Do you really need a glittering academic background to start up your own business (and succeed?)


A common misconception that is flung around during our working lives is that we will be more successful if we have a degree under our belt . It’s drummed into us that our C.V will be lacking without an accreditation from a Top 100 university and to spend your late teens and early twenties in offices as opposed to seminars is to wave goodbye to that triple figure salary.

And yet…there are a plethora of stories out there detailing the successes of college drop-out multibillionaires and it only takes a few seconds of googling to find them. It doesn’t take a genius to work out you that you can be successful, dynamic and profitable without those magic letters after your name. This is particularly true with entrepreneurs, who have an innate thirst, determination and instinct for business that overrides anything that can be rehashed in a classroom or poured through in a workbook. Degree level education is wonderful but not essential to business success.

So, why do so many entrepreneurs lack degrees?

There’s an innate inability for many of those with entrepreneurial minds to concentrate for long periods of time, an essential for academic studies. This doesn’t mean, of course, that entrepreneurs are unintelligent. Quite the opposite! It means we’re not predisposed to wading through reams and reams of information; we’re not fascinated by the process of analysing and dissecting this information: we’re doers, ideas spark of us, ideas that are completely our own. Creativity and energy to carry out ideas is what makes the entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are ‘doers’ not analysts.

I often describe entrepreneurship as being like climbing a mountain. You think you are at the top but it’s not the top, it’s the plateau and you realise: ‘oh, there’s another mountain over there’. That’s why we don’t need bosses to set objectives and targets for us because we set our own, daily, weekly monthly targets. They never stop increasing; it is truly exhausting but exhilarating too.

You don’t need a degree to run your business if you have insatiable curiosity. There isalways another challenge and you set this challenge, no one else can set it for you. If there’s one word to describe me, it’s ‘relentless’. I’m not particularly talented, I’m not especially good at anything,  I haven’t got a skill of any great note but I just keep going on and on. It’s difficult to beat a person who never gives up and that’s what entrepreneurship is. It isn’t about degrees or extended education, it’s about how you push yourself, understanding your goals and wanting it so much that, when you get kicked in the guts, it hurts, but you’re prepared to get up and do it again. Education can give you a good base and added confidence, but it’s your desire and personal motivation that sets you on course.

Tony Goodwin
Founder & Chairman
Tel: +44 (0)207 467 2520


Antal International Group

64, Baker street, W1U 7GB, London, UK