As the market becomes increasingly competitive, a formal education seems to be a requirement for almost all job applicants. It is impossible for a biochemist or a physicist to become successful without a formal degree.
However, it is not impossible for an entrepreneur to become incredibly wealthy without an academic background. In fact, a survey by Inc. Magazine says that 77 percent of entrepreneurs don’t have any form of college degree.
Dr. Kasper Boon, former dean of two colleges in the Netherlands and current owner of CRH, an international building materials group, says that most CEOs don’t have degrees, and don’t behave as if they had one.
Yet these are the high-powered executives that business students dream of becoming.
Dr. Boon says that there is one factor that is not taught in schools that will determine your success as an entrepreneur.
“You must have personality,” he said. “Personality, personality, personality. I cannot say it enough. It is the personality.”
When asked what is most important for entrepreneurs to know, Dr. Boon simply said, “Know yourself. An entrepreneur who doesn’t know themselves is heading down the wrong path.”
Scott Patterson, owner of five separate janitorial corporations in Texas, said he agrees with this sentiment. The only person who can stand in the way of an entrepreneur is himself, Patterson said.
Patterson also said that the biggest flaw in most aspiring entrepreneurs is a lack of humility.
“Most people argue that an entrepreneur has to be aggressive, but I think a lot of new entrepreneurs misinterpret what that means.”
Both of these successful entrepreneurs have received formal educations, and both value it highly. However, both realize that there is something more that makes an entrepreneur. Dr. Boon would say it’s something almost completely indefinable.
“You either have it in your blood or you don’t have it in your blood,” he said, “If you don’t, don’t become an entrepreneur.”
What do you think? Tell us if you think an entrepreneur is something that is learned or something that you’re born with?