Why Some Entrepreneurs Couldn’t Wait to Leave School Behind

School is not for everyone, and some of the most successful people left school without getting a degree. Some didn’t even make it to upper level-classes. Their ranks include such magnates as Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs. Others made it through to a bachelor’s degree, but it wasn’t necessarily pretty – Mark Cuban and Chris Burch fall more in that category.

Need for More Experiential Learning

Many believe that part of the problem is these high achievers are always looking for the application of principles rather than the simple academic understanding of them. Chris Burch paid his way through college with odd jobs before ultimately beginning his own fashion business and selling it less than 15 years later when it was valued at $60 million. Mark Cuban started selling sets of garbage bags when he was just 12 years old to save for a pair of shoes he wanted. He worked his way through his education and later educated himself while working. But though he’s smart and talented, school is a different way of doing things.

Of course, Richard Branson’s story is a rare but wonderful journey. Branson left school at the age of 16 with problems from dyslexia making school difficult. It wasn’t that his family didn’t have smart and talented people, his mother was a ballet dancer, his father a barrister, and his grandfather a high court judge in England. But as many with dyslexia have before him, he overcame the problem to create a great future for himself. Branson’s imagination roamed free when the letters and numbers didn’t always make sense.

One Area of Specialization

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both left college before graduating and their stories are so iconic they don’t need to be told. They were driven in one direction instead of following the broader requirements of a full education. It isn’t that these guys haven’t shown over the years they could excel at many things, but in their youth they were driven (as was Mark Cuban), to create something the world had not seen before in the computer field.

Since their early years, all of these entrepreneurs have shown their diversity and imagination in a variety of pursuits. As they’ve succeeded, they’ve also given much of their substantial fortunes back to organizations doing good works or helping others in their own areas of specialization.

School may not have come easy to them, but life didn’t hold back on the opportunities as they fought their way over various hurdles to build their empires. Some kept to certain areas and others, like Chris Burch have invested their time, talent, and resources in a wide array of industries, choosing to invest in people they find compelling rather than a business concept.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Salut,Ton article m’a permis d’enfin comprendre exactement ce que c’était que le Forex, j’avoue que je n’avais jamais eu la curiosité de rechercher un peu, je connaissais juste ça de nom. Je trouve le principe intéressant, je vais m’y pencher plus en profondeur maintenant.

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