The big debate in the entrepreneur community at the moment is whether or not college is needed for a successful business or career. Yes, I personally went to college, but I was there purely for Athletics and on a scholarship. I often times wonder how my life would have been different if I attended college to actually LEARN instead of just PASS. Either way, much to your parents disliking im sure – here my ten reasons why I think true entrepreneurs will be ok without college.
The D word, college pricing has been getting out of control over the past decade. The same education that used to be higher quality and more valuable - is now much more expensive whilst providing lesser value. Across the world, half the people that go to college do not get the skills necessary to succeed in today’s modern life. They are basically spoon-fed an outdated educational system of memorization that doesn’t test them and teach critical thinking.
2. Social value
You hear many people discuss the value of socialization among your peers as an essential benefit of college. So many people behave exactly the same way in college as they did in secondary education or high school. Sure, there’s always some maturity that takes place, but for the most part, even in the diverse environment, most people stick to people who share their same values and upbringing. I think you can get the same social value by joining a club or a sport to learn the essential values of teamwork without the college expenditure. You can also now use social networking to reach out to people all over the world. The old saying “people change” is simply not true. In my personal experience – the idiot kids I knew in high school are now very much just idiot adults. Your age has nothing to do with your maturity. You don’t need to be a college graduate to become an adult or gain social skills.
3. Restrictions on innovation
Do you ever hear the likes of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg ever tout their college degrees?? No, even the worlds most successful do not act that that was the secret formula to their success. It’s because they didn’t earn college degrees. They earned money instead.
4. Still unemployed
In most developed countries around the world, half the college graduates can’t even land jobs when they complete their degrees. The students who drop out after figuring out that they don’t fit well within the framework of the institution are not refunded any funds. They have wasted their money and time with nothing to show for it.
Skipping college and starting your own enterprise will be a valuable experience that will put you head and shoulders above your college peers, who will be years behind in real-world experience.
5. Traditional methods
College offers traditional teaching methods, which are completely outdated. Technology moves at the speed of life and is extremely transformative. It disrupts the very concept of investing in your college education for a stable career. Around the world, some teenager in his garage may be working on new software or technology that can change the world. The average college professor is only teaching what he or she learned or knows which is no longer applicable in a rapidly changing world.
6. Less hands on experience
You can gain expertise through launching your own enterprise. Doing something you are passionate about will be more likely to bring success.
As an entrepreneur, you set your own curriculum based on your passions and interest in life. You then develop a strategic plan to monetize your passion, you can learn the skills you require, follow the blueprint of many entrepreneurs who have succeeded without a college degree. An experienced mentor can steer you down the right path, these are extremely important no matter what field you are in. Real life mentors can often teach a lot more than most college professors. Especially because our generation is so stubborn, we don’t want to be taught – we want to experience things and figure out what works best for us.
7. Rigid learning
Life is meant for freedom of expression. College standards and strict guidelines of specialization don’t allow for organic creativity. Entrepreneurs need freedom to create and forge their own path. Textbooks can only teach theory or structure of the way things are supposed to be. Entrepreneurs need to think differently, outside the box of conventional wisdom, which in traditional universities is usually frowned upon. For example I failed English 101 and creative writing in school and had to end up taking both of them as pass / fails due to my non-conforming writing style. But on the outside world, I am now a published author.
Being in business for yourself lets you decide what is important outside of meeting the teachers criteria. For example the nation wide GREEN Initiative – and the effort to have 100% recyclable campuses nationwide. Sure, that’s noble and great but maybe you don’t care about that. Maybe you are more concerned with the poverty in the area, or curing cancer, or supplying clothing to the homeless. Being in business lets you act off of your own convictions. The structure of college prepares you for a life of simply following rules dictated by others and what is important to them, without asking you for your innovation or expression. Human beings are supposed to be free people with their own ideas.
As an entrepreneur, strive to create your own rules - not government mandated teaching or outdated institutional learning methods. Work for what is important to you – because then even if it fails, at least it was work that was important to you.
9. Smaller accomplishments
As an emerging entrepreneur, you need to gain a mindset of applying real-life principles to determine the real-results for yourself. Every little progress you make counts as a real accomplishment in the real world. College only teaches you how to pass exams, or cram memorization for useless knowledge. As an entrepreneur, if you can create a product or service to market, that’s a real accomplishment that is worthy, most college graduates may never aspire to it.
10. Less risk-taking
Entrepreneurs need to learn to push beyond their comfort zones. Risk is very important to success. You must be willing to take risk and live with your decisions. Sometimes you win, other times you may lose big, but you keep going. This is my theory of Falling Theology.
College doesn’t really teach the importance of risk; instead they promote security and a safe career. Entrepreneurs must take risks to determine their own path in the world. We need to embrace the challenge of calculated risk in order to succeed.
In conclusion, this all sounds great, hugs and high fives all around. But I cant write this and act like every kid who drops out of college and follows these rules is going to be successful. Here is the truth of the matter – without true discipline and real, actual, physical HARD WORK – you will not be successful no matter what course you choose. The disease of laziness and entitlement is rampant in our culture and in our generation specifically. So if you really want my opinion on how to be successful outside of college in only boils down to one thing; Put in the hours – literally. And earn your keep.
Josh. questions / comments / hate / etc - firstname.lastname@example.org 1:9