The Reason Why Dropouts Excel In The Real World

Derick David

Image: Unsplash

It’s that special time of the year again, graduation season, newly graduates celebrating their newly achieved college degree and their families throwing some champagnes while their children take marvelous pictures wearing the gown. Some have jobs already and some are left in the void wondering what to do next. What is really like to be a college grad? Is it a tangible achievement or is it just an illusion of success?

Most of the people that I know who paved the way to their own stardom had literally nothing, but a set of strong qualities and aspects. Qualities and aspects that most employers today, would climb mountains just to find in a candidate. For these type of people, it’s less of looking outward, but more of looking inward. Knowing thyself and Controlling the controllable.

Most have accepted their weaknesses and limitations, but that just gave them more reason to work harder and aim higher. Depending on the college degree, if you really want to be able to succeed in anything, you have to take into account the following set of qualities.

Developing and applying these are far more valuable than what you can get from a degree.

Talent vs Hard work

Most recent graduates fall into a Post-Graduation Syndrome, did you know that? It’s funny because this is a clear and obvious sign of why often college students tend to fall off years after graduation and just end up doing a dead-end job elsewhere.

College graduates believe they have the right credentials to succeed in life or achieve happiness, whatever that means for them, so as a result, they tend to slack off and dismiss any hard work. The belief that a piece of paper grants you the holy grail to a professional career.

Based on a research study done in Silicon Valley in early 2019, a staggering 67% of programmers, engineers, and designers combined that currently work for the Big Tech Companies, like Apple, Google, Facebook, are without a possession of a college degree.

Dropouts indeed. Most of the tech companies also have dropped the degree requirement for their job descriptions, because they sure hell realized a new revelation in our society.

Don’t be that college grad that doesn’t put much effort in hard work, learning, and growth anymore because he or she thinks he has everything for a happy life. Be that dropout who thinks that the world doesn’t owe anyone shit, thus he or she keeps learning every day, practicing every day, and growing every day.

Because he’s intellectually advanced enough to know that to be extremely successful you have created and kick down doors yourself while being independent of others.

Determination to succeed

Students go to college because they believe it’s the right path to take and because society has marked it as a convention. For some, going to college might do it for you, but for most, not anymore. Especially, that our world now is driven by technology that gave us access to information at our fingertips. Something that just under 50 years ago, wasn’t entirely possible.

The difference lies in the passion or something that you love and/or you care about. At school, we were trained under a system where grades are the measurement of success. While it’s true, it does undervalue what true learning and growing signify. In colleges, you feel forced to do something because you think you need to do it to excel. You don’t have a choice and you are a slave of a system. They decide what to do to you and if you don’t comply with their rules, you’re better off dropping out.

While the other side of the spectrum, a dropout, grants you everything contrary to what a college or university provides you.

Tim Ferriss’ book, “20-Hour Workweek” speculates that, the true financial freedom isn’t based on your wealth. The true financial freedom today is when you have the freedom to do whatever you want with your time, while no one owns you or tells you to do. The ability to choose and create your own life path or professional career based on your interests, values, and passion is the eternal wealth.

Persistence & Perseverance

College students take action based on homework, projects, and social validation. They often don’t act on their own free will and thus, when they achieve a goal, that’s the end for them. It’s like when you study HARD for a weekend on your finals exam, but after the exam, you just cut ties with the subject or topics you studied for.

Studying isn’t learning. So, when times get rough, college students tend to give up fast and move on to another thing, or they turn on to escapism by taking drugs, doing parties, and/or having sex.

While, when you do something you love and you truly care about, regardless of the obstacles life puts in front of you, you just keep moving on. You don’t feel any hardship from it, because you enjoy doing it. Right?

Based on a study done Harvard Business Review, 82% of what made ordinary people extraordinary was mostly from the persistence of that particular individual.

Case on point for most dropouts who become entrepreneurs. They can go the extra mile without overthinking about it and without being fussy about it.

Love of the Process

Fools focus on goals, outcomes, and achievements. A successful fool focus on the process, the gritty and dirty hard work. By focusing on the outcome you’ve given yourself the privilege of losing and failing because you lose track of the present. By focusing entirely on the process and the small things, you stay in the moment and you play the game in the present.

My mentor once told me that, our biggest fear, other than the one in the mirror, should be the person who has accepted failure and disappointment but keeps going anyway.

Trusting the process grants you a high chance of succeeding. Focusing on the small things day in and day out prepares you for greatness yet to come.
Have you ever people who try so hard but end up losing, but the ones who seem to not care at all win. YES, that’s exactly it.

Do something with the hope and belief of good results, but realizing that nothing lasts forever and you will probably fail. This is not a pessimistic mindset at all, but more of a classical realism mindset. Politicians and businessmen, for example, are well-known to adopt a similar mindset.


The road to success isn’t like how you see it in the movies or shows. The road to success isn’t a straight line either. Instead, it’s full of zigzag. It’s not beautiful and balanced, it’s dirty and rough. Did you know that golf balls that launch the fastest are the golf balls that are the most worn-out? The road to success can exactly be like that. Times have changed and this is not a joke.

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10x Top Writer on Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Startups.

New York, NY

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