What do Richard Branson and Andrew Carnegie have in common?

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by Tom Watson on February 15, 2011

Richard Branson, the famous billionaire and owner of Virgin Airways never had one.

Andrew Carnegie, an industrialist from our not too distant past didn’t either.

Do you know what I’m talking about? Ready for the answer…a formal education. Isn’t that just an amazing thought? Two of the worlds wealthiest people, but neither made it to high school, let alone college.

I’m touching on this topic today because many people feel like “success” is not in the cards for them. Maybe it’s because others try to drill that thought into their head, or maybe it’s just because they weren’t great students. In either case a “formal” education is not an absolute must for success.

What is a “must” is putting in some hard work to get yourself up to speed on a given task. Hark work will always pay dividends, and never goes out of style. Now keep in mind that hard work doesn’t really have to be all that “hard”. Hard work is better defined as just being consistent, and constantly putting forth a solid effort to a given set of tasks. No more, no less.

If you still have some doubts as to whether you can really start a small, efficient and highly profitable business, consider this. The following list of people never had much education, yet still acheived great things none the less.

  • Anne Beiler. Founder of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels (dropped out of high school).
  • Barry Diller. Founder of FOX Broadcasting (high school diploma).
  • David Neeleman. Founder of Jet Blue Airlines (college dropout).
  • George Eastman. Founder of Kodak (high school dropout).
  • Hyman Golden. Co-founder of Snapple (high school dropout).
  • Jimmy Dean. Founder of Jimmy Dean Foods (high school dropout).
  • John D. Rockefeller. Founder of Standard Oil (high school dropout).

The list goes on and on. No doubt this list will be added to each and every year going forward. My question to you is this. Will you be the next one on it? You just might be!

The one takeaway for today is this. If you have spent your life doubting you have what it takes, you shouldn’t after today. Success is for EVERYONE, you just need to claim it.

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