It’s no surprise that most successful people in life are usually entrepreneurs – specifically, entrepreneurs who never bothered to get a college degree.
This is NOT to say that education isn’t important. However, it also gives hope to those who are not academically-inclined; that excellence and success in life are not measured by the level of education one has achieved. Rather, a feat reached through grit, hard work, and skill.
The following are some of the billionaires who never went to college (as well as those who did but later dropped out of school before graduating), but still managed to succeed in their endeavors.
John Paul DeJoria
John Paul Dejoria is a billionaire whose net worth is $3.2 billion. He never bothered to get a college degree. Still, he did something worthwhile with what he could. When his High School teacher once told him that he would never succeed at anything, he proved him wrong by investing in hair care products such as shampoo, which he used to sell door-to-door in the 1980s.
His most valuable investment patron spirits, have remained unchallenged for ultra-premium tequila for more than a decade. This once homeless entrepreneur built a fortune from hair care products. A truly inspirational story of our time.
The Egyptian-born billionaire whose net worth is $2.9 billion NEVER attended college. As a war survivor, he made his billions by investing in television and media. First, he started with business ideas involving financial services, entertainment, and media. He then founded Saban entertainment. He is also a producer and distributor of children’s TV programs in the U.S., which includes Power Rangers among others.
This is another billionaire who didn’t go to High School but is now one of the world’s richest, with a net worth of $4 billion. He has founded Hobby Lobby, yet clearly admitted to feeling uncomfortable back then. He says that his work-study program in High School is what led him to retail.
This billionaire is well-known for being the founder of social media giant, Facebook. At a ripe age of 30, Zuckerberg is worth $13.3 billion. He launched the social network in his dorm room at Harvard University with his college roommates, but later dropped out after the second year in June 2004 to pursue his business venture. Within a very small time, his venture gained more than one million users and has continued to be the most visited site in 2012.
Larry Ellison has a net worth of $43 billion at the age of 46. Latest statistics show that he is the third richest man in America. He attended the University of Illinois, but later dropped out after his second year when his adoptive mother died. After being enrolled in the University of Chicago, he dropped again and started working for the Amdahl corporation as a programmer before teaming up with two of his coworkers.
He co-founded the Oracle Corporation, despite the fact that he never bothered to get a college degree.
Richard Branson’s net is evaluated at approximately $4.9 billion. Surprisingly, this billionaire didn’t finish High School and left at the age of 16. Academics never seemed to fit him due to his extremely poor performance in early academic attempts. However, he didn’t stop performing in the world of business.
He is the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin records, Virgin mobile and other Virgin subsidiaries. Today, Branson feels that education is not everything – but believes that schools should support entrepreneurial dreams by helping them get funding for their projects.
Michael Dell, as the name suggests, is the CEO of Dell computers. His net is approximated at $20 billion. He graduated from The University of Texas but later dropped out. While still in college, he started selling computers to his friends. Having succeeded in it, he was inspired to build an even bigger empire that we now today as DELL.
By now, almost everybody knows this innovative billionaire. Having been the richest man for thirteen consecutive years, there seems to be no signs of letting go of that position. He is the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software company. Amazingly, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard University to focus on building his venture. One of his famous quotes include:
“BE NICE TO NERDS. CHANCES ARE YOU’LL END UP WORKING FOR ONE.”
This is yet another billionaire who never bothered to get a college degree. This self-made American billionaire and an oil tycoon is estimated to have a net worth of $20.2 billion. He is famous for developing the Bakken formation, which goes all the way through North Dakota into Canada. Apparently, he is currently involved in a divorce case which is anticipated to be one of potentially largest divorce settlements of all the time.
This billionaire became rusticated from the University of Maiduguri as one of the student activists following the riots against the education minister. While his fellow students later prosecuted the school authorities, Kalu left school to make his own debut. He started by establishing SLOK holding, a conglomerate that would consist of a number of successful companies such as Ojialex furniture and SLOK paper factory among others.
Due to his innovative nature, Kalu became the youngest Nigerian to receive the national merit award from president Ibrahim Babangida.
These are just some of the many other billionaires who dropped out school but still made their mark by proving to the world that education is not the only key to success. However, most of them never criticized education. Instead, they emphasize that students should also be given the freedom to choose the path they want to take in life.
With determination, hard work, and humility, YOU too, can be a success.