7 Things I Learned While Running a Business

Thought some of you may enjoy reading this. For the last 1-2 years, I've been running an editing service as a side gig. I probably won't operate it for too much longer because my regular job takes too much time, but I thought there were some good takeaways from running it that I will definitely consider for any future business I start. After all, that is my end goal. I'd be happy to answer any questions!

For the past 1.5 years, I've run an editing service with a friend from Germany. Having studied abroad twice, I've had several international friends (non-native English) ask me to look over their papers for grammar mistakes, and they would usually compensate me with dinner or alcohol. Alcohol was the preferred payment, as Systembolaget (Sweden's government-run liquor chain) was beyond expensive. When I returned home after the second stint abroad, I reconnected with a friend I had met abroad, and we decided that there might be a market for offering affordable editing services, as editing services are typically not within a student's budget. At the time, most base prices started at $0.02/word, so you can do the math for a thesis/dissertation that is over 20,000 words. No student wants to spend their paycheck from their part-time job on this kind of service. We figured if we kept expenses low, we could charge low and become the "student-friendly editing service." Here are the top seven things I learned about running a business:

#1. A lot of competition is never good.

Why I Enjoy Networking with Candidates

I thought I'd write a networking post from a different perspective. We often see advice on WSO from people who are undergrads or recent hires with advice on how to network into the industry (good fresh perspectives from people who have recently navigated "the system"). I wanted to give a bit of insight from a different perspective as someone on the other side who participates in looking for talent: This is why I enjoy networking and how I think about it.

"I want to find the next 'me'."

I've noticed everyone I've ever met who participates in recruiting is a bit biased in this regard. We like hiring people who resemble us. For me, I respond very well to people who are highly technical and comfortable with numbers. I have a tendency to geek out. I fully acknowledge there is much more to IBD than this, but this is my soft spot. For others it's being a varsity athlete. Another favourite is school backgrounds (If I can be so bold as to say: you Americans love it when you see someone from the same school, especially non-targets).

My Advice: People are much more responsive if you have some kind of hook. If your initial contact is too "copy and paste" it risks fading into the background. The best cold callers I've seen are the ones who take a few extra minutes to customize the email by doing a quick LinkedIn creep to find a common thread.

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Mod Note (Andy): Make sure to check out the comment inside the post by @M- Weintraub

So, it's been a while since I've provided content to this wonderful website (sorry Patrick). But, I figure now would be a good time.

I just received a nice "Your no longer being considered for this job" update on a job I interviewed for a couple weeks ago. So while I'm still disappointed I figured I'd ask the group, what are some of your best rejection stories, whether it be a job or a girl or really anything.

Rewind - How to become a Certified Financial Planner+ Q&A – 8am ET, 8/2/2015

In case you missed our July 2nd webinar entitled How to become a Certified Financial Planner, have no fear. The full recording of the webinar will be available for free on the WSO homepage on this date: (free for only 24 hours and then it goes into our Video Library). Do you want to a 1 on 1 mentoring session with John? Click below:


To see the original event page with a description of the webinar and read more information about the presenter click here.

All rewinds will be available everyday at 8am ET.

And, as always, if you want to sign up to hear about upcoming webinars before they happen, sign up inside the post...

August 2, 2015 - 8:00am to August 3, 2015 - 8:00am
Event type: 
WSO Webinar

WSO Happy Hour: The Return of AndyLouis (Thursday, Aug. 15)

"I'm telling you, the man can drink." - WSO User Frieds

We'll have a special guest in town for this coming WSO Happy Hour--Mr. AndyLouis! He'll be in New York from Buenos Aires in August and is looking for a good time to party with the monkeys of WallStreetOasis. He's also making up for missing this year's WSOCon. :-)

Come and help make his stay a success!

Join us at our old standby pub, the Galway Hooker, located on 36th Street between 5th and Madison, to meet your fellow simians and down some food and drink. 21+ only, please; mention WallStreetOasis.com at the door, and you'll be directed to the pub room (ground floor, all the way in the back).

August 15, 2015 - 7:00am
Event type: 
Other Happy Hour

Sign up for the webinar notification email list

I've heard from some people that they had trouble finding out how to sign up for this list. Add your name/email to the form below and you'll be notified of future webinars. FYI I email 30min before each webinar with a link to join in + each email includes info for upcoming webinars and webinar rewinds.

Wall Street Oasis SEO Interns Needed NOW

Wall Street Oasis is looking for several hard working individuals to join our intern team to help with online-marketing tasks, specifically Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and link-building.

See inside the post for more info >>>

Webinar: A brief overview of the similarities and differences between the top -- 7pm ET, 8/5/15


On Wednesday Aug 5th, 7pm ET Wall Street Mentor Alex will be hosting a webinar entitled "A brief overview of the similarities and differences between the top", with a q&a session to follow. Alex is an industry veteran and founder of mbaapply.com.


If you missed the webinar, it will be available on the homepage for 24 hours (in 1 month, on September 5th at 8am ET after the initial presentation), before going into the WSO Video Library.

August 5, 2015 - 7:00am to 8:00am
Event type: 
WSO Webinar

The ‘Business Cycle’ framework

This post is a follow-up to one of my earlier posts, 'Stop reading the news thoughtlessly and develop a macro framework' which had generated some interest among WSO users. In this post, I'll briefly introduce the perspective of 'business/economic cycle' and then show how investors can draw practical conclusions from this concept using publicly available data.

Summer Reading List: How to Get Rich Quick, or at Least Kill a Few Hours

Ever since I can remember, I have read to enrich my experiences. So now, as a proud business school graduate, I can reflect on the books that enhanced my MBA experience. Regardless of career or sector, I think all of the titles below have valuable lessons that one can apply both professionally and personally. Happy reading and if you aren't a millionaire after reading these, it's probably your own fault!

The Cliches: From Barbarians to Billionaires

Barbarians at the Gate- Described by a MarketWatch columnist as "the best business book ever", this was the first book I read during my MBA. The history of CEO Ross Johnson's bidding war against KKR reads like a thriller and reinforced a number of fundamental concepts I learned in my introductory corporate finance class. For example: DCFs, earnings multiples, and comparable transactions are great estimates of what a business is worth, but the true value of a company is what someone is willing to pay for it.

Cost Estimators: The Bankers of the Construction Industry

Recently guys I have started a career in the construction industry as a project manager and cost estimator for a local company (boutique) and have seen the underlying similarities to the bankers of the financial world.

It's also a career most finance and business guys haven't heard of because the companies almost purely recruit from those interested in the construction world (civil engineers and construction science majors more so). Although it is exceptionally easy to get into with a finance/business degree because many of them don't have the education at all.

Just what exactly is a cost estimator?

2016 Full-time IB Recruiting Timeline Megathread

It's that time of year again, folks. Time to polish those resumes, fire up the LinkedIn and WSO search functions, and bug the hell out of the career advisers at your schools. It's recruiting time!

We are all looking for information on timelines and deadlines for every bank possible. If you or your school has information on important upcoming dates, please, please, please share them with us!

I'll collect all the information I can here in this first post, and I'll update it from info in the body of the thread. If you have information and you don't want to post for whatever reason, PM me and I'll add it.

I realize some of this will be speculation, so if you see something here you know not to be true, let me know.

Applications / Interviews / Superdays