Business School

Paths to Entrepreneurship

Written by Ian Folau

You hear it all the time… “You don’t need education to be an entrepreneur.”  While there are ample examples out there of people that dropped out of school and built a business from scratch, there are probably 10 times as many that did that and failed.  I have started multiple side businesses while in the Army.  [I will expound on a few of them in later posts] So I confess that it is possible to start a business, learning by way of the school of hard knocks.  However, I had the security of a full time job and had enough savings to invest in side ventures.  These businesses earned me minimal passive income (meaning I didn’t have to spend more than a couple hours a week on them) and were invaluable for me to gain experience in a relatively low risk way.  So why not leave the military and jump right into starting a business?

I wanted to build a business that had 40+ employees and a legitimate executive staff.  The problem with the companies that I started up on the side was that I couldn’t scale them while still in the military. I wasn’t able to invest the time into growing the businesses, by intensively marketing and increasing the profit margins by finding creative ways to decrease expenses.  I wasn’t going to get that time until I left the military.  However, leaving the military also meant no income, and with a family of 5, that doesn’t last long.  I needed a safe way to stall my life while concentrating on building a business.  That’s where business school came in.

By going to business school, I could use my GI Bill to pay for my housing and attend school essentially for free.  I realized that in order for me to go this way, I had to ensure that I wouldn’t lose my focus of wanting to build my own business.  Therefore, I focused my list of business schools on schools with high quality networks and opportunities to learn essential entrepreneurship skills.  Within the time I am attending school I am concentrating all my efforts towards finding a business to start, building a team to start it with, and securing funding from investors.  This is my path to entrepreneurship.

About the author

Ian Folau

I left the Army after nine years of service to follow my dreams of starting a business. I started up and am leading an awesome company while navigating sales/marketing/fundraising myself. I write to hopefully help those that are like me.