Many multibillionaire business moguls are also known for being college dropouts, such as Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs. Some would say they’re geniuses who knew what they were doing, anyway, while others may opine that they’re just lucky.
While it’s absolutely true that intellect and luck have big roles in one’s success, they’re not everything that we need, and — quite frankly — not everyone is simply blessed with gifted minds and extraordinary luck. This is where we ask whether we should finish college before starting a business, or test our fate by dropping out.
College Graduates vs. Dropouts
A college degree isn’t a requirement to do business, but it definitely helps, especially if you’ll be venturing in an industry that’s more technical and complex in nature. A degree might even be one of your tickets to success in such case.
What industries will dropouts thrive in, then? They can start a number of service businesses while still in school, such as tutoring, professional cleaning, event organizing, resume writing, and courier services, to name a few. Capitals for these businesses are low, so they’re not going to be risking a lot of money. They may help in paying off their student loan, too.
On the other hand, college grads can venture in any industry of their choice. The things they learned from school, which includes developing a proper business model, business management, accountability, ownership, taxation, and emotional maturity can be advantageous. But then even dropouts can acquire those skills from experience, too, though it may take longer, and a number of failures.
Suffice to say, there is really no battle between dropouts and college grads as to who will be more successful in business. Entrepreneurship, at its core, is all about perseverance, patience, passion, real-world experiences, and financial stability — things you don’t necessarily learn in school. If a dropout can master all of those skills, and bounce back stronger after multiple rejections, then they can absolutely venture in other industries beyond low-cost services, like the well-known multibillionaire tycoons. Meanwhile, if a college grad lacks patience, discipline, and direction in life, then their diplomas will barely be of benefit to them.
Starting a Business Without Investors
One common challenge dropouts and degree-holders face is not having investors for their business ideas. However, the absence of investors can be more favorable, too.
For example, you’re planning to start an e-commerce business, but your potential investors are expecting to have a say in the management, compelling you to make compromises during decision-making processes. In this scenario, you’ll most likely lose your investors if you insisted on having full control of the business, because that’s not how co-owning with shareholders simply work.
On the contrary, carrying on with your business without investors holding you back will allow you complete control of the business’s direction. You can reach your full potential, reap all the rewards for your own, and bear all the losses. You’ll also get to know yourself better, realizing your strengths and shortcomings.
To ensure your success, invest your free time into your business idea. Meet with a top-rated design agency to develop your website and help it gain traffic. And since you’ll be on your own, juggle the responsibilities of an owner, accountant, lawyer, and etc., until you’re ready to hire employees. Accept that you’ll make sacrifices, like your social life, and traveling.
Be mindful of your finances. Find ways to spend less while meeting all of the business’s needs. And most importantly, manage your expectations. Success won’t come fast, regardless if you’re a dropout or a college grad. Fear of failure is one of the leading reasons many entrepreneurs give up, even with amazing credentials under their belts. Thus, guard your emotions, and keep your eyes on the prize without letting any shortcoming disrupt your progress.