The thirst for learning something new is an essential component to the DNA of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs don’t drop out of college because they can’t handle the work, they drop out because they see an external opportunity to succeed, grow, and learn in the real world. One of the key lessons I have learned since diving into an entrepreneurial mindset is that an education means much more than learning inside the classroom.
Whoever started the trend that “Going to get your education” was synonymous with going to school, should be kicked in the ass. No matter what your walk in life is, to be successful, there is no one place to go – you find your education through the different endeavors that builds a career. The best way to learn is by doing.
All of this leads me to my newfound education. While being a student entrepreneur has served me well, I felt that I was starting to fall behind on beneficial experience. I was meeting everyone I needed to meet and learning a great deal in doing so, but I guess you could say my business sense wasn’t allowing me to progress the way I wanted to. So, I went opportunity hunting. I refuse to say job hunting because I wasn’t searching for a job… If I was going to briefly abandon the life of a student entrepreneur, it had to be an opportunity that was fit for me, and my education.
After a couple of rejections, and some uncertainty of what would happen next, I applied to a hot education tech startup in New York, 2tor. I knew some people there and had heard they were making some serious moves so I applied. Low and behold, I was hired ONE WEEK after submitting my application. Now I get to work on a talented, fun, and fast paced team while changing the landscape of high education. Frankly, I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.
From my first interview, I knew that this wasn’t just a great place to work, but also a great place to learn. This is a team I am learning from every second and am exponentially better for it. I found my education and what I needed to become a better professional. I turned my entrepreneurship into “intra”preneurship and I do not regret that decision. I know I have the DNA of an entrepreneur, but like most ‘treps, I need to walk before I run.
I guess to drive home my point; I will break down my view on “education:”
Success is only half the battle
Finding success through an endeavor isn’t enough. Period. Success is one thing, but learning is just as important. If we don’t learn from the good and the bad, how do we move forward to bigger and better things? That’s what I love about Steve Jobs… He found success with Apple in the beginning, built Pixar; found more success, and then returned to Apple to create on of the largest companies in the world. Through all of this, he showed incredible growth by learning and executing through experience. He succeeded once and continued to succeed in greater capacities because he continued to learn.
Education is MUCH more than a diploma
I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here, but it still must be said. Education is about what you learn in and outside the classroom… 99% is actually outside of the classroom. School provided me with the fundamentals, but let’s face it – I wouldn’t be writing this without the experience I’ve gained on my own ambition. I am learning more and more every day not only because I have a relentless passion, but because I realized I had to go find MY education rather than the one my professors were trying to give me.
Learning is endless
We all must remember that learning and our education is an ongoing project throughout our lives. No matter what stage we are at, there is ALWAYS something new to learn and we should continuously be on the hunt or embrace the thirst for education. Especially in today’s digital world, there is always an opportunity to learn that must be taken advantage of. Those opportunities will never go away…its up to you to make the most of them.
Again, I’m probably preaching to the choir, but this post needed to be written. We need to understand that we determine our true education, not some $40,000 a year institution. I’m thankful I’ve found my course of education; I hope you have or will do the same.
Harrison Kratz is the Social Media Coordinator at the new revolutionary Online MBA program at the University of North Carolina and sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive. Feel free to connect with me on Twitter, @KratzPR!
Category: Startup Advice