Like most good ideas, the Business Thinking Institute started with personal setbacks and the search for answers that led me to wanting to do something about it - prevent people from wasting time and effort on issues for which there are known solutions.  


I have worked in business for over 30 years and reached several highs (and lows) but I was unable to ‘break out’ and achieve ‘spectacular business success’.  I have the drive and the credentials - two masters degrees, including one in business, from MIT and read a lot - but felt I had hit a ‘glass ceiling’; it seemed something was holding me back.  I looked at many external reasons and talked to many friends and accomplished people who gave me advice which didn’t answer my question.  I looked into every popular answer to my problem and ended up not finding the answer to what vexed me.  Then, it dawned on me.  The ‘glass ceiling’ was in my head.  I then set out to understand it and figure out a way to shatter it.


The popular press and business schools talk about all the EXTERNAL FACTORS for business success - WHAT YOU NEED TO HAVE to succeed.  What I found was that failure to succeed can also come from WHAT YOU DO HAVE THAT ARE BAD OR WRONG.  And, they could be INTERNAL FACTORS. Think of these as BAD INGREDIENTS or WRONG INGREDIENTS for business success.  As an analogy, if you have a wonderful recipe for a delicious dish but have bad ingredients or use the wrong ingredients, you obviously end up with a dish that tastes horrible.  If you have these bad ingredients, it does not matter what else you do have – you will achieve limited success or fail in business.  That foundational block is what I labeled as BUSINESS RELUCTANCE (you can read more about that in our blog section).


I didn’t stop there.  I kept looking for the 'formula for business success' - a list of the major ingredients for business success but never found it.  I found many people holding up one ingredient or a few ingredients that were important but insufficient.  I also did not find a roadmap and system to integrate the essential success factors for business success.  Business schools teach you the elements of running a  business - finance, marketing, etc. - but don't cover many other things that they apparently expect you to pickup when you work in a real business - and many people do not because they don't have a framework to fit those into (how do you know what you are missing unless you know what is required in the first place?).  So, I spoke to successful business people, psychologists, entrepreneurs, business coaches and several book authors.  From all those discussions, I put together a BUSINESS SUCCESS FRAMEWORK, essential factors for business success.  You can identify your gaps (all of us have gaps) and then systematically acquire and implement these success factors to enable greater business success.


Next, I needed to put together a plan to systematically ‘break the glass ceiling’ -  DO IT.  For that, I needed to get my head around each success factor. I needed to assess where I was and what I was missing.  I started develop and collect assessments, content, tools and exercises to fill the gaps. And then I decided to make them public.


Whether you recognize it or not, everybody is in business - you rent your brain or your brawn to somebody who pays you for it by the hour, week, month or year. With fewer companies being created and the existing companies becoming more productive (meaning they will need fewere employees to do the same work or generate the same revenues), more and more people will have to be self-employed.  That means, MORE PEOPLE WILL BE IN BUSINESS FOR THEMSELVES.  But, who is teaching the billions the required business skills to succeed in business?  In business as in life, if your competitor/s are more savvy than you, you will 'lose' or will end up with a lower compensation and therefore a lower standard of living.  If you do not maximize your value, the world will hand you a (low) value you will have to accept.  My goal is to educate 1 billion people about 'business thinking' by the year 2040. 


On this website, we are systematically harnessing the knowledge of successful business people (role models) and those seeking greater success in business.  For each ‘Business Success Factor’, we are developing quizzes (assessments) to identify your strengths and gaps, assembling expert coaches who can help, identifying books that can inform and educate, collecting tools that can teach and reinforce, launching a podcast series that can elicit insights from experts, organizing a community of experts that can help and encourage, collecting inspiring quotes and collecting gift items that could inspire and enable you to achieve greater business success.  We do all of this while providing the help you need in a discreet manner.  Every day, you will acquire more skills to help you become the bigger business success you are capable of.  If you are committed to becoming a business professional and achieving business success start by taking the first quiz ‘Are you wired for business success?’.


  1. The world's population continues to grow while the rate of business formation and employment at businesses constinue to shrink.  Those, in turn, will push more and more people to become INDIVIDUAL business people - solopreneurs or single-owner companies - working as freelancers.  They need to develop 'business thinking' in order to successfully compete with business savvy people .  As we help develop 'business thinking' as a competence across the globe, it will create more stable families and communities, leading to a better society for all of us. If we don't, what will result is the high concentration of wealth with the 'haves' and the 'business savvy' leading to imbalance and social chaos.  My goal is to educate 1 billion people about 'business thinking' by the year 2040.
  2. More than 70% of all businesses fail and an even greater number of people fail in business.  While external factors like capital, technology and market access are essential for success, many of them have not developed the requisite business thinking for success reflected by the stubbornly high failure rates.  If we can reduce the number of business failures, it will dramatically increase sustainable jobs and expand the economy.  Logically, lowering the failure rate will increase the standard of living around the globe - we will spend resources on making things that people need and use (improve lives) rather than on failed companies that end up wasting resources.
  3. Most entrepreneurs are awestruck by their ideas and the possiblities of success, however, few have developed the business thinking required for success.  If we can reduce the failure rate of startups, it will dramatically increase sustainable jobs and expand the economy.  While experience (including failure) is essential for continued future success, it dumbfounds me that society accepts a 70% plus failure rate as the 'price to pay'.
  4. People who work in businesses in functional or cross-functional roles seek upward mobility in the business which requires 'business thinking'.  The greater the number of people with 'business thinking' in business positions, the greater the success of the businesses they work in - good for the businesses, executives and society.   


I have found two things about people:  

Firstly, many people would rather fail than let anybody else find out they need help.  It is only the smart and committed people with a growth mindset that recognize their gaps, seek help and achieve greater business success.  You may be in a senior position, be a millionaire or have blue chip credentials.  It is entirely logical for you to have gaps and seek to fill those gaps (and get help). 

Secondly, people dabbling (not committed) to business spend a lot of time looking for FREE stuff.  If you spend one hour to find a $5 item for free, you are valuing your time at $5/hour.  At $5/hour, it will take many lifetimes to become a millionaire.  On the other hand, successful and committed business people pay the $5 and make quick progress.  They understand the value of curated content and experience-based counsel.  Who do you think will achieve greater business success sooner?


If you desire to achieve greater business success and committed, I invite you to join the community.  Let's grow the pie.  You can take a big piece.  Raise your standard of living and improve the community you live in.  I will be on the journey with you.  For the price of a cup of your daily cup of Starbucks coffee, you can get access to these unique and vast resources that we update constantly (membership page).  You can discreetly access the website from your PC, tablet or smartphone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will add at least one new quiz every week for the foreseeable future.  Remember, business success has to start in your mind and starts with your commitment. 

If you make the commmitment, you can achieve greater business success and we can help you - EVERY DAY.  


Ram V. Iyer

Princeton, New Jersey