We’ve all heard it before: go to school, study hard, get a good job and live a happy life. For years this has been the regime that has been passed down from one generation to the next without question. Anything outside of this was considered taboo. But what if there is another way to live?
It’s 2017 and the world is a drastically different place than it was when our parents were growing up, and technology is advancing at such a fast pace that the education system is not able to keep up. Because of this, young minds have resorted to eliminating the middleman and educating themselves using YouTube videos, books written about their area of interest, and many other resources that the Internet has to offer. This new thirst for knowledge has caused a boom in the entrepreneurial industry.
Many people hear about the field of entrepreneurship and immediately think of the well-known greats like Mark Zuckerberg the co-founder and CEO of Facebook and Steve Jobs the former CEO of Apple. The mention of these names tends to discourage people from pursuing entrepreneurship with claims that they don’t have what it takes, the risk is too high or they aren’t smart enough. It’s this type of thinking that causes a decrease in the amount of innovation in the world.
What most people fail to understand is that Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and many other entrepreneurs all had to start at relatively the same thing that anyone else in that field would have to start with, and that is an idea.
Dailen Spencer is a young up-and-upcoming entrepreneur in the software engineering industry. He dropped out of college after his freshman year making the point that, “the school system is becoming outdated and simple technology such as Google search engines allow you to learn everything you want to know at a much faster rate.” Since leaving school in 2015 Dailen went on to become CEO of GreekLeaf and later sold the company. He is now the founder of Pacific Kona Coffee based out of Hawaii as well as the chief technical officer for Elevate Entertainment and a senior engineer for ClickTripz.
The entrepreneur field does not limit one to technology, however tech is a very popular field now that the world is becoming more computer-orientated. With that being said music is, has been, and always will be a big part of everyday life for most people and for Keon Williams it is a way to go into business.
Keon is an independent artist based out of New Jersey who took it upon himself to learn about the business behind the music industry so that he could promote his musical talents without the need for assistance from a major label. When asked how he went about the process of learning the music industry Keon had this to say, “I decided to educate myself on how the business aspect of releasing music works, the self education coupled with the desire to pursue my passion is what creates the longevity and consistency in business.” Keon founded his own record label; K.O.K. records, in 2014 and has plans to release his first track this summer followed by a video and an official single later leading to his first mixtape drop in the coming months.
One of Atlanta’s very own used his creative entrepreneurial skills to help give back to those less fortunate. Tahir Murray will be a freshman at Howard University this fall, quite an honor in itself but it’s what he did prior to his college acceptance that really sets him apart from the rest. Tahir was a volunteer at Church of the Common Ground in Atlanta where he helped provide care for the homeless including footwear. Murray took notice to the fact that the homeless have a rough time getting clean pairs of socks. He responded by starting a GoFundMe page; and with the help of some social media shares and his school Tahir was able to launch his Sox4Soles project. The projected raised enough money to provide 5000 pairs of socks to those in need. Quite an impressive task for someone who was a sophomore in high school at the time.
Whether you’re into tech, entertainment, giving back or somewhere in between ,there’s an opportunity for you if you’re willing to take the time and work for what you want. The world is evolving and things are no longer black and white. School is a great way to learn but it is not the only way to gain knowledge and succeed. All three of the guys mentioned found ways to progress outside of the classroom. They agreed that to succeed you must first find something you’re passionate about and be willing to learn progressively while exercising patience and persistence. Entrepreneurship is not just a career but also an art.
Special thanks to:
Dailen Spencer-Dailen Spencer
Keon Williams- Keon Williams (K.O.K. records)