I have to admit, when I went to college I hated every minute of my classes. Not all of my classes were rough, but a lot of them were quite stressful. Being a neuroscience major isn't easy, especially when you're attending a school that tries to weed people out. Many times the thought of dropping out crossed into my mind. Thoughts of starting off fresh and new. Maybe I would start a company. Maybe I would travel the world. Who knew?
The one thing that always held me back was the fear that I wouldn't be successful. I always assumed that I needed to have a college degree if I wanted to be a success. However, this isn't necessarily the truth. With the right drive and perseverance you can make just about anything of yourself, and I want to share 5 of the most successful college dropouts to prove it to you. Let me just state that I am in no way saying that college is bad. However, if you're in a position where you can't attend college for some reason, or if you have a dream of starting your own company, I want you to understand that college is not a necessity for success. With that said, let's check out the list.
- Henry Ford ($188 billion) - Henry Ford is the founder of Ford Motor Company. Ford may have had some recent financial issues, but back in Henry's day the company was part of the technological frontier. Henry dropped out of school when he was 16 years old. Pretty young when you consider that today almost no one is out of high school by that age. Just a side note, the $188 billion is in 2009 dollars.
- Bill Gates ($59 billion) - Bill Gates is probably one of the most well-known within this group of rich college dropouts. He is the founder of Microsoft, and dropped out of school at the age of 19. Gates recently stepped down as head honcho of Microsoft, but he continues to play a small role in the decision making processes at the company. Today, he focuses much of his efforts on supporting charities around the world.
- Larry Ellison ($27 billion) - Larry founded Oracle back in 1977 and has been the leader of the company since that time. Oracle focuses on technology solutions for other companies. They currently have over 370,000 customers around the world. Pretty impressive.
- Sheldon Adelson ($26 billion) - Sheldon is best known as a property developer. He created a company called Las Vegas Sands which owns multiple high-end resorts located all around the world. His company currently owns hotels such as the Venetian and Palazzo which are located on the Vegas Strip.
- Larry Page ($18.5 billion) - Larry Page is one of the founders of Google. Larry and his friend Sergey started out in a garage when they were first creating Google. This is proof that you can start a huge company with nothing but the basics. They gathered funding from friends, family, and other investors to get their project off the ground. Today, Google is the most highly trafficked website in the world.
I hope this article has been at least somewhat inspirational to you. If you've got a big dream like starting your own company, don't be afraid to pursue it. These five rich college dropouts are proof that you don't need a college degree to be successful. If you're in college now and you're enjoying it, then more power to you. However, if you feel like you're trapped and need a way out, don't let your dreams and ideas go by the wayside just because you think you have to stay in college.
An inspirational article on the top 5 richest college dropouts.