What are you waiting for?


Blogheads,

I wanted to repost a blog I previously posted on the Entrénomics Blog not too long ago. Earlier this year, I started a non-profit organization geared towards helping young entrepreneurs gain clarity and gusto to follow their dreams and ambitions. To motivate young men and women from diverse backgrounds to see opportunities as ideas yet to be turned into action. You can check out the website at www.entreworldwide.com for more information. The post below is something I am passionate about as well. You see, there are two ways to succeed: by working harder or, by working smarter. More often than not, we follow what we know – read on below and see my take on following your gut and instincts while leveraging your education at the same time!

A wise man once told me that college may just get in the way of your “it” factor so be careful how you plan to use it.

Well, if you have a brilliant idea and the passion to drive it into a million pieces that can be scattered and replicated into profit all over the world that also in turn gives back to the community around you, you haven’t much to gain from a formal graduate school program.

Have you ever wanted to do something very simple, say something like, plant a seed? When you begin to look at all the intricacies of doing something so simple and micro-digressing it so much that the very thought of it becomes so tedious it’s just not that much fun anymore is it? Now you have to worry about what type of soil, what temperature is the ground, is it facing east or west, is it the right seed for the right season, is it going to need 2.4 cups of water every 30 minutes or must it only be watered every three hours for it to grow to its real potential. Paralysis by Analysis sets in…and then, crap – fuggedaboutit!

Which leads me to my next question.

How do you teach entrepreneurship anyway? Sure it can be done by reading numbers and analyzing graphs and charts and behavioral data of the last few centuries of consumers and their economical behaviors, but sometimes, it just gets in the way.  By the time your about $90K into your b-school program, you could have spent that time truly pursuing what you were passionate about and making it an artful skill that brings you the green instead of you doling it out to your local alma mater or institution.

Here are a list of some entrepreneurs without a college degree let alone an MBA.

Mary Kay Ash. The founder of Mary Kay Inc. started a cosmetics business. While she didn’t have a college education or any training, she successfully created a brand known throughout the world. To date, nearly half a million women have started Mary Kay businesses, selling cosmetics. Their appreciation for Mary Kay Ash is unwavering.

Richard Branson. Richard Branson is best known for his thrill seeking spirit and outrageous business tactics. He dropped out at the age of 16 and started his first successful business venture,Student Magazine. He is the owner of the Virgin brand and its 360 companies. His companies include Virgin Megastore and Virgin Atlantic Airway.

Coco Chanel. An orphan for many years, Gabrielle Coco Chanel trained as a seamstress. Determined to invent herself, she threw out the ideas that the fashion world deemed feminine, boldly using fabric and styles normally reserved for men. A perfume bearing her name, Chanel No. 5 kept her name famous.

Simon Cowell. Simon Cowell started in a mailroom for a music publishing company. He has since become an Artist and Repertoire (A&R) executive for Sony BMG in the UK, and a television producer and judge for major television talent contests including American Idol.

Michael Dell. With $1,000, dedication and desire, Michael Dell dropped out of college at age 19 to start PC’s Limited, later named Dell, Inc. Dell became the most profitable PC manufacturer in the world. In 1996, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation offered a $50 million grant to The University of Texas at Austin to be used for children’s health and education in the city.

Barry Diller. Fox Broadcasting Company was started by a college dropout, Barry Diller. Diller is now chairman of Expedia, and CEO of of IAC/InterActiveCorp which includes Home Shopping Network and Ticketmaster.

Walt Disney. Having dropped out of high school at 16, Walt Disney’s career and accomplishments are astounding. The most influential animator, Disney holds the record for the most awards and nominations. Disney’s imagination included cartoons and theme parks. The Walt Disney Company now has annual revenue of $30 billion.

Debbi Fields. As a young, 20 year old housewife with no business experience, Debbi Fields started Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chippery. With a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, this young woman became the most successful cookie company owner. She later renamed, franchised, then sold Mrs. Field’s Cookies.

Henry Ford. At 16, Henry Ford left home to apprentice as a machinist. He later started Ford Motor Company to manufacture automobiles. Ford’s first major success, the Model T, allowed Ford to open a large factory and later start the assembly line production, revolutionizing the auto-making industry.

Bill Gates. Ranked as the world’s richest person from 1995-2006, Bill Gates was a college drop out. He started the largest computer software company, Microsoft Corporation. Gates and his wife are philanthropists, starting The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a focus on global health and learning.

Milton Hershey. With only a fourth grade education, Milton Hershey started his own chocolate company. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate became the first nationally marketed chocolate. Hershey also focused on building a wonderful community for his workers, known as Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Steve Jobs. After attending one semester of college, Steve Jobs worked for Atari before co-founding Apple Computers. Now without the “Computers” in their name, Apple includes innovative products such as the iPod, iTunes, and most recently the iPhone. Steve Jobs was also the CEO and co-founder of Pixar before it merged with Walt Disney.

Rachael Ray. Despite having no formal training in culinary arts, Rachel Ray has made a name for herself in the food industry. With numerous shows on the Food Network, a talk show and cookbooks, high-energy Rachael doesn’t slow down. She has also appeared in magazines as well has having her own magazine debut in 2006. She knew she was a success when a website dedicated to bashing her was created.

Ty Warner. Sole owner, CEO, and Chairman of Ty, Inc., Ty Warner is a savvy, yet private business man. Ty, Inc., made $700 million in a single year with the Beanie Babies craze without spending money on advertising! He has since expanded to include Ty Girlz dolls, directly competing with Bratz dolls.

Frank Lloyd Wright. Having never attended high school, Frank Lloyd Wright surpassed all odds when he became the most influential architect of the twentieth century. Wright designed more than 1,100 projects with about half actually being built. His designs have inspired numerous architects to look at the beauty around them and add to it.

So perhaps a $500.00 textbook on Macroeconomics may not get you to the heights of the  Himalayas, but what do you have that you are driven about? What do you want to pursue? What’s your venture? Everyone on the list above had something in common – passion. They went out to get it themselves and didn’t rely on someone else to tell them how to do it.

Now I am not encouraging you young folks to drop out of school like flies. Nor encouraging you to rethink your educational plan. All of those things are important in conditioning your self for success. The main point you should take away form this is that great entrepreneurial intuition and great education coupled with the right business smarts could catapult you further than you imagine. Look at the likes of Meg Whitman (eBay) and Sergey Brin (Google). What I am saying is,

YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT.

Jump off the edge of where the rest of your life begins. The world is giving you permission to write your own history. If you have a venture or a business idea that you want to bring from idea to action, JUST DO IT!!

If you are not sure where to start – well that’s where we can help.

Drop us a line at hello@entre-worldwide.com and tell us what your venture is. We are passionate about getting you there.

I’ll write more about this topic later. For now, digest it as you will – I am interested in hearing what you have to say about this. Yes, you. I know you are reading this! You’re one step away from making this an actual dialogue. Don’t be shy – tell me all about what you are thinking. After all, GenY’ers LOVE feedback!

If you want, you can also email me directly. I’d be happy to answer any questions or get feedback through that medium as well.

Cheers!

AJ

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