Saturday, December 7, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 341

Halp me. I'm unmotivated and I can't get up.

Can I just drop out of school and start a real job? It's not that I'm discouraged by the 'real world.' I'm discouraged by college, by school and grades and GPA and lectures and taking notes. I'd rather have real world experience and internships any day over sitting in a lecture hall. Which is why I love this article.

Why So Many Successful People Were Bad Students
By Ryan Holmes

I'll admit it. In high school, I was an uninspired student. I was passionate about my own hobbies and projects outside of school, but the day-to-day grind of classroom learning wasn't experiential enough. A lot of the innovators I admire, it turns out, fell into the same boat: Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were all high school or college dropouts.

So at 16, with some savings and a loan from my parents, I decided to start my first business: a paintball supply company. While my classmates were enjoying summer vacation, I was getting real-world lessons in marketing and logistics.

By the time graduation approached, I knew I wanted to dedicate myself to entrepreneurship. But as I pored over lists of bursaries and scholarships, I found lots of opportunities for people interested in sports, music and drama... and really nothing for people like me. As a young entrepreneur, I felt I was stumbling in the dark without anyone to guide me. A little mentorship and guidance could have radically accelerated the entire process and improved the odds of success. The reality is that, even with lots of heart and perseverance and hustle, I still had to get pretty lucky to be where I am now.

This is why last month, I launched The Next Big Thing, a charitable foundation to identify the world's brightest young entrepreneurs. Through the Next Big Thing, I want to help those who are like me: 'unconventionally driven.'

Our goals are simple: Get tomorrow's most promising entrepreneurs out of the classroom and into the business world. Remove the usual obstacles - grades, degrees and work experience. Reward ingenuity and accelerate the pace at which a good idea becomes a business reality.

Thomas Edison, himself dismissed as dumb and scatterbrained in school, may have said it best more than a century ago: 'Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.''

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