I’m not afraid to admit that I don’t have a degree, nor do I have a diploma. Actually in 2008, I walked out of my college classroom during exam week of my final year because I wanted to follow my dreams. The current program I was in was chosen by my parents (who thought they knew what was best for you me) and after falling into a deep depression I knew things had to change… and quick.
:: so I ripped up my exam paper and ran towards the exit ::
Which, to me, represented freedom. I will never forget that moment, but more importantly what that moment represents to me in my life now. As a millennial entrepreneur who has been able to beat the odds and achieve her wildest dreams without a formal post secondary education, what my struggle has taught me is that passion can take me anywhere. In my late teens, I realized that I learn very differently than most people. My classroom does not exist within four walls because the best teacher that I’ve ever known is life itself.
Dropping out of college was a huge wake up call. I’ve had to hustle my butt off to get to where I am today. But I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world because along the way I’ve learned some incredible lessons which have helped me become intuitive, determined and happy that I chose to follow my heart.
Here are 5 career lessons I didn’t learn in school.
:: THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE :: A piece of paper doesn’t guarantee you the corner office. These days it takes more than just book smarts to land a career. You have to stand out, show what you’re made of and why you deserve any and every opportunity. Out of thousands upon thousands who have graduated, the chic who will always get ahead is the one who highlights what makes her different. Success is the result of doing something bold. Life has taught me the importance of staying ahead of the curve and has pushed me to create a path when one doesn’t exist. I’ve had to fight really hard, and without an education, for respect in my fields. But I mainly earned it because I followed these rules.
:: NEVER GIVE UP LEARNING :: Every now and again, everyone should tap into their inner child because it’s important to stay curious and creative. The best thing about my classroom environment is that there is no curriculum, which gives me the freedom to learn organically and from various sources. I wake up every day feeling alive and eager to receive the lessons that life is ready to throw at me. Having this freedom makes me happy and when I’m in a state of bliss, I give my best to myself and the rest of the world. Life has taught me that every situation is a lesson in disguise and to keep my eyes, ears and mind open daily because learning can take place when you least expect it.
:: PASSION CAN TAKE ME ANYWHERE :: For me, lack of passion was fatal. Have you ever experienced sadness that was so intense that it lasted longer than just a few days? Or have you ever felt so hopeless, that you truly believed your life would never improve and that you were in a situation that you couldn’t control? I have. I’m quite sure that you or someone you know has too and I’m not talking about feeling miserable because a boy broke your heart or because your puppy is sick. I’m talking about the bored, empty feeling you experience knowing that you have to wake up every day to work in a career you hate. It sucks. It’s no way to live. Passion has taken me many places, but the most treasured memory is the day I realized my inner awesomeness because it gave me a reason to live with purpose.
:: HIDDEN BEHIND EVERY NO IS A YES :: Girl, the struggle is real. You know this. But I’ve fallen in love with the thrill of the chase. After about a thousand no’s, it doesn’t exactly inspire you to move forward, but determination and persistence will break through any wall. I’m sure the 26 publishers who originally rejected my book are kicking themselves because they’ve let a good one go. I didn’t let them stop me from perusing my dreams of becoming an author. Instead I used that frustration and turned it into motivation. I took the bricks they threw at me and used it as a firm foundation to build my confidence. My confidence encouraged me to continue fighting for what I love and that, my friend, is what led my novel to hit the Amazon best-sellers status back in March after only two weeks on the market.
:: WITHOUT A PLAN, I WILL STAY WHERE I AM ::
After I left school I didn’t have a plan right away. I literally only had a #2 pencil and a dream, but with those tools I created a vision board so that I could map out my new direction. It was Jim Rohn who said, “If you don’t design your life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you, not much.” That alone scared the hell out of me, so I knew it was time to make a move.
Just for the record, I am not encouraging anyone to drop out of school. That was a decision that I made because I believed it was the best decision at the time. At the core of my message, and all of my blog posts, I am simply showing you that following your heart is the best choice you will ever make because it will never lead you astray.
Peace & Love