Noodle Expert Andrew Schrage discusses traveling in Thailand and getting his small business off the ground.
Who would you pick, alive or dead, to be your teacher for a year? What would you want to learn?
I would probably pick Steve Jobs to be my teacher for a year. What I would like to learn from him is how to be a better leader, how to innovate my organization, how to attract and land top talent for my company, and how to overcome obstacles when running a business.
What is one small piece of advice that has had a big impact on your life?
One small piece of advice someone once told me on the topic of how to be a great leader is that you have to adjust your management style to each of the people working under you, rather than the other way around. It had a big impact on my professional life, and, once I implemented it, I was able to manage my team much more effectively.
Where would you send a student who hasn’t traveled before?
I would probably suggest Thailand. It offers an amazing and unique culture, it has great food, it's very inexpensive, and there are lots beautiful historical buildings and other architecture. The people there are very friendly, and the country in general is well-suited for first time–tourists — it's very structured and easy for foreigners to navigate.
When was a time that you failed academically, and what did you learn from the experience?
Although this wasn't a major failure, I once put off studying for a final exam early on in my academic career. I thought I could get by through a cram session. It didn't work; I performed poorly on the test, and I learned a lot as a result. I never made that mistake again, and always made sure to begin my studying process with plenty of time before I took any other exam or test. I also ended up with an A for that class.
Why did you go into your field, and how is it different from what you expected?
I chose the field of personal finance because I studied economics in college and I've always been passionate about helping others. The field itself isn't very different from what I expected, but becoming a small business owner was. I found that there is a lot more work involved than I originally expected. It took some time to get my venture off the ground. As I persevered through all of that work, however, I eventually achieved success. The benefits of small business ownership are many (some of which I didn't know about when I first ventured out). It's truly a joy to run my own business because I can expand it how and when I see fit. I now have a lot more free time to spend with family and friends, and it has brought me a lot of satisfaction on a personal level as well.
For more information about starting a small business, check out this article on the Money Crashers blog: 5 Things You Need to Start a Small Business