Are You Climbing the Employee Ladder or the Entrepreneur Ladder?

This has been on my mind for a while now. Part of the reason I dislike America’s school system right now is because they just teach you to be an employee, not an entrepreneur. Once you graduate, you hop into college, still learning nothing about the “street smarts” of how business is run. You just see everything out on paper and do experiments and draw conclusions. Once they finally graduate out of the system (hopefully not going on to a masters degree), they run smack into the real world of how things are done. Stuck and with nothing to fall back on, they seek out the “street smart entrepreneurs” to help them out. They give them advice and then set them on the right track.

(That is part of the reason why I like when Donald Trump created a “Street Smart” and “Book Smart” team on The Apprentice. The street smart team basically mopped the floor with the book smarts. It wasn’t until a street smart member when to the book smart team did they finally start winning some challenges.)

What many schools and colleges fail to do is give you the “street smart” way of running a business. And I mean the down and dirty, nuts to bolts way of how things are done, not just words written in a book. And no, an MBA will not get you there either. Becoming an Entrepreneur is not a degree program, it is a process. You don’t learn it from books, you learn it in the real world.

Listen close, because what I am about to tell you may shatter some opinions you carry. Many degree programs just teach you how to be a good employee so that you can get a job higher up in the corporate ladder and look good for the board of directors. You look good on paper, you have all the book smarts, but when it comes to actually running your own company and “being an entrepreneur”, you have no experience. Once you graduate, the college expects you to find a good, solid, long-term job with a reputable company. That is what they have groomed you for, to make your employer look good. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some colleges for yourself and you will soon see what I mean, and you won’t have to dig that deep.

If you are an entrepreneur deep in your core, YOU NEED TO STOP. Going this route will not satisfy you. If anything, you will waste a handful of years trying to figure it all out before you finally find the right path to take. Some of the biggest CEO’s today, and good friends I know, have dropped out of college to work on their entrepreneurship. It has paid out in millions and billions of dollars, but not without taking some risks and putting alot of sweat equity into it.

I get it. Some of you are designed to be employees and happy in that area for the rest of your life, but some of you are not. There are two groups here fighting for space where there should be no fighting. That in an of itself is enough for another blog post.

What can you take away from this?

You can answer this question for yourself,

Are you climbing the employee ladder or the entrepreneur ladder?

Your answer will determine where you stand in life, where you need to be, and what you need to do next.

Photo Credits: Darwin Bell


  1. Great Article. Why can't I find any other informatino about this? i've learned this is too true. To think I almost dumped another $50k on a Masters degree so I could get promoted into management, to make another 20k a year, to go into a higher tax bracket, to do more overtime and stress out about my new responsibilities..
    I've finally learned that I dont need a Higher salary. I just need more money. If instead I spent researched, planned, and prepared $50k for a possibile opportunity outside of "a Job", I'd rather lose it all knowing I had tried. At least then I would have learned something valuable..

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