Say ‘YES’ More Often – How I Dropped Out of NYU MBA & Became A Successful Entrepreneur

Nistha Tripathi is the bestselling author of No Shortcuts that features the journeys of 15 successful founders from India. She is also the founder of Scholar Strategy, an education counseling company that prides itself in helping 100s of students getting into top universities across the world including Harvard and MIT.

I see many youths influenced by Warren Buffett’s advice – ‘really successful people say NO to almost everything’.

What students miss in that statement is that it is talking about what ‘successful’ people do, not what makes someone successful. Saying NO works only for people like Buffett, Gates etc who have already found a direction in life & whose time is much more valuable than exploring a mediocre opportunity. It does not work for freshers who are just starting out where an opportunity can be life changing.

Your time right now should be spent in exploring opportunities & figuring what works for YOU. For that, you need to say YES much more often. Do this so that you can find out what you should be spending time on eventually.

When I was pursuing MBA at NYU Stern, I knew I wanted to get into startups which do not have a set recruitment path like Investment Banking or Consulting. Full year, I was scrambling & saying YES to things like unpaid internship with a Venture Capitalist, working extra hours in a fellowship program, and organizing Stern’s first Entrepreneurship Summit. All these sucked out my time but this is what helped me get a coveted job offer even before I had graduated.

I again said YES when the Manhattan based startup asked me if I want to start right away. I dropped out of the MBA program & started working with them. That kick started my journey in the world of startups and laid the foundation for me to come back to India, start my own venture Scholar Strategy and write bestselling books.

Indian students can do so much better by developing this killer drive and go getter attitude. Unpaid internships are a great way to learn and develop skills which can immediately give you an advantage over someone who doesn’t do it. We are having a severe employment and skill development crisis in India. One cannot rely on college placement alone to get employed. You need to be creative, reach out to people you look up to, ask for work and if given an opportunity, kill at it.
Say more Yes’s initially so that you can have the luxury to say No later on.

Read the never-heard stories of Freshworks, Faasos, Unacademy, Zerodha, Slideshare, Pulse, Aspiring Minds, Madhouse/Morpheus, Akosha, Ather Energy, Instablogs, Greyb, LikeaLittle, Wingify and Fashiate in this book by Nistha Tripathi.

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This article was originally published on University Express, on March 09,2019.


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