The 5 Things in Business that College Can’t Teach

by / ⠀Startup Advice / October 14, 2011

business lessonsHaving a college education does not guarantee business success!

“What?  You’re saying that I just wasted four years of my life? Possibly more? “

No, the time in college is not a waste.  After all, there are many aspects of earning a degree in a business administration program that are necessary for success.

For example:

  • Time Management
  • The networking that college provides
  • Self-Responsibility
  • Connecting with people of different backgrounds
  • Presentation Skills
  • Organization

Notice I didn’t mention anything about actual business information?  That is because memorizing all the business terms is useless information.  That’s what Google does!

Here are The 5 Things in Business that College Can’t Teach:

  1. The ability to adjust.

If you can’t adjust the original plans, you won’t succeed!  Things will go wrong in the start-up process.  There could be trouble with suppliers, coworkers, or developers.  Maybe the whole company itself will need adjusted.  There is one thing that life as an entrepreneur can guarantee: there is something new every day.  Unless an adjustment is made to help the business, nothing will get done.

  1. The ability to persevere.

As I mentioned above, things will go wrong.  The successful entrepreneur has the ability to persevere through the “valleys”.  Did you expect running your own business to be easy?  Did you expect for everyone to believe in your company?  Did you expect for every decision to be right?  You shouldn’t.  That is why it is important to learn from the mistakes and move on!  Don’t ever give up! There is no use in hoping for great opportunities to happen.  Make them happen.

  1. The ability to have “blinders”.

As an entrepreneur, you live life in a small percentage.  Most people are not entrepreneurs.  This means that many will not approve of the “risk” you’re taking.  They will not think the way that entrepreneurs do.  “Why would you work so hard for no guarantee?” “You’re not smart enough to build a company.” Ignore them!  There will be a bunch of million dollar companies built in the next 5 years.  You might as well own one of them! Erase all the negativity out of your life.  Find friends that support your dreams.

  1. The desire to keep learning.

Learning did not stop after graduation.  To become successful, it takes much more.  In many ways, the learning just started!  There should be a scheduled part of the day that is focused on getting better.  Not only improving your business, but yourself.  What is the easiest way to do this?  Find mentors from different industries.  As I mentioned earlier, they all don’t need to have a great education.  Find someone who is successful in business.  Have you ever met someone who’s had 5 different businesses that have all been successful? They seem to make everything work?  That is the person that you need to find!  They know what it takes become successful.

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Go online and find the most popular books about business success.  Instead of picking up a book that explains our economy, pick up a book written by a successful entrepreneur.   Here are a few that I’ve read and would suggest:

You Call the Shots by Cameron Johnson

Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think Like a Champion by Donald Trump

  1. The ability to stay hungry.

What if the product sells out in one week?  Just going to relax and celebrate?  No, push to sell more in week two!  As entrepreneur, it is necessary to stay hungry and motivated.  There is always competition.  If no competition exists right now, it is coming!

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are a great example of staying “hungry”.  Even though his company’s traffic and net worth are astronomical, Zuckerberg is always trying to improve Facebook.

The business world can be brutal at times.  Why? Because money and reputations are on the line!  Unless there is the determination to continually get better, the success won’t last.  Don’t get too satisfied!


There are definitely benefits of having a business degree.  Although, as mentioned above, there are abilities and qualities that college can’t teach.  Thankfully, there are resources out there that will help you apply these qualities in business and life.  There is a lot of truth to be said about “Ideas don’t make a great business; great people do!”

Michael Fear is the Founder and CEO of Get Better Today &  Join @GetBetterTday and #TeamGetBetterToday by becoming part of a lifestyle that is far greater than “just” a company! 

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.