Forget Your Degree. Start a Business.

The History of Domesticated Animals was a course my really good friend took while attending Columbia University. Her tuition was $40,000 per year. She’s been out of college for almost 10 years, and still paying off the debt. She works at an accounting firm. Needless to say, that aforementioned course surprisingly hasn’t added any value to her current position, or any position she’s ever had in her professional career.

Our education system is broken. There are countless entrepreneurs attempting to refine, disrupt and improve the broken model with online education, skill-based bootcamps and skill-based courses (including one of my projects, Intangibly).

Related: Can the Next Wave of Young Entrepreneurs Even Afford to Attend College?

I recently spoke to two very impressive young entrepreneurs who are in my Facebook group. Mind you, they’re also brother and sister, and on their second business. Brendan and Ashley Eapen are the founders of In/Spree. After speaking to them, I told them that I was writing this column, and asked them to give their insights into the topic because of the experience they both had.

(Image Credit: Brendan and Ashley Eapen)

Brendan started his first business when he was 15 years old. He went door to door selling trees to his neighbors, amongst a handful of different jobs. In 2011, he created a design and architecture blog.

He explains, “I was going to college to study architecture and the blog was the perfect platform to put my thoughts together on design/architecture. Around the same time, my sister, Ashley, was creating a fashion blog and it was doing well. I thought it might be a good idea to combine our blogs and create a lifestyle blog that incorporated fashion, design and architecture. Our blog started picking up but we noticed that many of our followers wanted to be able to instantly purchase what they saw in our content.”

Related: If You Don’t Think You Were Born to Be an Entrepreneur, Fret Not. You Can Learn to Be One, New Study Says.

In/Spree allows you to do that: shop the content of your favorite style influencers in one place. Ashley has also been an entrepreneur since she was 15 years old. She bought old or destroyed designer handbags, fixed them up and sold them (usually at double or triple what she paid for them). Ashley, who is a college student now, is experiencing firsthand the struggle of entrepreneurship and college.

Here’s a list of reasons why it’s better to start a business than receive a piece of paper:
1. Networking

Successfully starting a business requires an increased network. Brendan explains, “I’ve met tons of new people, which does wonders to opening up doors, meeting new people and learning from them.”
2. Compounding laws

Experience. Money. Business. Starting at an earlier age provides the compounding value any business owner needs. The sooner you start, the more these variables will compound.

Read entire article where it was originally published: Forget Your Degree. Start a Business.