repeat the game over and over? If it’s gonna take a few days to set things up, forget it. this is just 1 time income, not a life opportunity. Screw it.
    to the 2nd:
    2) Why are u asking me such a dull question? You’re the CEO of a huge company. Ask me about my vision, or what I’d do to expand business, or make employees happy.

    Reply
  29. Chris Dunn

    An entrepreneur has a lot more (sometimes everything) riding on business decisions. That can be a positive or negative thing.
    On the other hand, the consultant has an objective, non-emotional viewpoint that can make rational decisions. But the consultant doesn’t have as large of a potential upside as the entrepreneur, so he won’t be quite as determined to see the end result come to fruition – maximum profitability.
    Kind of like that realtor example in the “Freakonomics” documentary.
    – Chris Dunn

    Reply
  30. Matthew Roche

    Excellent article, but two comments:
    1. I find the “patience” reference in the Phrenology head funny. I think patience is death for an entrepreneur. I prefer “Fortitude”. Your job is not to wait with a zen-like state of peace. It is to fight every single day and never, ever, ever give up.
    2. My answer to the coin-flip: Why the f*** would I get involved in a game that is dependent on luck only? Leave that to the traders. I can accept that luck is part of startups, but I am still the captain of my destiny, not math.

    Reply
  31. Adrian doc

    This is intriguing.
    Let’s face it, most “consulting” these days is outsourced special projects. Charging a fee to do analytical work.
    PLUS sharing benchmarks (who else is gonna
    Am I wrong?

    Reply
  32. Mnel

    Well written and, interestingly, confirms the opinion above that to be a consultants one needs some arrogance 🙂

    Reply
  33. www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkhFVYrqac06hHainhPspmH6vVmuRoAsT4

    Nice study in contrasts, Thanks!
    What we really need, however, are more entrepreneurs with the guts to create value and intentionally keep that value out of the hands of the “moochers,” a-la Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” (seen the movie? http://www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/ )
    If that concept intrigues you, check out http://truthrealm.com and esp. the pages linking to ideas about “Agorism” and the Free Market.

    Reply
  34. Dave Evans

    Like Dan, I am an entrepreneur and a consultant. I started working with Internet sites and startups in 1993.
    I’m a consultant because I love helping people start and grow Internet businesses. I did the management consulting thing a decade ago working with big telco’s. Great learning experience but never again. I also founded and ran an Internet startup for a few years.
    “Consulting has no risk financially or personally” Couldn’t disagree more unless you are strictly speaking of large firms that basically charge too much for too little (unless you hire a firm to build a billing system or figure out airport logistics or something large-scale like that).
    Every month I am fighting for projects, blogging, speaking at conferences, podcasting, going on the radio and TV, doing biz dev, taking a slice of a startup and lot of other potentially terrifying leaps of faith. Thats how I roll, sometimes it works, other times = fail, but thats all part of the work and the lifestyle.
    I don’t see a lot of startups spending money with huge consulting firms. Especially when someone like me can deliver much of what they need, faster and more directly. But big co’s need to feel like they are safe with a large consulting firm. I get that.
    In my world, strategy is often simply about analyzing opportunities and aligning expectations. Straightforward talk about the marketplace and general understanding of whats happening in a sector.
    @ Scott “Strategy consultants are overpaid MBAs who make marginal improvements on already awesome ideas.” Stunning ignorance and bias there, but you are probably speaking from experience with BigFirm strategy consultants?
    Punch me in the face if I ever talk about paper clips and coins to a client. Drives me crazy to hear that bullshit.
    Thanks for making me realize once again how valuable I am to my clients.

    Reply
  35. Bmrothenberg

    My fiancé is a consultant at BCG and I’m an entrepreneur. We work through our differences as they come up (often), but I think we’re a stronger team because of our differences. Nice post though, made me smile.

    Reply
  36. Ndr

    No time to waste on this debate…I have real business decisions to make right now…real ones…like, am I going to sell to a top 100 listed company because they are threatened by what we have built (they will kill it off) , or stick it out to prove how big it can be in changing consumer and market behaviour.

    Reply
  37. Charity Drabik

    I too loved the discussion. However there is one definition difference. An Entrepeneur is not someone who opens a hair dresser or another place of business. they are Self-Employed. An Entrepeneur takes an exisiting business and improves upon it in some way or takes a new idea and makes a business niche out of it.

    Reply
  38. D

    Very good article. The very thing the author mention was in my thoughts for a while. This is how analytics verses commonsense. As an entrepreneur, I come up a lot of situations where commonsense opposes the analytics.
    Fine article, A love read.

    Reply
  39. Richardo

    Without entrepenures, consultants wouldn’t have jobs. Without consultants, entrepenures would still exist. Consultanting is also an entrepenure created business. Entrepreneurs rule, and that includes the consulting verity.

    Reply
  40. Kevin

    Auren, very relevant article for us. I’m working with a startup team that has a mix of experiences as entrepreneurs (Y Combinator), coders (MIT, software dev at tech companies), and management consultants (McKinsey). This post is especially interesting for us since it talks to the challenges we faced from our different perspectives, and how we had to work through them in an entrepreneurial environment.
    We’ve recently posted a blog series about our struggles (and solutions) in building our startup. Would love to get your thoughts on it, especially in the context of this article. It’s at http://behindthescenes.midtownrow.com

    Reply
  41. qsfportal.com

    Secret Key Drivers for Entrepreneurs

    The Power of Setting Clever Goals Goal setting could be a crucial think about all aspects of our lives. Whether or not its our family, social or business life, goals are the guiding forces. By investing time and energy into setting…

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  42. Manoneet Iitd

    Great post! Although I do believe that unless someone has an extremely innovative idea, the best path should be -> Undergrad -> Entrepreneurship on a small scale -> MBA -> Consulting -> Entrepreneurship on a large scale. Consulting is regarded as the best training ground for entrepreneurs and can give you the business skills to scale up the venture.

    Reply
  43. JuanTC

    Hi Manoneet, After read this great article, I’m little confused about doing strategic consulting after my MBA (short term goal) as a way to get more skills, until I can start up a great company (long term goal).
    I would like to know Why did you say that “Consulting is regarded as the best training ground for entrepreneurs?”
    Do you have more information about this path?. It would help me a lot. Thanks!
    If someone else want to share its thoughts about it, fell free to comment, please!

    Reply
  44. MilGrl

    Wow..hair dressers, huh? I don’t remember that as part of my military and finance background before I started my own firm. But thanks for letting me know what market segments are open to me as a woman in case I feel intimidated and out-gamed by hard-chargers like you. I was getting sick of being only 1 woman in a group of 100 men….and winning a fair slice of the market’s pie…

    Reply
  45. AD

    Great post.

    This comment nailed it:
    “Entrepreneurs believe in evolutionary approaches to business. Vary, select, and copy (aka throw it against the wall and see what sticks, then do it all over again with mutated copies of the stuff that sticks). Consultants believe in design/engineering. The former model is messy and relentlessly effective (just like evolution). The latter is, well, presumptuous (guess which model I believe in?).”

    Consultants are great at frameworks that may or may not apply and studying big one-time changes full of knowns. Great for giant companies, terrible for start-ups that change rapidly where over-theorizing is the enemy.

    Reply

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