The skeptic entrepreneur: embracing knowledge amidst a busy business life

3 minute read

In a world brimming with an ever-increasing torrent of information, it is easy to find oneself skeptical of many things.

As an entrepreneur and founder of my own company, I have long held onto my skepticism, cherishing it as a trusted confidant in my business decisions. This skepticism, paired with my fervent belief in the power of hard work, has shaped my career and the path of my company, turning it into a reality from a mere dream. Indeed, the skepticism kicked in when I thought of going back to school after starting a successful business. Laughable! Oh, the audacity of it all!

You see, I've always been a fan of learning the hard way, learning by doing, a path I've proudly trodden ever since I launched my company in 2019. It's kind of like being a stunt double, only without the cool slow-motion sequences. You're tumbling, fumbling and grappling, but you're getting paid for it. The bruises are many and frequent, but so are the lessons.

Then, lo and behold, a friend of mine in the Saïd Business School Executive MBA programme pointed me towards the Executive Diploma in Strategy and Innovation. Initially, I laughed it off. Going back to school? Never. Me? How could I, the always-busy, globe-trotting, too-cool-for-school, forever-skeptical entrepreneur, squeeze school into my schedule? My calendar is already so packed that even my leisure time needs a waitlist.

After some research I realized this was no ordinary diploma. It was designed for all the workaholic professionals out there who yearn for a sprinkle of 21st century spice (aka innovation) and a hint of Oxford-worthy cleverness (alias: strategy) in their professional repertoire, all without losing sleep or sanity. Shockingly, I discovered this academic venture offered real, applicable and digestible knowledge. Two modules in and I've already bagged a bunch of business 'light bulb' moments that aren't just flashy rewordings from the marketing department's jargon jukebox. 

The best part, however, is not just that the diploma is malleable enough to slide into my schedule, it’s the unexpected sanctuary it offers - a space to press pause and just... think. Imagine that! In my frenzied world of chasing deadlines and extinguishing crises, I had completely forgotten that thinking was a thing. The academic oasis of the Thatcher Executive Education Building in Oxford is the place and moment of respite where I’ve been able to ponder my business decisions, chew on strategies and cook up new innovative ideas. This 'pause' was like a breath of fresh air, and not the sort you get at the office, which smells suspiciously like burnt coffee and stress.

You know, it's funny how life comes full circle. My skepticism once made me laugh at the thought of returning to school as a successful entrepreneur. Now, this programme has taught me to see the humor in my past skepticism. Not to mention, it has made me a firm believer in the importance of targeted learning and strategic thinking. The power of hard consistent work still stands tall, but it seems to work better when my brain isn't in a constant sprint. 

So, if you are an entrepreneur or a busy professional with an entrepreneurial spirit, the journey lies not only in acquiring skills and knowledge but also in personal development and expanding your network. Its structure encourages expansive thought and fosters the opportunity to ponder, strategize and innovate, akin to sipping a refreshing cocktail for the brain.

I would definitely say, it’s a diploma worthy of serious consideration.

Oxford Executive Diploma in Strategy and Innovation