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.