Saturday, January 3, 2009

Entrepreneurial New 2009 Attitude

I want to wish you all a happy 2009. I'm really optimistic for this year. There's always something about new beginnings, the unlimited potential, the unbridled hope, the promise. But it's more than that. Each year we get smarter and become better people (I like to think that we are always striving toward our ideal selves). Anything is possible right? Theoretically at least :) I'm happy because 2008 wasn't that great. World economy aside, I hated my job and didn't feel like I took advantage of all the social opportunities I should've. I guess we all feel like that every now and then but it still sucked. 2009 is wonderful because I will be resigning from my soul-sucking job in several months and embarking on a new adventure, CBS, and making new friends, learning new things, and making a new life. We all love the promise of re-inventing ourselves, don't we?

I have several resolutions for the new year (a dozen actually) but I won't bore you with all of them. After all, half of them pertain to how I can dominate better at pick-up basketball and my gym routine. The other half is about personal development and I guess, more important (arguably). No need to share them all but I do want to read more. I have never been an avid reader (or any kind of reader) before a couple months ago. Then I read "Ahead of the Curve" and enjoyed it thoroughly. Today, I read "Who Moved My Cheese?" (really cute and good-for-you kind of read, I do recommend it). One of my favorite new friends of 2008 got me an unexpected holiday present too: a book. Who'd have thunk it? It's Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" and it's a really good read thus far. I've gone through half of it in only 2 days, an unprecedented pace for me. I found it so intriguing that I stopped by the bookstore earlier today and read the intro to his other popular book, "Tipping Point", and enjoyed it too. Good stuff. The best part of it is that the books have a motivational message. We can all be entrepreneurs and set our own courses, create our own fortunes. We are fortunate in that we can do whatever we want. We're lucky.

With that sense of optimism, I have come to a new revelation in my b-school potential careers journey. I'm thinking I could be an entrepreneur and start my own business. It's not earth-shattering and it's not a new invention and it's not terribly innovative or important. It's merely a very small-scale business idea but it tickles my fancies. I get excited about it. I'm not going to sound like a fool and attempt to describe my idea but it does give me some direction. During my MBA, I can focus on entrepreneurship and learn about managing my supply chain, attracting investors, managing personnel, and marketing and all that good stuff. After all, I've always thought that entrepreneurs gained the most from MBA curriculums. Maybe I could even take advantage of Columbia's Entrepreneurial Greenhouse (doubtful tho cuz my idea isn't that kind of thang). But it's something to pursue that would let me enjoy my life. I'm thinking that I could also study finance and try to go into Sales & Trading post-MBA while I simultaneously cultivated my business idea at night. The good thing about trading is that you primarly work market hours and thus have your nights free. Trading is also incredibly interesting to me (and I actually have the experience to get a full-time job when the economy rebounds by 2011, fingers crossed). In fact, I really like trading as a job/career option except for it's lack of exit options. And that's where the entrepreneurial venture comes in. Maybe my business can be established by the time I want to (or need to) exit trading and I can just do that full-time. Love it.

So new directions and new ideas are exciting to me. I have other resolutions too but they're not particularly interesting. For instance, I want to eat more fruit and less junk, I want to be more outgoing and make an effort to make more new friends, etc. But I gotta say that this reading thing is awesome. Makes me feel like more of a person. Plus it gets me thinking, a fun pasttime despite what Gaston and Lefou might try to say (free Sloan or Yale SOM pen for anyone who knows where that reference is from).

I know resolutions sound dorky but I only make realistic ones and I enjoy the ones I've made. In fact, I think my next resolution should be to actually write my first business plan (dun dun dun). My idea may suck but the possibility of success is there. Then I wouldn't have to live a corporate lifestyle (something which I hem and haw over at times) and could live the rest of my life in the East Village happily ever after :)


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

i'm a new reader of ur blog, and really enjoy reading it :) your new year resolutions are quite interesting - about the book reading, i could not agree more. i've been an avid reader for many years now, and i love the rush of feeling you get when holding a new book. a really interesting read by the way, is 'freakonomics'..

TienyChesney said...

hey Anon,

welcome aboard! and thanks for the kind words. and freakonomics is one of the few popular businessy books i've already read... i tried getting into reading a year ago too and that was the catalyst at the time hehe

D. G. said...

Hey Dude. Look forward to seeing how your plans develop. :-)

I might be by NYC in a few weeks. Where is it that you are these days?

-- D.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tieny,

Also a loyal reader of your blog, though first time poster. Have been thru same app process simultaneously with you and will be joining CBS next fall. Look forward to "living in fast forward" at CBS, I "never wanted nothing more". I am currently in MC, and have had a minor revelation the past months about starting own business. There are so many opps out there, especially in the online industry. One of my hopes from the MBA is that a bunch of entrepreneur-wannabes can team up and start something cool. Andy

Dagny said...

Hey there,

You have maintained a great blog. Neverthelsess since you are staring your B School Journey, the only thing that I'd suggest that never let your entreprenural dreams die. You would get some lucrative offers during your placement period and that time would become the most crucial time for you to decide.

Let me also suggest you a few books before I say cya to you.:)

Alchemist by Paulo C.
The Catcher in the Rye- JD Salinger
Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand

Good Luck :)

TienyChesney said...

@ Andy,
Haha, maybe we can be investors in each other's ventures :P You'd be surprised to hear how small-scale my idea is though (but it's scalable if I want it to be). Glad to hear from you and don't worry, I'm only 10% as crazy as I sound on this blog. Promise!

Thanks for the suggestions- been meaning to read Ana Karenina for awhile now... funny enough, Franny & Zooey is prob my favorite book ever. I am thinking of doing the entrepreneurial dream as a side-project to my corporate career until it takes off... and I like your optimistic thinking- I can only hope that I'll be juggling lucrative offers like you envision!

Samantha said...

I spent the latter half of 2008 getting through Anna Karenina, but it's worth it. And speaking of Salinger, I just finished Nine Stories -- phenomenal. Why must he be such a loner freak in the woods? I want more Salinger! Now I'm working on page 400 out of 900 of Vanity Fair. Fun.

Starting a business sounds awesome, but also very intimidating. I also have an idea I want to pursue...hopefully b-school will inspire us.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tieny- Congrats on your admit! Since you're the resident CBS expert in the blogging world (how do you like that designation?)... do you know the % of candidates that are invited to interview at Columbia?

TienyChesney said...

Does your idea involve starting the Pinkberry franchises in states other than NY and Cali?

Thanks for the compliment- flattery will get you everywhere ;) CBS actually doesn't publish an interviewed percentage stat. But if you ask the adcom, they'll give you a variety of answers depending on the person and time. I've heard numbers ranging from 40% to 50%. I imagine that's somewhat accurate. One of the assistant directors actually said she didn't know but she imagines "near 50%" when asked at an admissions info session in September. Feel free to shoot me any other questions!

Samantha said...

Good idea, I hope they're already working on expansion.

My idea is more of the opposite of pinkberry since it would sell to the obese!

Kaps said...


A new reader 2 ur blog.
Congs for making it to CBS.

I too have applied to CBS, but in the 2nd round.
Yet to hear from the adcom...
Any suggestions for interview(if invited).
Also, any general tips on what to do after application submission( other than intervu prep)

TienyChesney said...

Hey Kaps,

Welcome! You should def read my posts regarding the CBS interview for strategy, questions (alumni ask questions based on a script), and other hi-jinks. Also, you should check out Clear Admit's interview wiki which is a compilation of interview questions. You should be able to google it.

As far as what to do after you've submitted all your apps, there really isn't much I would suggest aside from prepping for potential interviews. You can try to relax but I know that'll be tough. You can try to think of jobs/careers but I still think it's best to use your time to ace those interviews so you can schedule them as soon as you get the invitation.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is a great blog and I have been following your journey - congratulations. I have a very similar profile to you and was wondering if I could email you for application tips. What is your email address?


TienyChesney said...

Hi D,

Hello and welcome! I'd be happy to provide any tips. If you don't feel comfortable posting them on my blog, then yeah, we can definitely email. But would you mind posting your email addy and I'll contact you instead? I'd prefer that to posting my own email address. I can promise to delete your post that contains your email addy in it within 12 hours if you prefer.

Pooja said...

Hi Tieny,

I have received an interview call from Columbia as well, and wanted to get all the info I can about the school and interviewing with them. Do you think we could talk sometime about the same?
My mail ID is
Hope to hear from you soon.


TienyChesney said...

Hi Pooja,

Congrats on the invite! that's half the battle. I'd really recommend that you read my posting on my interview debrief because I post all the interview questions (CBS interviews from a script). Also, check out the Clear Admit interview wiki which you should be able to find thru a google search. Honestly, there isn't much else to know- the wiki will have more than all the info you'll ever need to know. Good luck, mate!