In today’s market, skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are in high demand throughout many industries. Specializing in any one of the four areas gives you a great opportunity to stand out a bit more than the others. One branch in particular that plays an integral part in the other three branches of the STEM fields is mathematics. Math is the base that holds the other components of STEM together. Without mathematics, the other fields would not be complete. The same goes with entrepreneurship, it goes hand in hand with mathematics. That is why it is vital for an entrepreneur to be well versed in the art of mathematics to fully grasp and understand not only his or her own startup, but also his or her future investments as well.
Both mathematics and entrepreneurship are not “spectator sports”. They both involve heavy involvement if one plans in being successful in either venture. Mathematics needs constant practice and determination to keep your skills sharp. Same goes for an entrepreneur. To see your business succeed, you have to live, eat, and breathe your business to get it to launch or to the desired exit strategy. Thus, one can definitely influence the other in that both take the same determination to obtain some groundbreaking work in either field.
Entrepreneurs do not have to be the best at math to be the best entrepreneur they can be, but would benefit greatly from knowing their way around numbers and calculations. By learning to utilize mathematics to their business practices, entrepreneurs can face any challenges with a greater sense of confidence because most of the outcomes that can possibly arise could have been accounted for beforehand. In the case that something does pop up that was not accounted for, then it shouldn’t hinder the entrepreneur from reaching their goal as much because they have the necessary tools to get themselves around the obstacle.
The beauty of mathematics is its ability to apply itself to almost everything. You can observe this through mundane things like telling the time and calculating the average distance that a Derek Carr pass travels through the air to more complex actions like the movements of electrons or the prediction of future price movement in stocks or cryptocurrencies. This versatility is a very helpful tool in an entrepreneur’s arsenal because it gives them the creativity and ingenuity to think outside of the box. The ability to be able to approach various problems in ways that are different to how one would normally approach them is an invaluable tool because it allows for more possible paths to reach a breakthrough to solve a specific problem. Being able to solve whatever the problem may be can help in finding a new potential market to jump into and start a new business in or begin to invest in. This advantage to jump into a market first can be very helpful in getting a good return on investment and to fully understand it as well. Also, this versatility can help an entrepreneur in evaluating not only a single market but any market that they may get interested in. Once inside the market, analyzing how the entrepreneur’s start up is performing is useful.
One specific area that mathematics can help an entrepreneur is in analyzing how their start up fares against their own projected numbers. Through the entrepreneur’s perspective, knowing the inside and outs of how their start up is running is beneficial for them. Being aware of how their financials stack up to their predictions is a great indicator of not only how well the company is doing but also on how well the management team is sticking to their original plan. This can be facilitated by mathematical models that keep the entrepreneur on course by taking into consideration what the entrepreneur perceives as the worst and best possible scenarios. By looking at both extremes, there shouldn’t be to many surprises when actual performance numbers begin to appear. These models can also serve as a road map to help guide the entrepreneur in the right direction and evaluate risks and rewards for taking their start up in any particular direction.
Mathematics can also aide an entrepreneur in attempting to predict trends that can benefit a startup of theirs or future investment. With the abundance of information available to us in the digital age and tools such as super computers (maybe even quantum computers) and various algorithms, an entrepreneur can use mathematical models to make better predictors or to getter a better idea as to what a particular market is going through. Observing these changes or lack thereof can help an entrepreneur in deciding what steps need to be taken to grow their startup or their investment portfolio.
An entrepreneur’s ability to use the skills learned in mathematics is one of the greatest tools at his or her disposal. Advantages such as being able to think outside the box to attack a problem that the entrepreneur might face and analyzing and predicting performance metrics can help an entrepreneur tremendously. These advantages arise from mathematics’ fluidity in being able to be applied to anything. As a developing or seasoned entrepreneur, do not be intimidated to pick up a math book or a take an extra math class to learn something new. Math is your friend and is here to help. There are also a ton of free material online readily available. You never know, the time you put into learning a little more math can possibly be the best investment you can make.
About the Author
Tomas Nava Virrey a local of the Las Vegas community since 2001 and is currently attending UNLV to obtain his B.S. in Mathematics.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RVF or UNLV. In addition, thoughts and opinions are subject to change and this article is intended to provide an opinion of the author at the time of writing this article. All data and information is for informational purposes only.