I have to tell ya, business school did a SHIT job of preparing young, aspiring business owners like me to use the one marketing tool we would use more than anything: socials. When I was a sophomore in college, I took a marketing class, a checkmark under my Entrepreneurship major and Business Degree. We learned about Costco's business model and studied a few charts that some major corps used in the 1980's but that was about it.
The irony in it is that the students scrolling Instagram on their phones were getting in trouble for being a distraction. Scrolling your Instagram feed was your only chance at actually learning current marketing strategy in those 90 minute sessions, though. Personally, I think some chick with a poodle in her purse and 540k followers would've been more suited for the job, or better yet, a class on how to shoot and edit photos and videos. The reality is that marketing is constantly changing, and while I certainly understand the importance of marketing campaigns and discovering your target market, the number one tool we use as business owners to reach those members of our market is socials and the marketing courses in College are failing to keep up.
That isn't to say that business school was an utter waste of my time, because it wasn't. I needed to struggle in that accounting class to realize I would more than likely need some strong software and a brilliant CPA on my side to help me keep my books and taxes in check (props to Drew Lamb with KLLW, LLP). I also made connections, discovered myself, found a support system for starting a business, and learned how to cook A LOT in those days. It also bought me some time to figure out what I needed to do in life to feel fulfilled and it forced me to move to a new city alone and ease into the life changes that come with that.
Today, I lot of my clients are looking at universities for their kids and I have noticed a few of them questioning: is this really worth a couple hundred grand? Well I don't know your financial situation so I won't apply a dollar amount to "worth it vs. not", but I will say this: moving out of state and away from my family was the best thing I ever did. I love my family, obviously, but I needed to grow as an individual without so much of their influence. I needed the time to make a bunch of mistakes early on while under my employers' dimes. Those helped me get my good sense of direction for running my business and helped me identify what's important. I also worked full time through college and worked in a bit of tuition reimbursement. That whole experience alone was worth it. I also now have a support system and something to be proud of. Clients hear about my Belmont University Education and almost always respond, "Oh wonderful, Belmont! Great business program!" Maybe the traditional education isn't for everybody, and that's okay. I think I would've been just fine with a culinary degree or something, but looking back, I am happy about the path I chose.
My name is Tyler King and I love to write about my journey, not only in the kitchen, but in the ever changing world of entrepreneurship. I graduated from Belmont University's Entrepreneurship program in 2018 and started Tastify that same year. I hope you all find something of value in my blog posts! Definitely reach out if you have any ideas or questions!