A question that many student entrepreneurs face is “Should I drop out of school to launch my business?” Let’s face it, school does take up a lot of time that could be spent developing and growing a business? So what are the pros and cons of dropping out to focus full time on entrepreneurship? I found a great post that discussed this topic and highlighted some famous young entrepreneurs who made the leap.
- You can do what you want.
Everything that got you detention in school will get you funding in Silicon Valley. If you're a non-conformist, you may have the right profile.
- You'll get an alternative education.
Young people should seize the fleeting opportunity to get a different kind of education.
- You'll use somebody else's money.
You are building a resume and a company as well as creating valuable experiences on the dime of venture capitalists.
- You're free to mark your own path.
The journey is the reward, especially for "outcasts", "geeks" and "nerds" who were ostracized in school and for free thinkers who can't be strapped down by structure and a conventional career path.
- You may get your just rewards.
Silicon Valley is a complete meritocracy – are you bright and do you work hard? Do you have innovative ideas? Then you may have a shot.
- You have more energy to work.
Your youthful energy is an advantage.
- You won't be well rounded.
You'll miss out on teenage life that helps round you out as a person as your peers will be on a different wavelength than you. Plus, you'll need to work harder without a diploma and a formal education.
- You'll be lonely.
You can always go back to school, but your social life won't be the same as your old friends move on. Could loneliness be a part of this experience? Some successful dropouts say so.
- You can fail.
The risks are as high as the potential rewards. Experiences of Valley dropouts vary significantly. So just because you decided to spend your time pursuing a dream doesn't mean you're guaranteed to do well. Not everyone can win the startup lotto.
- You may not be well adjusted.
Young people thrust in a high pressure situation are bound to be shell shocked at a tender age. Even success can be too much to handle. I would liken this situation to young celebrities who face sudden fame, fortune and responsibility. Still, it could be a good problem to have.
- There's a glass ceiling.
In the Valley, young people are frequently lured by high starting salaries and low barriers to entry, but as they climb the corporate ladder, there's a ceiling often hit by those who don't hold degrees. There's also that matter of proving yourself to skeptics when you don't have that diploma.
- It takes a lot of sacrifice.
There's much sacrifice and determination involved in nurturing an entrepreneurial vision: the cramped rooms, long hours hunched over a monitor, all nighters and fast food. Sure you'll probably have some of that in an educational setting, but not to the same degree nor at the same pace. At this time in a student's life, is it worth choosing over high school or college? What, no frat houses, sorority clubs, partying?
What do you think? Is it worth dropping out of school to launch your business full time?