Homeschooling parents are almost paranoid about ensuring that their children get a good academic education. If you hang out on any homeschool support group, almost daily you will see parents asking which is the ‘best curriculum’ for maths or science or reading or you-name-it.
Then the questions come thick and fast about how to get a recognised matric certificate or equivalent, as if this is the magic key that will open the door to success in adulthood.
It’s a paradigm most of us have been conditioned to believe during our own schooling. Parents and teachers told us we had to have a matric or we wouldn’t amount to much.
It’s a lie.
There are plenty of stories of individuals who have achieved success in life without a matric certificate.
Some of them are famous millionaires like Richard Branson, David Karp, Mike Hudock, Vidal Sassoon and Ray Kroc.
Others are just ordinary unknown people, like a father I know, who supports a family of 6 kids as well as providing accommodation for his parents. No mean feat for a high school dropout!
Then if you look at people who have succeeded financially without a university education, the list gets even more interesting, Steve Jobs, Matt Mullenwig who started WordPress, Arash Ferdowsi and South Africa’s new millionaire Sandile Shezi.
What does it take to succeed, if not formal credentials?
Successful individuals have found something worth doing, something they believe in, something they can’t NOT do. Their passion and motivation drives them to overcome fear of failure, to take responsibility for their mistakes, to be flexible, to break boundaries in innovative ways, and to persevere.
They have a vision that will serve others. They are usually humble and able to receive correction.
They are self-confident, self-motivated and dependable. They usually have good people skills along with good manners, courtesy and integrity. In a word, they have good character.
Secondly, they may have dropped out of school or university, but they didn’t ever drop out of learning. They became self-directed learners who hacked their way to success in
unconventional ways. They didn’t ever give up and accept hand-outs or become dependent on other people.
They didn’t become victims of their circumstances, making excuses or blaming someone else. Successful people don’t blame the economy, their parents or lack of parents, their background or political policies such as apartheid or BEE for their struggles. They don’t give up because they are too young, too old, too white or too black! They don’t let reports of doom and gloom deter them from pursuing their dreams. They own their life and their work and they do it with excellence.
It seems to me that that’s about what it takes to be self-supporting and successful, whether you have a matric certificate or not.
Update: Read about local boy Taylor Gibb (22) from KZN who just landed a top position with Microsoft (2016). He may have dropped out of school, but he didn’t drop out of learning. In the true spirit of an entrepreneur, he said, “I look for solutions, not problems.”
Plot YOUR Path to Success…
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