Traditional thinking may dictate that in order to become successful in business you must be a college graduate, or at the very least have graduated from high school, but (while it is recommended that you do complete your studies if you are intending on becoming an entrepreneur) many people have proven it’s not an absolute necessity.
As Mark Twain said:
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
Steve Jobs is one of the most notable college drop-outs in the world. He only lasted one semester at college (Source: CNN) before taking a job as a video game designer for Atari and then, later, going on to create the first Apple computer in his family garage along with his high-school buddy Steve Wozniak. Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates both dropped out of college to pursue their dreams.
Virgin CEO Richard Branson didn’t even complete high school and he dropped out at only 16 years of age. He is reported to have a net worth of around $4.9 billion. Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas also dropped out of high school to go to work in a restaurant and was said to be worth $99 million by the time he passed away in 2002.
So what do all these people have in common? Mainly a driven personality and the refusal to allow any obstacle to stand in their way of success. They also learned how to manage their time and money effectively, as well as taking the time to listen to their clients along the way.
The key to Wendy’s success, according to Entrepreneur magazine, was Dave Thomas’ ability to provide “a great product, service, a passion for detail, innovation, a genuine love for his people and a commitment to never cutting corners.” People who knew him described him as genuinely interested in what his customers had to say.
Richard Branson also stresses the importance of being “customer-centric” as well as paying attention to the little details and having fun. In his book, “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership” he says, “Fun is one of the most important — and underrated — ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.”
Good work ethic and the ability to sell are important, and, finally, a degree of fearlessness is required; fear is the one thing that most often holds people back from following their dreams.
By Moira Gale