I spent most of my adolescence in detention.
From a young age – even though I was considered ‘clever’ – I was constantly getting into trouble. I’d talk back to teachers and fight with headmasters. I had a real problem with authority and authority had a problem with me. I didn’t feel like I was doing anything morally wrong though. I valued integrity and it was my beliefs and honour that got me into trouble. I just wasn’t afraid to speak out against those above me when I thought they were being unfair.
It didn’t help that I had spiked bleached blond hair and three ear piercings.
From the get go, I was never going to fit in with the corporate world. It was abundantly clear that if I was to succeed, I’d have to carve my own path and take the road of a rebel entrepreneur.
Rebel entrepreneurs often find it difficult to work for other people. They loathe unfair authority and jettison unfair rules. They become frustrated with corporate life and the limits it places on their creative expression.
The rebel entrepreneur is, for the most part, unemployable – whether they show this to the world or not, they feel it deep inside. More often than not, their unemployability is the reason they start a business in the first place.
Rebel entrepreneurs tend to be a little bit different. They may not fit easily into a group. Some, in the corporate world, may even consider them to be a little weird. But when they start their own businesses this same weirdness is now considered genius.
Some of the world’s most brilliant entrepreneurs – Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates – began their professional lives as outsiders. Moreover, these men proved that you don’t need to graduate from college in order to be hugely successful. In fact, 80% of billionaires do not have college degrees.
Coincidentally, I dropped out of Trinity College Dublin while studying for a BSc in Pure Mathematics, but, as the saying goes, when you drive a Lamborghini they don’t ask you what degree you have.