The AirBnB MBA

I bought the home ownership myth. And I wanted to sell it.

This presented several terrifying problems. The mortgage wasn’t going away, the house wasn’t moving to Austin with me, and the only people calling about the home were realtors trying to get a 5-figure commission for the vague possibility of selling it sooner.

So I put it on AirBnB.

In today’s tech-happy world, we have unbelievable access to tools and support for entrepreneurship. But, if you come from a a typical corporate job, it can be easy to ignore that potential and do what everyone else does when they want to learn more about business — apply to business school.

This is a pretty stark choice, considering it may cost you over $100,000 and two years of serious time commitment. My biases are against it.

Since I came from one of the most corporate of corporate jobs (ExxonMobil), I naturally ignored the entrepreneurial potential all around me. AirBnB was a last ditch hope, not a business or an educational opportunity. I didn’t start it so much as step in it.

Six months later I have an entirely new perspective. I have customers. I have revenue. I have employees. I have community relations management. I have a budget that needs to be managed. I have decisions to make about reinvesting in the business or supplementing my income.

Most importantly, all of those decisions actually matter to my bottom line.

Let’s do a case study.

Option A: Business School

  • $100,000 up front cost
  • You won’t learn anything that isn’t available for free on YouTube
  • Liver damage
  • You might get a great job later, but you’ll never really be able to measure the opportunity cost of 2 years not working and $100,000 in the hole

Option B: AirBnB Host

  • Variable up front investment demanding risk mitigation and choice, but $100,000 will be more than adequate
  • You are now responsible for your own actual business
  • If you succeed, you make money
  • Whenever you feel you’ve learned enough, you can automate 100% and move on with your life

Do you really want to be in the property management business? The answer is no, you do not. But if you were already going to blow $100k on a framed piece of paper, why not start your own simple business instead?

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