MBA to get into Banking/PE or make 200k/yr running my Amazon business?

I studied finance at a non target and had my first internship working on middle-market IB deals. I was unable to land an offer in banking and I hated the thought of working a mundane, back office job so I decided to start my own company.

I currently make 200k a year running my own Amazon business but I'm in my late 20's now and I still want to pursue a career in banking/PE. I'm thinking about getting my MBA to get recruited as an associate at a BB but idk if its worth the tradeoff. I would have to take a step back from managing/growing my business to start focusing on MBA prep and may have to drop it completely if I do get into BSchool.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Comments (32)

Oct 13, 2016

Are you 100% that you need to shut everything down if you go to business school?
Then again, if you can grow your business further, I am not sure you actually want to go work for someone else...

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Oct 13, 2016

I think this depends on how much effort you're putting into it, how scalable it is, and if there's any moat to your business. You will probably make less per hour as an associate, and that's after you give up 2 years for bschool. Keep in mind it'll be tough to get into PE without a PE background before bschool.

If you end up going to bschool and want to sell it, PM me.

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Oct 13, 2016

If you think you can scale that business then def. stay and do that. But it is a little risky - maybe you flatten out at $200k and it starts to decline in 5 years and now you're 35 and looking for finance jobs competing with people who are a decade younger than you.

I'd go to bschool and hire someone to run the business while you study and keep it going while you're in school.

Just curious - what type of business? You resell stuff on Amazon? Is it something that could potentially be cut-out by Amazon?

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Oct 13, 2016

I don't see why you can't continue to run the business while going to school. I'm assuming you can hire someone to deal with some of the mundane tasks and spend 5-10 hours a week on the important stuff (sourcing/buying products, monitor sponsored products ads, etc). Its a long road to get into PE though, MBA+BB and you're still a long shot to get into PE.

Best Response
Oct 15, 2016

Business School/Banking Route: Give up 2 years of salary, go learn a lot of stuff you probably already know practically from running a business. Then grind away for 2+ years to get to VP where you can make a similar salary to where you are now. Also, you aren't working for yourself anymore and have a boss that can ruin your weekend to put together a PIPE deck on Friday afternoon for a longshot client.

What You are doing now: Grow your business further/diversify into other ventures using free cash flow (franchises, original concepts, etc.) and in 5-10 years be the person bankers are begging for deal flow from.

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Oct 13, 2016

@Mergers and Executions im curious to hear more about the business to the extent you're willing to share details

Oct 17, 2016

after university i worked for an ebay/Amazon store with similar revenue numbers. then started doing my own consulting for small ecommerce businesses before leaving for Buenos Aires, and then working for WSO.

The product(s) you're selling may not bring in that revenue in the future, but good entrepreneurs know how to adapt. If at heart you feel you are an entrepreneur, and you're obviously successful, you may really miss it once you get into corporate life. that said, if you will always regret not giving banking a try, i'd say go for it (the other guys here will know better than me if b-school is for you or not) , you can always go back to being a full time entrepreneur.

Also, if you decide to go to b-school, you could always train/hire someone to run your business on the side while you test things out.

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

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Nov 16, 2016

Ecommerce is the best!

Oct 17, 2016

I would love to be in your position. If I was making 200k running my own business, I'd spend my own time learning as much about investing as possible, and then begin investing that money. You're in an amazing position where your comp is good and you have no boss.

    • 1
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Vantage Point MBA's clients are accepted to the top MBA programs at a 3x higher rate than the average acceptance rates. Request a consultation with their team to learn how they can help you gain admission to your dream schools. Learn more.

Oct 17, 2016

If your business is sustainable with a reasonable moat, would you be interested in selling?

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Oct 17, 2016

I'll run it for you, for 80K a year, remote work and still let you own 100% ownership. Serious.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

Oct 17, 2016

Ill beat this 74k a year AND as an added bonus make all your life decisions for you.

Honestly if you really want to go to B school that bad you should go. Form the other posts it seems like the NPV, IRR & opportunity cost of going to B school is lower. BUT ITS YOUR LIFE, if you think chilling at B school would be worth it then do it.

How is my grammar? Drop me a note with any errors you see!

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Oct 17, 2016

why do you want to change? is your business dull? has it lost its luster? why the curiosity? if you're worried about optionality because the business is declining, I'd argue that maybe a MBA isn't the worst thing in the world, but if it hurts the business, probably not the right move. if you're unhappy, definitely do the MBA.

Oct 17, 2016

I smell a troll... Is this not suspiciously similar to the thread last week with the snotty teenager?

Oct 17, 2016

However, if you are not a troll I would love to ask you about how to successfully run an Amazon business.

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Oct 17, 2016

If your business is in the Midwest - Stanford has a scholarship program for their MBA program. Stanford might not be your top choice but it's an option. Sell your business, attend school for next to nothing and comeback an run it?

https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/programs/mba/financia...

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Oct 17, 2016

As others have said, look at the future outlook of competition. Then decide if you want to waste time in business school for a low probability outcome. You have to weigh the probability of the positive outcome, If you have a 20% shot of getting into banking after an MBA and a 10% shot of getting into PE directly is that worth 300K plus a year in opportunity costs?

Reality odds may be higher or lower.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Oct 17, 2016

I'll echo what other people have said - it really depends on what your business's future prospects and time demands are. Personally, unless you expect for your business to start declining in the very near term, I would say B-School isn't worth it for you. In my experience (took some MBA classes in my MSF program and was an IB analyst), neither of those paths are nearly as stimulating or financially rewarding as you might think - in my opinion, you'd be better off diversifying your business or attending a code academy.

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Oct 18, 2016

Why would you want to do IB / PE? You are self-sufficiently making 200k a year which is amazing. This buys a very comfortable lifestyle, your own schedule, and features you as the boss. If I were I would work on growing your business vs going to finance. Then one day maybe you can hire an IB to sell your business.

The marginal increase in salary is not worth all the intangibles you'd be giving up. Most people in PE / IB, if given the choice, would switch roles with you in a heartbeat.

Mar 20, 2018

The richest friend I have didn't go to business school. He did exactly what you're doing.

After high school, he flew to an eastern European country where he was originally from so that he could go to medical school there and become a plastic surgeon. Did that for two years and hated it, dropped out and moved back to the US. He didn't go to college either.

He got into that whole ebay/Amazon business and started selling anything he could, developed a whole supply chain system. He started making a lot of money where he ended up buying a Porsche and a Ducati.

Everyone here who says the business isn't scalable is right, but that is a retarded way of looking at it. Capital is scalable, and if you can increase the amount of capital, you can get into multiple businesses that are scalable, which is what my friend did.

He has no debt, he's a millionaire, travels to China, Turkey, South America, Europe meeting different business partners through the web, finding different ways to do business. But he is kinda crazy honestly, he thinks way out of the box, he always questions everything, he always tries to look for business problems to solve, he's an actual businessman. Not a banker, not a lawyer, not an MBA or whatever you want to call it. People in this country completely forget how lucky they are as far as entrepreneurial opportunities. Imagine trying to be an entrepreneur in a place like West Africa or Bangladesh, places where laws and regulations don't help you but hinder your business, or how you also have to pay off people, worry about gangs/mafia etc.

With the advent of the internet and laws today in European or anglo countries, there are a million ways to scale your capital & get into multiple businesses that can scale. You don't have to be the next Google or Uber to become wealthy, which is 90% of the reason people on this website even got into finance.

The people here are right. Your business isn't scalable, but the capital that you accumulate allows you to get into businesses that are scalable. If you want to work for someone, go to business school. If you want to expose yourself to the possibility of becoming really wealthy (with more risks of course), scale your capital.

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Apr 7, 2018

Hi. curious to know. How did your friend get started? How did he learn all the supply chain, amazon, marketing etc. ? Thanks.

Mar 20, 2018

He went to a swap meet market with some of his friends. He bought a belt buckle that had a marijuana emblem on it for $5. Just out of boredom he went on eBay and tried to see how much he could sell that belt buckle for. Someone paid him $45 for it. He then thought to himself, "wow people are actually this stupid to pay $45 for a belt buckle with a marijuana emblem on it? What else can I sell to morons on the internet?" Which lead him to start thinking of ways to sell things to stupid people. He would purposely try to hang out with potheads and ask them questions, their interests/dislikes, he would examine the prices of different items online and how they would change over time, talk to others like him on the internet, exchange ideas.

If I asked him how did he learn xy&z using the terms I learned in textbooks, he wouldn't understand the vocabulary that I would be using. He learned all of it through personal experience, trial and error, setbacks, common sense, entrepreneurial forums, some ebooks that some random person on the internet wrote (you probably couldn't even find it on Amazon), and just thinking through things/questioning everything and why someone does something.

Also, he didn't have a degree to fall back on, so in a way, that was also an advantage, but I think he just had enough self-awareness that he knew going to school wasn't for him. Anyway, to answer your question. Personal experience. How do you do something? You go and figure it out by doing it. Too many people read books and try to accumulate this huge body of knowledge, but they lack the execution. He learned through execution. By the time something is written in a textbook, the advantage you have of being early in that space or idea is gone (not that you still couldn't make money in that space).

Look at cryptocurrencies for instance. You're starting to see classes on that subject at Stanford, Wharton, Georgetown, and other schools. It would have been a lot better to have been in that space before people started writing books on it. You just have to think of ways to create many inexpensive business experiments. Think of an idea, try and make money off of it by selling it to 1 person/entity, and start from there. If that doesn't work, go on to something else, before long your personal experience will be more valuable than what someone will learn in business school.

Also, you learn much more in business school if you have personal experience in business. You can start connecting the dots between reality and theory. I had this friend in my accounting class, who couldn't pay attention or do well in our class or any of her other business classes. Her family is pretty well off, they import quinoa into the states. She decided to take a break from school and help her family with their business, going to trade shows, flying to different countries, meeting with consultants, dealing with the port authorities, clients and paperwork/regulation. When she went back to school, she took classes on marketing, international business/trade, business law, and she was a lot more immersed into her classes because now she could actually take away/see the value in what she was learning from her classes and apply it to her family's business. Things started to click more or come together when she had that personal experience with her family's business. Which is why I think it's actually a good idea that top business schools require work experience before getting into their MBA programs.

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Oct 25, 2016

Thanks guys for all the feedback. Sorry I wasn't able to reply earlier.

I know some guys wanted to hear more about my business. In short, I run an ecommerce business that heavily focuses on automation (sourcing, inventory management, listing, repricing...etc). The only thing not automated is packing and shipping which I hired a few guys to do. I have an in-house programmer and our long term goal is actually to sell the software we've developed for our ecommerce business. Since implementation of our automation software, sales/profit have increased 15-20% yearly. We're doing about 15mil this year in rev and 10% profit margins.

At this point I obviously want to continue to focus on growing the company and perfecting the software but as each year goes by, my initial dream of going into banking/pe seems to drift farther and farther away. I'm still not sure if maybe it's time to give up on that dream completely but in the future I'd like to help companies raise capital and/or invest in them.

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure

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Mar 20, 2018

Why is banking/PE your dream?

Oct 13, 2016
Mergers and Executions:

Thanks guys for all the feedback. Sorry I wasn't able to reply earlier.

I know some guys wanted to hear more about my business. In short, I run an ecommerce business that heavily focuses on automation (sourcing, inventory management, listing, repricing...etc). The only thing not automated is packing and shipping which I hired a few guys to do. I have an in-house programmer and our long term goal is actually to sell the software we've developed for our ecommerce business. Since implementation of our automation software, sales/profit have increased 15-20% yearly. We're doing about 15mil this year in rev and 10% profit margins.

At this point I obviously want to continue to focus on growing the company and perfecting the software but as each year goes by, my initial dream of going into banking/pe seems to drift farther and farther away. I'm still not sure if maybe it's time to give up on that dream completely but in the future I'd like to help companies raise capital and/or invest in them.

You own this business 100%? You're saying you make 200k salary, but the business is making 15mm in revenue and 1.5mm profit? What happens with the 1.5mm? You don't pay that out to yourself, at least partially?

Dude, in all honesty, forget about banking or PE and focus on this. If you can further grow and actually make that exit you'll have achieved more and made more money than 99% of all the guys who currently work on either of the two.

Nov 14, 2016

For what it's worth, I'm a student but I have friends in IB who say they'd rather make 60k working for themselves than 150k at their job... I also know people in school going part-time MBA just to become entrepreneurs. I'm not sure if the cost is always worth it, but often top B-schools give business owners a shot such as startup funding and what not. Ultimately, I think it comes down to how risk averse you are. That, and the grass is always greener..

Nov 16, 2016
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Apr 20, 2018
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