3 Mindset Changes to Go From High School Dropout to World-Class Entrepreneur

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All of us, no matter who you are or where you come from, have grown into the people we are today through challenge and change.

Growth and change is a reality of life; billionaires, high school dropouts, college students, and everyone in between face this fact.

To pursue growth and change productively, you’re going to have to overcome challenges in shifting from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. These challenges may be situational — you grew up in poverty or lack positive role models — or mental — you struggle to believe that you can do or be, all that you want.

All of this blocks you from your potential.

Most of us will face a variety of the challenges above, and sadly only some will push through while others will opt to give up. But giving up doesn’t change the fact that growth is inevitable; change is the only constant, and to be successful in this world, you must push through the inherent murkiness of your life to identify your worth and your drive.

Moving From Rags to Riches

Why do we all love a good rags-to-riches story? Because it is real. It is life, and it is closer to the reality of the majority, rather than the minority.

John Malott – Serial Entrepreneur

We connect with the story of WhatsApp Founder Jan Koum — moving from a childhood of sweeping floors and collecting food stamps to being the Founder of an app sold to Facebook for a cool $19 billion — because most of us can relate to being at the bottom, even if we find it hard to relate to the top. These stories make the end goal, the big payoff, seem more achievable for us everyday folk.

The entrepreneurial world has no shortage of rags to riches stories, from Oprah to Jan Koum and entrepreneur John Malott at Build Your Empire, who has made the shift from high school dropout bustling entrepreneur, creating an empire across sectors from aviation to blockchain tech, real estate, pharmaceuticals, and nutrition. John has gone from nothing to making over $2 million a year, generating $200,000 per month consistently since 2013.

Coming from the bottom, John accumulated invaluable lessons on what it takes to be successful, lessons which he has been able to quantify and share with the hoard of entrepreneurs to help them move from the mindset of the many to the mindset of the few. 

As the founder of Leave Normal Behind, I am frequently speaking with individuals who are becoming the best version of themselves, giving back, and creating things that matter. 

Having done the hard work and studied the masters, John shared with me the three significant mindset changes that he made to move from high school dropout to burgeoning entrepreneur.

If you can implement these 3 mindset shifts within your own life then you will experience drastic benefits that you will experience on the daily.


1. Change is Personal

To change, you must have a reason, and that all comes down to you. It has to be you. One strategy that John applied was to ask himself big, personal questions that forced him to self-reflect. Here are some that you can start with right now:

  • What is my current situation?
  • Do I like where I am at?
  • Do I like who I am?
  • Do I want to have this much stress?
  • What will happen to my kids?

When you ask yourself these questions, it is important to take inventory of yourself. Remove your ego and identify where you really are in life. Be honest with yourself. What do you want in your bank account, family life, relationships, and personal life?

2Change Has to Be Possible

Limiting beliefs plague everyone. When you come from the bottom and have never considered or been told that you will amount to anything, it is hard to see how change can be possible. This is a mindset that stops people from ever trying.  

Developing yourself as an entrepreneur means first quashing these limiting beliefs. Reflecting on personal aspirations helps you to realize that you can change your mindset, and this means that you can make these changes in the real world. You can be more than you ever thought possible.

In the beginning, most will never believe this is possible, and therefore they never do anything. I am sure many can relate to this feeling. What helped to transform this for John was being around books and mentors, positive influences who made it possible for him to change his perspective.

3. Change is Profitable

Of course, all change is fueled by motivation. There is no better motivation than having nothing and wanting desperately to survive, as well as strive and create a better world for yourself and the world around you. And the great news is that change is profitable. This is sure to light the fire you need.

As your mindset begins to shift, you will realize that you will be rewarded by making these changes. Seeing this helps you to understand that staying on track means generating profitability. With greater profitability, you increase the ability to strive for bigger and nobler goals, like ending world poverty through entrepreneurship, as John has now set out to do through his businesses and his work with other entrepreneurs.

Changing how you look at yourself, taking stock of your goals, believing you can achieve, and finally realizing that this change is going to be profitable is how the most successful entrepreneurs push through the mud to stand on top.


What are you doing with your mindset to drive you forward?

Try applying these changes to see for yourself how you can go from wherever you are now to where you want to go and, just like John, you too can create your own rags to riches story which can inspire and motivate.

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