Do people who aspire to run their own business need a university degree? Not necessarily, says Jack Delosa, a young Australian entrepreneur and millionaire who ended his higher education career after only six months.
In an appearance on Channel 7’s popular Sunrise morning show, Delosa stops short of saying a university experience is useless. Some careers, such a law or accounting, require a sheepskin, he points out. But then he notes that his entrepreneur mentoring initiative, The Entourage, surveyed business owners about the effectiveness of university in preparing them for the business world. On a scale of 10, higher ed rated a 3. Ouch.
Personally, Delosa said he found the instruction (he was pursuing a commerce degree) to be too bogged down in theory. At the same time, he noted that many of the his respected mentors hadn’t secured a degree.
(The Sunrise piece leads off by listing a few insanely successful and rich people who never completed — or attended — university: Steven Spielberg, Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Lindsay Fox.)
Delosa, a perennial Anthill 30under30 honoree, gave Sunrise host Andrew O’Keefe five tips for entrepreneurial success:
- Just do it: Don’t waste time intellectualising over whether you should give it a go. Just go.
- Mentors: Obviously, this a big one with Delosa. Tapping the expertise of people who have been there, don’t that is crucial.
- Focus: Concentrate on the core business. Make sure it’s purring like a Jaguar before muddying the waters with expansions or acquisitions.
- People: Surround yourself with smart, capable folk. Delosa joked that his goal is to be the dumbest person in the room.
- Go outside in: Delosa said he’s seen too many early stage entrepreneurs embrace an idea based only on their own assumptions. Not good. Venture out into your potential market, ask questions, discover what people want, and adjust accordingly.
Image by James Almond
Jack Delosa: You don’t need a degree to succeed