I remember having the biggest pit in my stomach when I looked at the debt I took on to start my business. My wise (and thankfully, supportive) husband put the situation in perspective for me: “It’s a lot less than student loans for an MBA.” I began thinking of this business as a real-life MBA program. Each time I encountered a situation where I didn’t know what to do or where I had to learn a lesson the hard way, I viewed it as My Semester in Trademark Laws or The Class Project in Organizational Hierarchy instead of That Time I Didn’t Know Anything or When I Screwed That Thing Up. Treating the business as a learning experiment - my DIY MBA - has allowed me to focus on the learning instead of on the failing.

I wrote the above for a Plywood People ebook called Sound Advice. I am thankful for the daily opportunities to add to my DIY education, and I've found immense joy in sharing these lessons with others as they craft their own education. I've had the opportunity to share with organizations like Chick-Fil-A and Gather Workshop, and I now get to work with start-up leaders in all stages on a daily basis via my role with Plywood People, a non-profit that leads a community of start-ups doing good.