Chapter 18: Education versus Academics

In my first year of studies, I was told a shocking statistic.

90% of business owners do not hold tertiary qualifications.

I was studying to skill up and hearing that my chosen path doesn’t align with where I wanted to be made me question the education system.

The longer I studied, the more I learnt of other peoples experience. Each time, I had no experience to relate too. 

I wanted to learn through my own experience. 

I was raring to go and get out there.

In an industrial psychology lesson, I remember a being told this story:

A man goes out and starts his own business. He gets married and has kids. He provides financially for his family and pays for their livelihood.

He insists that his kids do better than he did. That they get degrees to have a better life than he did.

His kids get qualified.

With their qualifications, they start trying to help their Dads business. They address the risk factors that he had not considered. 

Over time though, they were so risk-aware that the business lost sales momentum. The business landed going bust.

I have many friends who have achieved their MBA. Masters of Business Administration.

They make poor business owners. Not one of my friends with MBA’s has self-employment acumen that impresses me. They are all really good at growing someone’s business but not their own.

They can see opportunities but they follow through in independence lags.

I believe MBAs qualification kill the entrepreneurship spirit.

Another observation I have is my best man Kennaird.

In our final year of school, he left in the first term, to go overseas. He didn’t finish school.

I worried about his future. Thought imminent failure was on the cards.

Needless to say that he was the first person in our year to make a million Rand. He was the first person to pay off their first home. 

He became a skilled carpenter and reinvested his income in a property (and developments). 

He proved that the education system is a delay in personal growth. He proved that you don’t need qualifications to be financially successful.

My conclusion is that we are all responsible for educating ourselves. We can learn a lot through academia but is it relevant and empowering to our path or is it a distraction?

I lean more towards learning through my own experience.

Be encouraged. Don’t stop learning.