How I Started A Successful Business Without A College Degree
I graduated high school 7 years ago. When I was preparing to graduate, I was confronted with one viable path for "success" according to school administrators, family, and well-meaning friends. I was an honor student, active in student government, worked a very hectic part-time job, and even had a few college course credits under my belt.
I thought it was a college degree or bust. But there was one issue...
When I enrolled at my local community college in Asheville, North Carolina, I had no idea what I was doing. Or even what I wanted to study for a long-term career path. I began studying early childhood education but had no desire whatsoever to teach. I ended up leaving college after my first semester and can I be honest? I never regretted my decision.
Now before I continue, I want to make something very clear. I am not against a college education. If a college degree is what you need to get your dream job then I say go for it. I will cheer you on from the stands as you walk across that stage if it is the right step for you to succeed in your field of choice. However, I know college isn't everyone's logical next step for success or even necessary in some fields.
Thankfully, since I graduated (nearly a decade ago), we are becoming a society that accepts many paths to success. Some take the college path, learn a trade at a trade school, become entrepreneurs, or start a family. Everyone has their own version of what success looks like to them. Oftentimes, we do these steps out of society's order but the perfect order for us.
When I left my last public job a few years ago, I left thinking that I couldn't make money from home. Just in the past few years, working from home has become increasingly popular especially amongst the parenting community. I was a stay-at-home mom who realized she wanted to do more financially for our family. I also realized that I really loved the business world. Several of my start-ups crashed and burned miserably. The businesses were great ideas but they weren't my passions.
I kept the entrepreneurial spirit going inside of me by continuously dreaming and finding out what I was passionate about. I was blessed to work from home for a Christian newspaper and then, later on, a digital media company. Both of these jobs made me realize how passionate I was about sales, marketing, and digital media as a whole. I have learned everything I know hands-on from my previous employers, educating myself with books and podcasts on these topics, and 95% was absorbed by getting my hands dirty and jumping right in.
Fast-forward to today. I am running my own digital media company where I specialize in professional website design and business branding. I also work for a publication based in Nolensville, TN where I am an advertising sales representative. Real money goes into my account each month all while I am home raising a family.
So why am I sharing this with you today?
Even if you aren't a mom or wanting to work from home, I want to prove to you that hard work pays off and you can be successful financially even if you didn't finish college or if you got a degree in something you're no longer interested in.
I spent several years worried that no one would take me seriously in the marketplace. After all, I was a college drop-out, a stay-at-home mom, and had very little experience in the digital media world. But as the years passed and I worked hard to learn everything I could, I realized that my faulty mindset was the only thing hindering me from running my own business. I had the experience and the knowledge after years of working in the field yet I was holding my own self back.
Entrepreneurs don't typically fit society's mold and that is quite okay. Be bold enough to dream bigger and do what you're passionate about. There are many women and men who stepped out on a limb to start their own business or bring home income in an out-of-the-box way.
You can't be the next great business without simply starting. College degree or not, you can succeed.