Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

3 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs-To-Be Should Finish College

3 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs-To-Be Should Finish College 150 150 MIchael and Bonnie Harvey

Around this time of year, a lot of students question the value of getting a degree. Now more than ever, they’re being urged to drop out. People say, “You don’t need a formal education anymore, especially if you’re planning on being an entrepreneur.” They might say, “Just get started, the real-world experience will be more effective than the abstract and theoretical education you get in college.” These proponents are quick to follow up with a long list of wildly successful people who dropped out of college and are now making zillions!

Our advice is, “Don’t do it!”

If you’re truly planning on being an entrepreneur, you should stay in school. Here’s why:

1. Learn How to Juggle. In college, you must be an expert in a valuable entrepreneurial skill—juggling. You have to juggle work, class, and social activities. You must get a good night’s sleep and stay healthy. Juggling your finances to be able to afford college means learning how to budget your time and money. You have to prioritize, sometimes without gratification, each crucial skill in the real world of entrepreneurship.

2. Learn How to Learn. College teaches you so much more than the courses you take. Due to the number of classes you must take each day, the limited time you have to study, and your course load, you won’t be able to pass unless you adopt a systematic approach to learning. Make assumptions about the course material on a basic level, fill in the blanks, and adjust your assumptions as you go. At the same time, you have to outline the material so that you’ll be able to recall and use it—even if it’s just for a test. You need to learn how to learn. This skill is necessary to be a successful entrepreneur in the real world.

3. Learn How to Finish What You Start. Completing things is essential in the world of entrepreneurship. Finishing college shows that you can really stick to it. Tenacity and commitment require a lot of practice, and they provide rewards. You’ll earn the reputation of a quitter if you pivot too often. You will be someone who can’t be taken seriously after saying you’re going to do something. As an entrepreneur, your customers choose your product because they believe you will do what you say. Your reputation is at stake!

If you still aren’t convinced, try doing these two things:

1. Work Part-Time for an Entrepreneur. Yes! Start working for someone who does what you want to do. It will give you a sense of awareness and respect for what’s involved. Seeing a real entrepreneur face real problems, make tough choices, and prioritize will get you ready for the road ahead.

2. Take Some Humanities Classes. These are also referred to as Liberal Studies or Liberal Arts. A successful entrepreneur properly uses and understands the skills they’ve learned about critical thinking, philosophy, communication, history, psychology, and sociology. Those courses will give you appreciation and gratitude for others. This will be invaluable when communicating leadership skills and selling your ideas to others.

You might’ve noticed we aren’t defending the content of higher education, but we are defending the challenges and rigor necessary to finish what you started. The college experience in itself forces discipline, focus, and frugality at a time when you need these critical traits. They will shape your future as an entrepreneur. So, stay in school! Learn the skills successful entrepreneurs need before you get started!

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