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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 11 College Classes Aspiring Entrepreneurs Should Take

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 11 College Classes Aspiring Entrepreneurs Should Take

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

What’s one non-business college class you recommend all aspiring entrepreneurs take and why?

1. Yoga

Darrah Brustein

    I went to Emory, and in addition to our academic courses, we had PE requirements. It didn’t occur to me until years later how grateful I was to have taken up yoga in college because it became a big way for me to get in a workout and destress later on in business. Namaste.

    Darrah Brustein, Finance Whiz Kids | Equitable Payments

    2. Neuroscience or Psychology

    brian-silverman

      Learning the underpinnings of how people think is truly what business is all about. To make any type of sale, you need to know what people want. It is a great way to learn about business in a non-business sense and think about things in a different manner.

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      Bryan Silverman, Star Toilet Paper

      3. Journalism

      Danny Wong

        Basic journalism teaches you to ask two important questions that are crucial in an entrepreneurial setting. “How?” and “Why?” All the other questions come easy, but when you can quantify and qualify different aspects of your business, you develop incredible insights that will help you grow smarter.

        Danny Wong, Blank Label

        4. Applied Psychology

        Patrick Conley

          Having a solid understanding of the fundamentals of human psychology will help you so much in developing your sales process. Psychology is all about understanding why people do what they do, and this directly affects your ability to sell your product. If you’ve already graduated college, a great crash course on the topic is “Influence” by Robert B. Cialdini.

          Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes

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          5. Photoshop

          Matt ehrlichman

            It’s an amazing tool to be able to quickly mock up ideas and share them with your team, investors, etc. The only problem is that it’s so feature-rich and complex that it can be daunting to learn on your own. An intro college course in Photoshop is the perfect way to get comfortable with it so you can add this tool to your arsenal down the road.

            Matt Ehrlichman, Porch

            6. Anything

            Joe Barton

              Anything that interests you! As entrepreneurs, we can get wrapped up in work — especially during the launch phase of a company. It’s important to have some outlets, interests, hobbies and other areas of growth outside of business.

              Joe Barton, Barton Publishing

              7. Science Fiction

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              Derek Flanzraich

                Entrepreneurship is all about dreaming up things that don’t exist yet and couldn’t possibly be done — and that’s exactly what science fiction is about. The best writers (Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, etc.) don’t just write about monsters and aliens, but about humanity placed in a new, previously untold reality.

                Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

                8. Creative Writing

                Kim Kaupe

                  Nothing helps an entrepreneur more than being able to speak and write elegantly and properly. It is one thing to have great ideas, but it’s another to put them down effectively on paper and have the idea come across with all of its excitement, energy and inspiration. Well-written emails, engaging pitches and thoughtful thank-you notes can give any entrepreneur a competitive edge.

                  Kim Kaupe, ‘ZinePak

                  9. Art and Design

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                  doreen-bloch

                    Taking an art or design class in college is an off-beat, yet fantastic course for aspiring entrepreneurs. With the technology industry becoming so visually dominated these days, entrepreneurs need to be able to tap into the creative side of their brains to effectively market themselves. If your school offers Web design or UXUI classes in particular, jump on the opportunity to sign up.

                    Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

                    10. Theater

                    Reid Carr

                      It can teach you how to adapt to environments, read people, speak clearly, project to an audience, vividly illustrate a point, provide confidence and deliver a show. Which, after all, is how most new business is won.

                      Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive

                       

                      11. World Cultures

                      Natalie McNeil

                        Business is global today no matter what field you’re working in, and we are all so interconnected. Entrepreneurs should have an understanding of other cultures’ customs and ways of doing things. Traveling and learning about other cultures, business customs and religions have really deepened my appreciation for the tapestry we’re all a part of, and it has made me a much better entrepreneur!

                        Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World

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                        Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                        15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                        15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                        You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

                        Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

                        A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

                        Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

                        So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

                        1. Purge Your Office

                        De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

                        Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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                        Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

                        2. Gather and Redistribute

                        Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

                        3. Establish Work “Zones”

                        Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

                        Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

                        4. Close Proximity

                        Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

                        5. Get a Good Labeler

                        Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

                        6. Revise Your Filing System

                        As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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                        What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

                        Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

                        • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
                        • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
                        • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
                        • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
                        • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
                        • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
                        • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

                        Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

                        7. Clear off Your Desk

                        Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

                        If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

                        8. Organize your Desktop

                        Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

                        Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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                        Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

                        9. Organize Your Drawers

                        Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

                        Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

                        10. Separate Inboxes

                        If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

                        11. Clear Your Piles

                        Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

                        Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

                        12. Sort Mails

                        Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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                        13. Assign Discard Dates

                        You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

                        Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

                        14. Filter Your Emails

                        Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

                        When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

                        Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

                        15. Straighten Your Desk

                        At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

                        Bottom Line

                        Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

                        Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

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                        Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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