company owners without college

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MowingIL, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Started college, wen to a 4 year school to be an agronomist. Decided I didn't want to end up being a rep for Monsanto. Ended up taking a bunch of plant biology, chemistry, and other pre-reqs while I was there.

    Not knowing what I wanted to do, I dropped out and went to a local JC to get my associates in Art appreciation. The courses were easy and it was going to get my pre-reqs out of the way if I decided to go back. Little did I know how much art-appreciation was going to help me in the future with my biz.

    Tooled around for a few years working odd jobs, decided to start back up and finish my degree. After one semester I decided I was going to start my own landscaping biz. At that point I also realized that I didn't want to go into severe debt to start my own business.

    Dropped out again and went and took the Master Gardner's course. Best decision I ever made.

    Now, do I want to finish my degree. I sure do out of principal, but it's not a priority.

  2. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    To answer your question, I do not think that starting a business is a good excuse for not going to college.
  3. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    cause it sure aint like it used to be.
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,649

    I dont have any degrees and If you go to school 4 years please do something besides cutting grass.

    Im a Master Mechanic and could fall back on tht if ever needed. I would encourage everyone to have a backup plan, try to learn some sort of trade. I guess the irragation fellers could fall right into pluming, or the lighting fellers could fall into electrictions.

    You never know when a drout or even gas going up to 7$ per gallon could wipe out our business.
  5. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Does a college degree = successful business?.....probably not.

    Does a college degree hurt someone from becoming a successful business.....probably not.

    Success is determined by many factors and that is why a wide array of people are successful. But I completely agree with people about the "process" of going to college. I will say this though, potential clients attitudes change from being on the defensive to being open and accepting when in conversation my educational background comes up. (Masters degree) I started a thread a while back about what makes a successful business owner and is it a learned process (not necessarily college) or do some people just have "it".

    One interesting thing I noticed when reading landscape publications is that when they profile businesses who have family members in the ranks many of the sons/daughters get sent to college to get degrees while working hard in the summers and during any breaks. Does this mean anything? I don't know but there is value in education. Also even when you have a degree much of the learning is done in on the job training and internships. I learned so much more from internships than the classroom. But the classroom gave me a background to be successful at the internship. Just like people in this industry get certifications and attend workshops. Even those in Horticulture or Business degrees learn how to apply the knowledge in the hands on classes. Were you a person who worked for a landscape company for years before venturing on your own? If so you learned something just like going for certifications or diplomas. Nothing beats hands on learning. I think the most important part for anyone, degreed or not, is continually learning and bettering themselves in their craft/trade.

    I think the problem with today's college education is that a bachelors degree is about equal to what a high school degree was 20-30 years ago because almost ANYONE can get one without much effort. Masters degrees are more like what a bachelors was 20-30 years ago.

    I've met business owners in both positions. Do you need a degree to open a business? Absolutely not.
  6. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    larryinalabama, these three statements are probably the one thing you and I can agree on. Although sometimes cutting grass can offer more money that some bachelors degree jobs can offer, but generally yes I agree.

    JLSLLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,998

    no college experience here, just 18mo in a trade school for auto mechanics and my prior experience turning wrenches in a shop.. i enjoy reading the posts where other posters stated its not necessary!!! Good topic
  8. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    It's not college but you learned something.... I think someone who jumps into this industry without prior experience, as in knowing how to do the tasks required, is going to struggle. So everyone should at least be "educated" in the industry they are pursuing.

    My current full time, sorry I'm part time guys, requires a Masters degree and certifications. The current crop of people wanting to enter my profession with their degree and certification in hand are worthless. They have ZERO practical knowledge of the career field but have fancy pieces of paper saying they do. They do more damage to my industry, just like those that damage the green industry. There are very qualified people I'd enjoy having work with me but cannot due to not having those pieces of paper. But then there are the ones who have the papers AND practical knowledge. They are priceless!!
  9. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,393

    I have a PhD in D- U - M- B
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Knowledge without understanding is no knowledge at all.

    College gives you the fundamental building blocks to understand your experiences, increase your problem solving skills and gives you the ability to see things that someone without a college education would likely miss. Naturally this is all assuming you get a degree that is applicable to your field of work.

    Now if your only goal in life is to mow and blow, you probably don't need a college education. That said, if you want to set yourself apart from the rest of the field, then an appropriate college education will get you there far quicker.

Share This Page