School was fun. It was a period you appreciated in your youth and believed would open the outside world up to you. School should be the ideal place to learn a lot. Yet it may not, in fact, be the ideal place to learn about entrepreneurial success. Because in the real sense of it entrepreneurship is better practiced than taught. Perhaps this is why we have self-made millionaires and billionaires who dropped out of college and high school. Here are 5 things about entrepreneurial success they may never teach you in school.
In the real sense of it, entrepreneurship is better practiced than taught. It is why we have self-made millionaires and billionaires who dropped out of college and high school. The lessons these entrepreneurs have learned were taught outside of the confines of school walls. Here are 5 important lessons about entrepreneurship you will only learn from experience:
The only person you need to impress is yourself
Perhaps, while in school, you tried to impress your teachers, your parents, your peers, the hottest guys or girls. But in the real world, the only person whose opinion really matters is you. The entrepreneurial journey is a tough one; there are many cold and lonely nights when you are alone working hard, planning, strategizing and trying to attain results. You simply have to show up because that’s the only way that you’ll be able to propel yourself forward as an entrepreneur.
There is no finish line
Perhaps you want to start a company, scale, and someday sell it. As amazing as this dream is, it is easier said than done. Real entrepreneurs know there is no finish line. In school, you just wanted to write those final exams, graduate, and get out. Essentially, you always had a clear ending in sight. But, as an entrepreneur, your goals should never be finite. They should be infinite and limitless because entrepreneurs are guided by their passion and desires. Entrepreneurs have a voracious appetite for success and innovation, both things essentially never-ending. A true entrepreneur is always hungry for more -more growth, more success, more ideas, more innovation.
You need to be a fearless risk-taker
School is a comfort zone for many people. It has a predictable structure. There are certain and specific ways things are done. You only have one or two chances to hit your goals, simply following a set pattern that you don’t need to question or build yourself. However, entrepreneurial success is all about taking a lot of risks. Most times entrepreneurs have to try and fail several times before they hit “gold.” In the real world of entrepreneurship, you have to learn how to take risks if you want to excel and be a success. You can’t be afraid to fail – which is counter-intuitive to what you’ve learned in school, isn’t it?
Enjoy the journey and the relationships you build
In school, it was all about taking. Even when we finished a class, there were honors or degrees to be received. Entrepreneurial success is a journey rather than a destination. Again, school is finite where entrepreneurship is essentially infinite. You have to enjoy the process and stay consistent. After all, it is about the impact and the value you will be given rather than working towards a specific end-game. This is why you should never focus on taking, but rather on giving. The more you give the greater you become.
There is no “one size fits all” in entrepreneurship
I have worked in media, travel insurance, and entertainment. In school, studying law means that you will become a lawyer. Studying medicine means that you will become a surgeon. It’s quite different with entrepreneurial success: you need to be a lot of things in order to accomplish a lot of things. Imagine an Elon Musk who, after co-founding Paypal, transitioned to an entirely different professional field, founding Tesla and Solar City. The truth is that if you want to stay successful, you have to learn to adapt and reposition yourself into unfamiliar territories every now and then.
School might teach you a lot, most of which you will need to unlearn if you want to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is something only life-experience will teach you how to do “right.”Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.