What do Richard Branson and I have in common?
What's more important formal education or life experience? I recently came across an old article from businessinsider.com.au featuring 11 wildly successful people who dropped out of high school. One of whom was Richard Branson and I thought “wow” pretty amazing to have not completed high school but then go on to be one of the most successful businessmen in the world running multiple corporations. It also got me thinking about what's more important, formal education or life experience.
As a parent of two teenage children and a successful business owner I often find myself telling my kids how important education is and reinforcing to them to keep studying so you can be successful later in life.
I wonder however if this really is the key to success? Do we all define success differently?
If I think about my own career experience it was pure drive, tenacity and a never give up attitude that got me to where I am today. I left school before completing my senior year and started as a receptionist in a recruitment firm and with a belief in myself and worked my way up in the recruitment industry. I had some fantastic mentors along the way some of whom have become lifelong friends and still to this day love my job and the people I work with.
Do I wish I knew a little bit more now or had stayed at school longer? I don’t think so? The world is changing at such a rapid pace I don’t believe I would be any better off now if I had stayed at school.
What have I learned so far?
Success by definition is different for everyone
The road to your definition of success is never straight so enjoy the twists and turns along the way
So in answer to my original question formal education vs life experience, in my opinion, it really comes down to the individual their journey and how they measure success.