Oftentimes in life you come to a point in the road, and you need to take a new direction. Like many of us, Minnesota School of Business (MSB) alumni Rob Shurtleff also needed a new direction and found himself enrolling in the business management program. With a goal in mind and a website design background, Shurtluff made the decision to jump back into college to reach his aspirations of becoming self employed as a website builder and internet marketer.
Since graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 2013, Shurtleff has made these goals a reality. He has opened his own business called Bob the Website Builder. I was able to catch up with Shurtleff, and he shared some insight into his life as an entrepreneur and how MSB has played a role in his career.
Why did you choose MSB-Online?
Essentially MSB is a military-friendly school. They also had a campus that was nearby in case I needed to take classes on campus and had an online division allowing me to take classes at my convenience from home. My interview with admissions was excellent, and subsequent experiences with the financial department allowed me to go to school full time, with minimum out of pocket expense.
Tell me about your business
In short, we provide small business website design solutions as the cornerstone of their comprehensive online presence.
What skills from the business management program do you apply to your own business?
The most important skill as an entrepreneur working from home is time management. Time must be appropriately divided among administration, marketing, finance and personal.
There is also a set of ethics that must be taken into consideration for all business decisions – in my case it was setting pricing and implementing fair billing. There must be a balance between unfairly charging too much yet charging enough to make a living.
You are a Navy veteran. How does your military background influence your work?
My military background has given me respect for authority as well as for others in general. My administrative experience there also gave me a strong foundation in how to implement a standard process in everything – and in this case, apply it to web design and consistently leading a prospective client from gathering information to final approval of design.
What words of encouragement would you give to a student who is making the decision to come back to college?
Going back to school is never an easy decision. One must make sure that time as well as financial resources are enough to satisfy the requirements of being successful in school. Pick a subject you love and have a good shot at being very talented at.
It is a big decision to become entrepreneur. What advice would you give to someone who is also making that choice?
The best job an entrepreneur can have is in an industry of what they love to do and are very good at doing. One must be very smart in what administrative tools and marketing options they invest in. Do your best to keep expenses to a minimum yet be careful to not lose a marketing opportunity if it is worth investing in. In the beginning, one will need a safety net of income to live on until the venture is off the ground and profitable.
What do you enjoy doing outside of your professional life?
Personal time is spent being with family in downtime, simply enjoying being in the moment. There is importance in keeping balance.
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