Running a Business Without a College Degree: What You Need to Know
So you want to be your own boss? You’re not alone—according to a Gallup poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans have considered starting their own business. And in a world where you can use a free college transcript template to strengthen your credentials, join free bootcamps and classes to upskill, plus get access to free resources and technology, it’s easier than ever to get started.
But if you don’t have a college degree, you might be wondering if it’s even possible to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality. Rest assured, it is!
In fact, some of the most successful business people out there never set foot in a classroom past high school. If you’re thinking about starting your own business but don’t have a college degree, here’s what you need to know.
- 1 1. You Don’t Need A Fancy Degree to Be Successful
- 2 2. You Will Need to Work Harder (But It Will Be Worth It)
- 3 3. There Are Plenty of Resources Available to Help You Succeed
- 4 4. A College Degree Doesn’t Guarantee Success
- 5 5. Creativity, Passion, and Grit are Key to Entrepreneurship
- 6 6. Be Realistic: Most Businesses Take Time to Grow
- 7 7. Collect Tangible Proof of Your Business Chops
- 8 Wrapping It Up
- 9 Author
1. You Don’t Need A Fancy Degree to Be Successful
When it comes to starting a business, what you know is more important than where you learned it. There are plenty of successful entrepreneurs who never completed college, including Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Steve Jobs.
Of course, having a college degree can give you some advantages—including access to networks and financial resources—but it’s not a requirement for success. The bottom line is this: if you have a great business idea and the drive to make it happen, you can be successful without a college degree.
2. You Will Need to Work Harder (But It Will Be Worth It)
Starting and running your own business is not for the faint of heart—it requires long hours, dedication, and laser-like focus. Even with these qualities, there will be setbacks and challenges along the way.
But the satisfaction that comes with being your own boss and building something from scratch is unmatched. If you’re willing to put in the hard work, starting your own business without a college degree can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
3. There Are Plenty of Resources Available to Help You Succeed
Fortunately, we live in an age where information is readily available at our fingertips—which means there are plenty of resources available to help you start and grow your business without attending (and paying for!) four years of college or more.
Consider taking advantage of free online courses offered by top entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk and Marie Forleo, or investing in books like “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries or “The Millionaire Fastlane” by MJ DeMarco. These resources can provide you with the knowledge and advice you need to turn your business dream into a reality—no degree required!
4. A College Degree Doesn’t Guarantee Success
Of course, it’s important to mention that having a college degree doesn’t guarantee success in business—or in life. There are plenty of people with degrees who have failed miserably in their businesses or careers. The truth is, success comes down to hard work, dedication, and perseverance, regardless of whether or not you have a college degree.
5. Creativity, Passion, and Grit are Key to Entrepreneurship
In the end, the most important qualities for any entrepreneur are creativity, passion, and grit. A college degree won’t inspire you when the going gets tough.
What will get you through the tough times is a strong belief in your business idea, and the drive to see it through no matter what. So if you think you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, don’t let the lack of a college degree hold you back. Go out there and make it happen.
6. Be Realistic: Most Businesses Take Time to Grow
One important piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: be realistic about the amount of time it will take for your business to grow. In addition, be aware that most businesses fail in the first year.
That’s not because you don’t have a college degree or you’re not good enough – that’s simply the reality in a world filled with people trying to make it. What sets successful entrepreneurs apart is their willingness to keep going despite the setbacks.
7. Collect Tangible Proof of Your Business Chops
If you want to be taken seriously as an entrepreneur without a college degree, then you need to collect evidence that proves you can do it.
Degree or not, investors want to make sure that their money is going to someone who knows what they’re doing. This means that you need to have a strong track record of successful businesses (or at least one very successful business) in order to get funding.
It’s okay to start small. For instance, an e-commerce store and grow it into a full-fledged business. You can also try volunteering for a startup company or working as a consultant to get some experience under your belt.
The more you can show prospective investors that you have what it takes, the more likely they are to give you the funding you need to get your business off the ground.
Wrapping It Up
Remember: what counts more than a paper proving you went to college it is what you actually know—so as long as you have great ideas and the dedication to see them through, you can find success as an entrepreneur without spending years and going in debt on getting a traditional college degree!