Traditionally speaking, higher education is expected to lead to a more favorable outcome in the job market. We’ve all seen those graphs of increases in income, which correlate with education levels. However, as of late, there is a shift taking place. Higher education is losing its value. Students have become discouraged by the prospect of astronomical student loans, while employers are favoring professional experience and expertise over university degrees.
Then there are the success stories, that we all know and love, of people who managed to revolutionize the world despite not having degrees, people such as Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson. If you want to go even further back, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Walt Disney also made it big without completing their degrees. This is where one might argue that of course they were able to achieve success and become multimillionaires, because some of them hailed from affluent backgrounds to begin with, or displayed extraordinary talents they were able to capitalize on.
What about the rest of us? Could a regular person realistically dream of achieving mega financial success, without a degree to their name? Absolutely, and Andrew James, the CEO of Oasis, is a prime example of it. What’s more, we never forgot his roots and consistently seeks new ways to help other entrepreneurs by sharing his unique insights which he learned the hard way.
While studying abroad in Australia, Andrew dropped out at the age of 19. He spent the next four years learning a multitude of business tactics and practices from mentors worldwide. He created Oasis with the goal to help people break free from unfulfilling jobs so they can live life on their terms. He now has close to 20 employees in his company, each with similar goals to help others prosper. He credits most of his milestones, including achieving millionaire status, to having the right mindset while pushing forward, and encourages novice entrepreneurs to do the same, all while staying true to themselves and maintaining their true ideals.
Push Through Roadblocks and Learn From Them
Andrew didn’t have a great deal of support after dropping out, and the roadblocks he faced ended up serving as one of his first lessons in entrepreneurship- to push through roadblocks.
“I knew all along that I wanted to start an online business, but most of my friends and family members thought the idea was terrible. I remember telling one of my friends when I had just dropped out of school, ‘You don’t need school anymore, there’s the Internet! You can build your own business’ and my friend responded, ‘You’re insane.’
Andrew never let the discouragement get to him. He also didn’t let his lack of finances stop him from making his dream a reality. “When I was first getting started I was in a lot of credit card debt, I maxed out all of them and had a negative bank account often.” At that point, he had to learn how to overcome his lack of finances and experience. As he slowly acquired funding, the next goal was to master the art of bootstrapping and startup budgeting, which naturally required him having to juggle multiple roles.
Manage Relationships the Intelligent Way
We are all the average of the five people we spend the most time with, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick with the same people for ideas or inspiration forever. Andrew says, “A lot of times the people closest to you can’t keep up with your evolution, or they don’t want to evolve because it makes them feel worse about themselves. Sometimes elevation requires separation.”
Andrew recommends only listening to people who have what you want on all fronts, not just one aspect of it. For instance, one can become the protegee of a billionaire, but if that billionaire has only achieved financial success but is otherwise unhappy and unhealthy, you best search elsewhere for a more qualified mentor. On that note, James stresses that just because someone may be older than you doesn’t necessarily mean they are wiser in the areas you need guidance on. The best relationships are those that help you flourish.
Focus on Impact and Success Will Follow
It’s a natural rookie mistake to become obsessed with how to get rich fast, especially for novice entrepreneurs working with limited funds. Instead, Andrew recommends focusing on impact. “Instead of making it a numbers game from the beginning, it would be far more meaningful and beneficial to determine how you can accomplish your goals by helping others.” You can do this by offering your time and talents to help propel others. If you help enough people get what they want, you, in turn, will get what you want.
In addition to his work in helping others achieve success in their business lifestyle, Andrew is creating a new software platform which is set to disrupt the online marketing realm. “Having the right mindset is key,” says Andrew. “I maintain this mindset by immersing myself in impactful projects, helping others, and learning from like-minded people who achieved greater success. At the end of the day, good business comes from creating win-wins, and you don’t need higher education for that. You just need to understand people, and not lose sight of that understanding.”