I had just graduated in law. I didn’t want to be a lawyer. I always knew that. When I was sixteen, my father had asked me, “what is that you want to do with your life?” without hesitation, I replied, “I want to be an entrepreneur!”
Not that I knew what it meant. But for me being an entrepreneur felt like freedom and control over my own life. While I was very clear about that already at sixteen; in my family, none had gone through this path.
My parents are both professionals (university professor and doctor), and they didn’t and still don’t have a clue about what the entrepreneurial world requires.
Thus, I just did what it felt safer. I kept studying, ended up in one of the most prestigious Italian universities, and got my degree in law. As soon as out from law school, I was sure I didn’t want to be a lawyer. Not at all! It didn’t even cross my mind.
Well, I ended up in a law firm! It took me about a month an a half to understand there was no way I would have stayed longer. Thus, I took my bag, left, and never got back.
As I still wanted to be an entrepreneur, I thought that business school was the closest thing to get there. I had two options at that stage, go back at the university and study economics and business administration. Or take a faster route. Go to business school and get an MBA degree.
What did I do? A few months later, I was sitting in an MBA class, learning everything from corporate finance to business strategy. It was fun, rewarding, and I met a lot of interesting people.
However, I noticed a few problems right away:
- while most subjects were good, many others were what I like to call “fillers.”
- Business tools used were outdated.
- While we did study many practical cases, it still was mostly fictional.
- Two years was a crazy amount of time to be out of the job market.
- The MBA was quite expensive.
- There was little to no acknowledgment that the business world had been turned upside down.
- Entrepreneurship was a tiny part of the curriculum.
Fast forward the end of the MBA; I still didn’t feel I had the tools to become an entrepreneur.
Into financial analysis
I moved into finance and joined a company in San Diego as a financial analyst for about three years.
For how much I tried to be employable, I felt very weird in reporting to other people. It felt strange to spend countless hours in an office. It felt even more bizarre to be playing hours and hours with excel sheets.
And though I managed a small team within the company, I felt sorry for them! I was pushing myself and them into the 9-to-5 rat race. I felt even more frustrated, as I was driving not only myself but a group of people I was leading into this!
I was living the Californian lifestyle, and I had it all from the outside (my friends still ask why did I ever get back to Italy, they think I got nuts!). Yet within I felt condemned to a well-paid career that gave me frustration, stress, and regret of not having tried to start my own business.
The frustration grew over the months, until the day of March 2015, I put my resignation letter to my boss. I packed, left San Diego, and moved for a couple of months to NYC. I figured I needed that transition before going back to Italy.
While I was receiving job offers in NYC in the financial industry, it didn’t feel right to me. Why leave a well-paid, yet slave job in San Diego for another one in NYC? So I picked up a few books, and found out that there was a whole digital world that I hadn’t explored at all!
I thought that if I’d take the experiences made at that point, I could turn that into an online business school, which would become the home for practitioners to share their knowledge experience to help other people that were transitioning toward becoming entrepreneurs.
That project became the FourWeekMBA! I started with plenty of enthusiasm to produce all sorts of contents from ebooks to courses. But I failed miserably.
Why did I fail?
- I started from a topic I wasn’t that passionate about.
- I didn’t use tools like beta testing, MVP, lean methodologies.
- I launched without audience feedback.
- I didn’t have an audience in the first place.
- I lacked distribution on my platform.
- The content was good, but it didn’t create a sense of community around it.
- I didn’t take the time to build a brand (at the time, I thought that marketing was useless for people that thought in hard numbers).
Fast forward 2016, the school didn’t take off. I was generating passive income, and I was adding more and more students. But mostly on external platforms which didn’t enable me to create a community around FourWeekMBA.
What lessons did I learn?
Well, If I needed to succeed in my entrepreneurial journey, I needed to master the sales, distribution, and marketing side, which I was lacking. Thus, equipped with the lessons learned at that stage. I joined a tech start-up by the end of 2016.
The challenge was to build up from scratch the whole sales and distribution strategy. I jumped on it, and after almost three years, I’m now the head of the business development.
We’ve built a profitable company that passed the six figures mark at its second year of operations.
I’ve learned many lessons related to marketing, sales, and distribution along the way.
While on the job, I also realized that if I wanted to build a successful distribution strategy, I needed to be able to dissect any business to extract valuable knowledge I could use to build my own business.
I did examine businesses in the past but primarily looking at hard numbers. I needed a more strategic toolbox for that.
I stumbled upon the various business models frameworks. That is why in 2018, I steered FourWeekMBA toward business modeling. For me, that was the chance to take a real-life Ph.D. in business modeling and digital entrepreneurship.
Thus, I started to document it all, so I could finally build the business school I had in mind.
Fast forward 2019, FourWeekMBA had grown in a year and a half into one of the leading blogs on the topic. I had reached over half a million people in a few months. And over a hundred thousand people each month and growing.
Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t been easy. During the day I worked, and I still do for a tech start-up and late at night and weekends I’ve spent them building up FourWeekMBA.
For how hard I worked, I didn’t need reasons to keep going. Motivation came easily.
A strong why
I had, and I have a strong why. In short, I had found the sweet spot, what Bud Caddell would call the “Hooray moment”:
Business schools all over the world (including top-tier schools like MIT and HBS) referenced the materials from the blog in their classes. More and more people started to join the community. And significant publications (Forbes included) started to reference FourWeekMBA.
So far, so good, isn’t it?
Well, at this stage, it feels great to have got so far. However, to finally accomplish the mission of FourWeekMBA, I’m finally building up from scratch the FourWeekMBA Academy. It will be an online business school, which pretty much will give you all the tools and frameworks to succeed.
What’s next, then?
Those are the steps I have in mind:
- in September 2019, I’m launching the “Business Model Innovation” workshop.
- That workshop will become part of the FourWeekMBA Academy.
- The FourWeekMBA Academy will be enriched with transcripts, audios, interviews, videos, and more.
- With the financial resources gathered via the webinar series will bootstrap the additional video production. That way, I can also have other experts and practitioners share their experiences to enrich the academy!
- Last but not least, I’ll be adding from September-December 2019, a few hours of content based on your feedback so that the Academy will be the place that will make you thrive!
What do you get?
The workshop will last 90 minutes and we’ll cover:
- #1: Business models basics for entrepreneurs and professionals
- #2: Mindset and methodologies of digital entrepreneurship
- #3: The fundamental tools you need as an entrepreneur and professionals to succeed
- #4: The critical facets of digital strategy and digital distribution to make your business gain traction
- #5: How to use business model innovation to build or grow a digital business
What additional bonuses will you get?
- BONUS #1: Access to live workshop (value $299).
- BONUS #2: One Year Of Access to the FourWeekMBA Academy Beta launching on January 2020 (value $1200 per year).
- BONUS #3: The Business Model Innovation playbook, part of the workshop (value $49).
- BONUS #4: Invite-only LinkedIn Group.
- BONUS #5: The “An Entire MBA In Four Weeks” which will be the FourWeekMBA Flagship Course available starting from January 2020 (value $499).
In short, you’ll get all those things worth $2,047 at only $99!
Will this price be available again in the future?
You’ve been part of my community for a while. And you are still helping me to build it! Each feedback, question, and conversation we had you helped me understand how to create value for many other potential entrepreneurs and professionals.
I want to make sure FourWeekMBA will enable the next hundred digital entrepreneurs for next year, and the same number of professionals to be able to use these tools within their existing organizations!
That is why I’m letting you join it at this price, now!
The workshop will last 90 minutes and we’ll cover:
#1: Business models basics for entrepreneurs and professionals
#2: Mindset and methodologies of digital entrepreneurship
#3: The fundamental tools you need as an entrepreneur and professionals to succeed
#4: The critical facets of digital strategy and digital distribution to make your business gain traction
#5: How to use business model innovation to build or grow a digital business