Obtaining an education, and earning a college degree is important, but it is not a requirement for starting your business. This means that you can start your own business without earning a degree. The concept of entrepreneurship doesn’t care about your college degree, and this is why –
In as much as the things you learn in college are useful, in a scale of 1 to 10, the knowledge you gained in college would only help you in the business field in the scale of 3. What would be required more of you is your ideas, efforts, passion, commitment, strategy, and other important business skills.
In addition, what you learn in college would be different from what you see in the business world. In this case, it is not your knowledge that would make you thrive, but your professionalism and experience.
Let us see a real life testimony of why entrepreneurship doesn’t care about a college degree. Our example is Nicole Smartt. Nicole Smartt is the owner of Star Staffing. She is the youngest recipient to be awarded the Forty Under 40 award, recognizing business leaders under the age of 40. She leaped into her career just out of high school, working as a receptionist at a local staffing firm. Nicole’s determination, drive, and commitment allowed her the opportunity to move up the corporate ladder and into a position as a leader and owner. Today, Nicole runs what Inc. magazine called “one of the fastest-growing companies in America.” As a business advice expert, Nicole has been featured on platforms such as Forbes, The Washington Post, AOL Jobs, Fox Business, Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur. She was appointed to the Young Entrepreneur Council and also recently honored as a Women in Business Leader. Nicole is the youngest person to receive the Forty Under 40 award by the North Bay Business Journal.
In one of her interviews addressing her business success despite not having a college degree, she said –
College doesn’t always dictate future success. Whether you attend or not, you can be successful—it’s about what you bring with you. While a college education can produce many positive outcomes, it doesn’t mean you’ll never be successful without a degree. I’m living proof that this myth is wrong.
I’m proud to say I only have a high school diploma. While I worked harder than most to get where I am, I wouldn’t change my chosen path. I started as an entry-level receptionist and rose through the ranks quickly, becoming a business owner by age 25. Yes, that’s less than seven years from graduating high school.
In addition, my company was recently acknowledged by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. I’ve been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. How’s that for success without a degree?
You may wonder how it was possible for her to accomplish this, due to the fact that everyone is chasing a college degree thinking it is the first step to running a successful business. She disclosed the secrets to her success despite not having a college degree.
This is what she did –
- She outworked everyone
I mean everyone. It will most likely require more than 40 hours a week for stretches of time, but your hard work and long hours will show your dedication. A strong work ethic also puts you on the fast track to becoming an expert in your field.
Management will see your willingness to work until it is done (not just until the end of working hours) as true evidence that you have what it takes to handle more responsibility. This means you’ll soon be trusted with more important work. This approach will help you move up the ladder quickly. Nothing beats hard work!
- She networked till she didn’t have to introduce herself
Connect with people both in and out of your field. You never know the potential of your next connection. It’s not just about being recognized, it’s about being recognized for your work. The reputation that builds up around your work, attitude and contacts will help to grow your network.
- She never stopped learning
Make an effort to get better at what you do by expanding your capacity to learn. You’ll hone the skills you have and learn new ones. This also helps to keep your brain flexible, which is essential for problem-solving and process improvement. Read books and articles, watch videos online, take hands-on classes or virtual ones. Bottom line: keep learning.
- She added value outside her job description
One of the fastest ways up the ranks is to show you are capable of doing more. Start asking for more tasks in the position you want. Make sure your current tasks are complete and that your work is high-quality. If you can prove over time that you are willing and capable of doing more than what your current position asks of you, you’ll rise to the next position, and the next, because you keep proving that you can (and that you want to!)
- She maximized her free time
Skip the TV and replace it with learning, growing and visualizing. Spend your time wisely; it is one of the best things you can do for yourself. This doesn’t mean you should become a learning machine; You still need balance. Instead of sitting in front of the television for a couple of hours, read an article or watch a video demonstration. Get creative through artistic or musical pursuits.
By following these steps, Nicole Smartt has proven to everyone that entrepreneurship doesn’t care about a college degree. So probably if you don’t have the means to sponsor yourself through college, you can start a business instead and work really hard, then when you start making profits, you can save up for your college tuition.
I believe this has settled the long standing debate of whether or not it is compulsory to have a college degree before starting a business, and whether or not a college degree would determine the success of your business. Thanks for reading.