Here's a little book that could be a devotional aid for students as well as those with experience in the business world, a daily meditation guide — at least for 101 days.
It's “101 Things I Learned in Business School,” by Michael W. Press with Matthew Frederick, $15 in hardcover, published by Grand Central Publishing.
A review copy landed in The Oklahoman's business news department when it came out last summer. Every time I've picked it up, I've read something that made me go “hmm.”
As in: “Hmm, if I'd had this back in the day, I might could've saved myself the ton of headaches and gut wrenching it took to finagle 18 hours of C's for a minor in economics at Oklahoma State.”
Take Thing No. 23, which is directly applicable to real estate dealing: “The party that cares less about the outcome of a negotiation is in the stronger negotiating position.”
Press, MBA Harvard, Ph.D. George Washington University, who teaches at the University of Illinois, explains:
“There is no stronger position at the negotiating table than indifference — to be able to walk away without negative consequence. This is not to say that a walk-away strategy is the best in every circumstance or over the long run; one can win many negotiating battles but lose a larger negotiating effort by alienating those with whom business could otherwise have been done in the future.”
That sounds like a homeowner who lists a house just to test the water and deliberately overprices it. The danger? A life event makes it necessary to actually sell, and the “larger negotiating effort” is set back because of the stigma: Realtors know the owner already overpriced the place, and is stubborn besides. Good luck with that.
Take Thing No. 59, also directly applicable to real estate: “Business development can save municipalities money.”
Not sure any Oklahoma City suburbs consider new business as a negative (although those closest to a development site can always be counted on to be in opposition), but consider:
“Although considered undesirable in some bedroom communities, business development is more cost effective for municipalities than a comparable level of residential development. Businesses typically pay higher real estate taxes than residents do, while demanding far less in services.”
My little ol' econ minor came from Arts & Sciences, not the Business College. Charts and graphs leave me clown-eyed. Give me narrative with the numbers — interpretation, social context and the other fuzzy things that are hard to account for on a balance sheet.
Which is why No. 5 is my favorite: “Not all capital is economic.”
Press explains: “Intellectual capital is proprietary information and in-house knowledge of technologies, materials, processes useful to an organization. Human capital consists of talents, skills and knowledge residing among employees. Social capital refers to established human relationships, both within and external to a company, that create and maintain value.”
So, I'd almost be rich except that, sadly, “not all capital is economic” means that not all capital is spendable.