College counseling lessons from a (Dallas) Maverick

Long before he owned the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban started MicroSolutions, a software reseller and system integration company, out of his apartment, a business he later sold for six million dollars.  He had this to say about what he did to become successful. 

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I read every book and magazine I could….One good idea that lead to a customer or solution and it paid for itself many times over…Everything I read was public. Anyone could buy the same books and magazines. The same information was available to anyone who wanted it. Turns out most people didn’t want it.  Most people won’t put in the time to get a knowledge advantage.  To this day, I feel like if I put in enough time consuming all the information available, particularly with the net making it so readily available, I can get an advantage in any technology business. Of course my wife hates that I read more than 3 hours almost every day, but it gives me a level of comfort and confidence in my businesses. At MicroSolutions it gave me a huge advantage. A guy with little computer background could compete with far more experienced guys just because I put in the time to learn all I could…I can remember vividly people telling me how lucky I was to sell my business at the right time…Of course, no one wanted to comment on how lucky I was to spend time reading software manuals, or Cisco Router manuals, or sitting in my house testing and comparing new technologies, but that’s a topic for another blog post."

That's a lesson we learned from great college counselors, too.  We train our new counselors, even those who were admissions officers before joining Collegewise.  We read books about college admissions. We read blogs.  We go to conferences.  We visit colleges while we're on vacation.  We do a senior season debrief every year where we analyze our seniors' results.  And we stay in touch with our former students so they can tell us about their college experiences.

Whether you're a private counselor, a high school counselor, or someone looking to join one of those ranks, there has never been more information available about colleges and how to help students find and attend them.  We know there's no way we could ever know everything.  But we also know that whether or not we're trying to learn it is one of the things that separates great counselors from average counselors.