Is It Necessary To Go To College To Become An Entrepreneur?
This is always a troubling question form people that want to go into entrepreneurship. Most especially, the young ones always question the importance of education in entrepreneurship. They often come up with the questions like if it is necessary to go college to become a successful entrepreneur.
Well, the yes or no answer depends on the type of entrepreneur you want to become but mind you, most successful entrepreneurs in the world today didn’t get a college degree. The like of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and many others. But how did they become successful?
These men had a vision and channeled their energy and resources towards this vision and goal. We are not saying that college degree is not useful. It is useful as it gives you an insight especially when you are studying in a business field. You get knowledge on how to manage business, keep account of transactions, marketing, marketing strategies and many more. The truth is education is useful in entrepreneurship but it is not necessary.
Going to college doesn’t guarantee your success in establishing a business outfit but it will give you an advantage in running your business. You gather certain knowledge from going college and use them in running your business.
There are series of argument on whether getting a college degree to become an entrepreneur is really necessary or not. We say it is useful but not necessary. It is never a criterion to run a successful business but it is plus. You cannot compare an entrepreneur with a degree in business administration or business management to an entrepreneur without a college degree whether in business or any other field. The former will be sound when it comes to certain things about business and managing the business outfit to some extent.
There are questions to critically look at before deciding to quit college for your entrepreneurship journey. I am sure Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg did some critical thinking before making up their mind to follow their passion and vision.
But mind you, because these men did it and succeeded doesn’t mean you will achieve the same feat and because education is overhyped doesn’t mean not getting it will stop you from achieving what you want to achieve.
Like we said earlier, a college degree is important depending on the type of entrepreneur you want to be. For instance, if you want to go into the medical field, you certainly need a degree as it is made necessary by law.
If you are facing the challenge of whether you should quit college or forfeit college to pursue your entrepreneurship dream, this article is for you. We will be analyzing some questions you should ask yourself before making a decision on quitting or forfeiting college.
Let’s keep the train going as we answer the questions in this article…
What industry do you want to venture into and is a degree necessary?
You cannot just wake up and decide to follow your passion or vision without properly analyzing the pros or cons of quitting or forfeiting college. Before you think about this, you have to look at the type of industry you want to venture into and if that industry requires a degree.
We gave an instance of establishing a medical clinic or pharmaceutical store; you must have an insight on the medical field before starting up a business in this career and even by law; it is necessary. Starting a business in an industry that is complex and technical will definitely require a college education. This will boost your technical know-how about how the business operate and also develop your skill in that area.
In as much as college education is not necessary, the experience will teach you some skills like ownership, time management, business management, communication and psychological maturity. Someone that has degree or education in business will certainly have knowledge on some business documents and some procedures in the formation of a business or company (Limited Liability Company), marketing strategies, tax document and some others.
Even if you eventually become successful in establishing your business outfit without a college education, you will still have to get some sort of education and also continuous learning because this is one way to be successful as an entrepreneur.
Are you ready for what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
There is a popular saying that entrepreneurship is not for everybody. Those that have what it takes to be an entrepreneur still fail at it. It is not about going into the business venture; you have to make up your mind on why you want to do it.
Entrepreneurship comes with a lot of commitment and dedication.
Are you ready to face the responsibilities that come with being an entrepreneur?
As a young person that has due to some reasons forfeited a college degree for your entrepreneurship pursuit; what is your motivation?
Are you willing to dedicate everything so as to succeed?
Why do you want to leave?
Your motivation is what takes away your self-doubt and block your ears to naysayers. You must be true and honest to yourself before making up your mind. If you are not okay or optimistic about going forward, then do not jump into it.
This journey entails a lot of sleepless nights, series of skipped meals, risking everything you got even your education. The end can be fruitful and rewarding but can you hold on till the end? Most of the successful entrepreneurs that dropped out from college had a specific goal and a burning desire that spurred their entrepreneurship spirit and led them to excelling.
Mark Zuckerberg said that “the greatest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risk”.
Are you ready to fail?
Taking the risk of quitting your education is just the beginning of your journey. Can you be patient and persevere even in the face of failure?
Will your motivation be strong enough to withstand the frustration that comes with failure?
You might have a burning desire and strong vision but being successful will not just happen without failing a couple of times.
You will definitely face rejection (remember you don’t have a degree), disappointments will come but can you persevere?
Bill Gates watched his first company Traf-O-Data fail after he had dropped out of college to pursue his dream. Imagine quitting college and the first business you set out to open crumbles after investing your time, energy and resources. Only this thought will make you think twice before quitting your college education for an uncertain business venture.
You are bound to encounter failure in your journey to success; it is part of the success story. The good thing about this is that; you should embrace failure and learn from it. Failure creates an avenue to become better and do better. It opens you up to new opportunities and strategies for doing things.
You shouldn’t expect a smooth said in your entrepreneurship journey. It’s not going to be easy because forfeiting college education is letting go of a career for an uncertain future.it is your passion and will that motivates you and kills any self- doubt.
So be honest with yourself .Are you ready to fail and accept failure?
Can you withstand the failure that comes with taking the risks?
What if after investing your time, effort, resources and everything else into being an entrepreneur and the business doesn’t work out or it starts crawling? Can your patience hold you thus far?
Do you have the resources and financial strength?
This is a question you really need to ask yourself even before thinking of starting-up a business.
Are you financially stable to fund your business enterprise?
Going to college and having a degree is an investment but so is having a business outfit. Quitting education so as to pursue your vision has to be backed up with financial strength and support.
You have to have a definite and realistic plan and budget for the project you want to embark on. Remember that you are not just jumping into it, you are letting go of a useful part of your life (education) for that dream. You have to really think it through.
You have to understand the total costs of running the business, the marginal cost of running the business, the estimate returns on investment (ROI) and the capital (current and working capital) you will need to start up and run the business.
As a student, your family and friends might not be willing to support your idea and dream unlike Bill Gates whose parents supported his move and gave him all the assistance he needed in starting up his business. You can consider running a part-time job aside your schooling so as to save up enough money to start up your business but you know that it is not going to be easy.
This particular question should be critically looked at before taking a decision on quitting your education for your entrepreneurship journey. If you do not have a strong financial backing or support and do not have enough funds saved up to start up till you break even, just continue with your degree. Get the degree, after that get a job in that industry you want to venture into, save up money from the job and in a few years, launch your own business enterprise.
Here, you have gained experience in your industry, gotten a degree and saved up money to start your own enterprise. You have a upper hand to succeed ceterus paribus (all things being equal).
Do you have the right team?
Never think that being successful as an entrepreneur is a lone walk. You do not achieve that feat alone. There is always a team of competent people giving support in every way that they can. It could be your family, friends, business partners, roommates and also other entrepreneurs.
Most of the successful entrepreneurs succeeded today because they had a strong support from people around them. I recall reading about Bill Gates and saw that even though his father always wanted him to become a lawyer, the father still supported his idea of starting and owing a business of his own. Even while taking this step, he (Bill Gates) had support from his friend Paul Allen. All these people had a role to play in his success today.
You should understand that the support you get from people around you especially family and friends goes a long way in boosting your confidence in yourself and also in the goal you want to pursue.
“Surround yourself with savvy, educated people; I was very lucky to have some strong mentors in my corner. Having experienced, wise people there to guide and support you is really an advantage”. These were the words of Randy Wyner, founder and president of restaurant franchise Chronic Tacos.
It would be bad for you if the naysayers were your family and friends that are supposed to encourage you. Don’t fret if you have this challenge, look for entrepreneurs around you and seek for their support and advice. Network with other business owners and seek their support.
You cannot do it all by yourself. A strong workforce will help you in establishing a thriving business outfit.
Do you have a realistic business plan?
Your business plan is the road-map to your breakthrough.
Do you have a specific and realistic business plan?
Your business plan shows where you are and where you want to be. It is not just about having an idea or generating an idea. You have to write out a clearly defined and realistic business plan. This is one advantage having a degree will give you in starting up a business. You have gained knowledge of how the industry you want to venture into operates, you have done your market research, understand your target consumers’ needs and demands and the price mechanism of your product market. All these will help you in writing out a realistic and clear business plan.
Starting a business without a plan is like building a house without a building plan. Your business plan is like the blueprint of your business.
Your business plan if clear and realistic can be used to source for funds from potential investors and also financial institutions. It is advisable that you should have a mission and vision statement for your business and also identify your target consumers and how you would gain a foothold in the market and stand out against competition.
So if you are nurturing the thought of quitting your education, you must have a clearly stated objective and business plan with contingency plans so as to help you weather through challenges and not get frustrated when you encounter setbacks.
Are you ready to continue learning even after quitting school?
Learning is not only about getting educated. Mind you, there is a difference between education and learning.
Education is the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a formal setting; it takes place under the guidance of an educator. It is gotten from a school or institution.
Learning on the other hand, is not confined to only a formal setting. This is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through various sources like study, experience or being taught. Learning is a continuous process as we learn every day and only stop learning when we die.
So after making up your mind to quit school for your dream, you should always be open to learning and also reading books. This will help in boosting your creative thinking ability and show you different perspectives of solving problems. Education is useful no doubt but you can learn some entrepreneurship skills outside the confines of a school besides what the educational system teaches students is how to be job seekers instead of job creators.
Bill Gates acquired so many knowledge from experience and reading too; he was open to learning. You must be ready to learn from others; even if you have a fantastic idea, you should always remember that you are not perfect; give others an avenue to air their views or thoughts as you can get or acquire some knowledge from them.
Education is really useful in entrepreneur and it will give you an edge in business but it is not necessary. Even without having a college education and degree, you can become a successful entrepreneur. Your success depends on your level of determination, hard-work, resilience, patience, and perseverance, financial and personal support.
It is not going to be an easy ride forfeiting your degree for your passion but if vision and passion exceeds your career or you have a strong reason and motivation for starting your business without a degree. Your reason must be good enough likewise your reason for staying in school.
You have to be critical in your thinking because by quitting or dropping out of college, a lot is at stake. Because Mark did it and succeeded doesn’t means you will also succeed if you if you do it. Having a degree would be great if you want to become an entrepreneur; dropping out of school to follow you passion and vision is also great provided you devoted all and succeeded. It is really rewarding.