Why Persistence, Belief, and Discipline Trump Education in Business

Man on Hill
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The business world is a complicated and ever-changing landscape of new ideas, new practices, and new methods of achieving success. As soon as a business concept is written down in a textbook, it becomes irrelevant because new business practices have come to take its place. For this reason, business education is far less important than business character qualities like persistence, belief, and discipline. If you evaluate a list of the most important qualities of a successful entrepreneur, like this Top 10 List featured at Under30CEO.com, you won’t find any mention of a business education or high-level business degree.

Why is a business education rarely discussed as one of the foundations of business success? The truth may be in its relative importance when compared to other business qualities and character traits. There have been thousands and thousands of individuals throughout history who have made impressive business achievements without so much as a single day of college education. This article explains some of the reason why a business education is trumped by qualities such as persistence, belief, and discipline.

Education Can Only Teach So Much

First, it’s important to understand that education can only teach so much. We’re talking about formal education here, of course:  textbooks, a classroom setting, and a lecturing professor. Your entire life will, naturally, be an educational experience. For that reason, education in a classroom setting is limited in what it can teach young business professionals. As was mentioned earlier, business tactics and standards of operation are outdated almost immediately after they are written down. Think of business like the world of technology or art. New developments are constantly occurring. New tricks, tactics, habits, and methods of success are created by innovators in the industry. A professor can teach what has worked in the past, but this is no guarantee that those tactics will work in the future.

Real World Experience is More Valuable

Instead, real world experience is the best educator for an entrepreneur who wants to make it in the world of business. This isn’t to say that researching business practices and concepts is not valuable. Business concepts like learning how to communicate, understanding financial planning and marketing, and developing other crucial business skills can be quite valuable. However, getting “out there” in the business world, making mistakes, and learning from those mistakes is the best way to absorb real principles of business success. You can study for days and ace a business test, but you are more likely to permanently remember a business concept if you’ve learned the importance of that concept firsthand.

Education Can’t Create an Entrepreneurial Character

Another reason why education fails to provide the same benefits as persistence or dedication is that education is an objective concept while business is a subjective concept. Business requires subjective traits like perseverance, hard work, positivity, personality, and creativity. It’s impossible to teach these character traits in a classroom. The importance of these character traits can, obviously, be discussed in a business education setting, but it is the responsibility of the entrepreneur to develop those traits in his or her own life.

Your Business is Unique

A business education is also flawed because it operates under the assumption that all business endeavors are fairly similar. If you’ve started your own business, though, you’ll know that your business will encounter a unique set of obstacles, issues, and challenges. Every business is unique from the next, and generic educational principles can only communicate so much about running a business. The most comprehensive and thorough education cannot predict the future of your business endeavor.

Persistence Helps You Overcome Obstacles

Persistence trumps education for a variety of reasons. In your business, you can fully expect to encounter serious obstacles and even outright failures on your personal journey. An education may be able to help you avoid some of those obstacles or even navigate around obstacles that cannot be avoided. Education can provide you with the facts and the steps. What it cannot do, however, is provide you with the persistence and perseverance necessary to keep moving forward in the face of conflict. This character trait will keep you positive and inspired to continue working after failure.

Belief Pushes Your Business Forward

Belief in your business and in yourself is also more important than education. An education can show you how to generate profits, market your business, and balance the books, but it cannot provide you with inspiration and encouragement. Only your personal belief in the business, your product or service, and your own abilities will be able to make this happen.

Discipline Must be Practiced to be Learned

Discipline is an entrepreneurial character trait that must be practiced in order to be learned. Yes, a formal education can help to teach you some of the skills related to good discipline because you will have to learn time management, self-motivation, and other skills in order to pass these business classes. However, discipline can be learned in any number of different environments. An education cannot provide you with the motivation to keep working when things aren’t going smoothly. An education can’t convince you to get up an hour earlier in order to tackle the day’s business tasks. An education won’t equip you with the state of mind you’ll need to sacrifice pleasure in the pursuit of your goals. Only life experience and practice will help you seek the discipline you need.

Education can be helpful in the business world. It can provide a basis on which to build a successful future. More important than education, however, are the principles of business attitude such as perseverance, belief, and discipline. Mastering these character qualities and implementing them in your business pursuits will improve your chances of finding success even in the face of obstacles and failure.

What traits and character qualities do you think are more important than business education? Share your comments below! If you liked this article, please share it with your network. As always, thanks for the continued support!