Embrace Your Entrepreneurial Spirit – From Dropout to Bakery Boss

Ever wonder why some of the biggest names in business never finished college? Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, they all dropped out of the college game to pursue their dreams. So, what gives? Why do so many successful folks decide to ditch the diploma?

Well, I think it all boils down to that classic entrepreneurial spirit. You know, the kind that refuses to play by the rules. College can sometimes feel like a cage, boxing in your creativity and stifling your big ideas. Dropouts are the rebels, the ones who can’t stand being told what to do or how to think. The ones itching to break free and do things their way. I would know, I speak from experience. I did finish my first two years and got my AA in Psychology. But something did not sit right with me. Why sit in a box for hours when you can be out there doing? Felt like a huge waste of time. Do I regret it? Not for one bit! But because I came from a family that valued a piece of paper to prove you’re educated, this decision gnawed at me for a long time. Though I did learn early on that education comes in many forms. Most often the life skills you learn outside of the classroom are way more important and useful, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship.

The entrepreneurial spirit thrives on freedom. The freedom to explore, experiment, and innovate without boundaries. But college, with its strict schedules and standardized curriculums, can feel like a straightjacket for us free-wheeling thinkers. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, it just doesn’t quite work. Dropouts, on the other hand, are the renegades of the academic world. We’re the ones who refuse to be boxed in, who reject the notion that success can only be achieved through a traditional education. For us, the classroom is too confining, too limiting. We crave the autonomy to chart our own course, to learn by doing rather than by memorizing.

We have an issue with conformity. Colleges often prioritize conformity over creativity, rewarding students who toe the line and follow the rules. But true entrepreneurs aren’t interested in playing it safe or blending into the crowd. We’re the disruptors, the trailblazers, the ones who color outside the lines and challenge the status quo. We’re the crazy ones! For many dropouts, leaving college isn’t just a rebellion against the system. It’s making a statement that we refuse to be bound by conventional paths to success. We’re willing to take the road less traveled, even if it means facing criticism or skepticism from friends, family, and society in general.

There’s also this whole risk taking thing. Dropping out of college is a gutsy move, no doubt about it. It’s like saying, “I’m betting everything on myself and my idea.” And you know what? Sometimes that gamble pays off big time. Successful entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to roll the dice and see where they land. I made three risky moves – I dropped out of college, I quit my secure 9-5 job and then I started my company, while raising a newborn and a toddler during the recession. It could’ve easily failed. But like Steve Jobs once said, “You have to be willing to fail. You have to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far”.

Mariel BlackOf course, not every college dropout becomes the next billionaire superstar. And let’s be real, college can teach you some pretty valuable stuff too. But the point is, success doesn’t always come in a neat little diploma-shaped package. Sometimes, it’s about taking the road less traveled, making your own rules, and chasing your dreams with everything you’ve got. So, whether you’re thinking about ditching college or sticking it out, just remember this…there’s no one-size-fits-all path to success. Sometimes, you gotta pave your own way, with or without a college degree. My advice? Follow your passion. Follow your heart. Listen to your head and your gut. Get rid of the “what if’s” and “supposed to’s”. Most regrets come from the things you don’t do. So grow some balls, take a deep breath and just do it!

 

About the Writer: Mariel Black, owner of Sinful Treats, Inc. and founder of Sinful Treats Marketplace. Mariel has been in the baking business since 2009. She learned to bake in her grandma’s kitchen when she was just a little girl, taught by her 2 aunts who were both avid bakers. When Mariel decided to start her baking business, they gave her family recipes to help her get started. Now, Mariel runs a nationwide online marketplace, SinfulTreats.net, to help other bakers grow their businesses.

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