You don’t have to be smart to be an entrepreneur… you just have to be smart enough!

sujan patel

Just the other day I was on Facebook, and I noticed someone talking about a really successful person that went to my high school. So naturally, I clicked on his profile to see what he was up to.

Download this cheat sheet of 7 qualities of my cousin you need to know If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur.

The person is a genius, and I doubt he ever got less than an A in a class. After high school he attended Stanford and landed some successful positions at companies like Microsoft and Google.

If you looked at this person’s resume, you’d be impressed, I’m sure. He is smart, ambitious, and hard working. You would think he is probably the most successful person from his high school class, right?

Well, he isn’t. The most successful person in that high school class was my cousin. How can this be? It isn’t due to grades because my cousin rarely got As, and he didn’t do well on his SATs. He also didn’t graduate from a 4-year university.

So, why is my cousin the most successful person of his high school class? He hustled harder. Instead of going to college, he spent the first few years working in the corporate world, and within three years he was able to get his salary up to $120,000 a year by helping corporations leverage search engines.

After that, he started his own marketing agency that is doing very well, and now he gets to work with cool companies like SalesForce, CafePress,, and Yahoo.

So, what’s the moral of the story? You don’t have to be that smart to be a successful entrepreneur. You just have to be smart enough.

Here are some great qualities my cousin possesses, which you need if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur:

Quality #1: The drive to make money

The one thing my cousin always wanted was money. He didn’t grow up poor; however, he always wanted more. No matter what, he always looked for ways to make more money.

Whether it was from selling bootleg CDs in high school to selling car parts to his friends, he always figured out a way to make a quick buck. After he had a taste of making a bit of money, he wanted more. Even after he reached six figures in income, he still wanted more.

If you want to make money, your brain will continue to think of ways for you to make it. Most of your ideas will suck, but every once in a while you’ll come up with one that will work.

Quality #2: The ability to schmooze

One of the great qualities that my cousin has is that he is a good schmoozer. He gets along with almost everyone, and he is funny, so people typically enjoy his company.

The best part about his schmoozing ability is that he is quickly able to identify if the person he is talking to is well off. This is a great quality to have. The main reason for it is that if your new friend is, in fact, well off, he or she will be able to push money towards your business.

If you want to make money, you have to schmooze with others. At first, it may seem hard, and you’ll be nervous, but over time you’ll get good at it. Instead of worrying about what you should or shouldn’t say or what value you can bring to the conversation, just go out there and start networking. You’ll get the hang of it and find it’s actually really easy. Just don’t overthink it.

Quality #3: Persistence

My cousin didn’t succeed during his first try. His first job only paid him $30,000 a year. But over time, he learned how to climb the corporate ladder and then use that money to start his own company.

The one thing my cousin knew, and you need to understand as well, is that you aren’t going to get rich overnight. No matter how hard you try to cut corners, anything worth having doesn’t come easy. Even if you look at other people who are doing well financially, it may seem like they hit it big overnight, but they probably put in years before things worked out.

Don’t expect to become rich overnight. If you don’t keep at it for years, it won’t happen.

Quality #4: Focus, focus, and focus

Although my cousin wasn’t the smartest kid in his high school class, he was smart enough to know that you need to focus. The way he made money was by helping companies rank higher on search engines. More specifically, he specialized in link building, which is one component of search engine optimization.

These days, he does more than link building, but he didn’t expand his business until his revenue flat-lined from link building.

If you want to make money, you don’t have to be a jack of all trades. You just have to be really good at one thing. Specialize and become an expert at whatever it is that you want to do. Once your business starts flat-lining, you should then think about expanding. However, until then, you should have laser focus.

Quality #5: Be independent

Although my cousin is roughly a year older than me, he got into the world of search engine optimization a few years after me. When he first got into the field, he didn’t ask me a ton of questions, and he rarely asked me for help. Instead, he figured things out on his own.

Don’t expect other entrepreneurs to hold your hand every step of the way. If you can’t figure out the answers to basic questions like the ones below, you aren’t meant to be an entrepreneur.

  1. How do I set up a corporation?
  2. How do I get started?
  3. Once I have an idea, what should I do next?

Learn to be independent as the hardest part about being an entrepreneur isn’t starting out. It’s actually getting to revenue and, more importantly, getting to profitability.

Quality #6: You can’t play before you work

One of the laziest people I knew growing up was my cousin. He didn’t like to work, and all he wanted to do was have fun. Sooner or later, he realized that he had to work hard if he wanted to sustain his lifestyle.

Being an entrepreneur is very time consuming. I rarely find myself working less than 10 hours a day. I don’t take holidays, and I work 7 days a week.

If you want to be successful, you need to learn to put in long hours because work doesn’t stop when you are sick or when you take holidays. As a business owner, you are expected by your customers to work 24/7. Hopefully, you are working on something you are passionate about as it is hard to work that many hours when you hate what you are doing.

Quality #7: Learn how to manage

If you want to grow your business, you need to learn how to manage employees. There’s only so much money you can make running a solo operation. For example, my cousin has a dozen or so people he manages on a regular basis.

Once you start hiring people, you can’t expect them to operate independently from the get go. You need to learn how to create processes so that people can be plugged quickly into your organization and get up and running without making many mistakes.

Creating a process isn’t easy. When you are small, you can’t expect your employees to figure out everything for you because you aren’t paying them six figures a year. Not only do you need to manage them, but you have to get in there and do their jobs for a while so you can understand what road blocks they might be running into and how to solve them.


If you want to be an entrepreneur, you don’t have to be that smart. You just have to be smart enough. Just look at my cousin or even me. We weren’t the smartest people in our high school, but we both had the determination to succeed.

Stop worrying about getting an Ivy League education. Just go out there and solve a problem that people are experiencing today. If you can do it, you’ll make more than enough money by creating a business around it.

What other qualities do you think make a good entrepreneur?

P.S. Although the picture of my cousin may seem goofy, he is all business.

If you want to break through to real profits online, you need some serious firepower. For a limited time I’m sharing some select tips and tricks Amazon, Microsoft, NBC & Hewlett Packard paid thousands of dollars per hour for, FREE.
  • The step by step guide to monster traffic generation
  • The how-to guide for increasing conversions on your website
  • 7 Cashflow killers your analytics tools are hiding from you
100% privacy, I will never spam you!


  1. Neil,

    Fantastic post, didn’t know Sujan was your Cousin! Met him the other day for a chat on SEO, fantastic guy.

    Couldn’t agree more with what you are saying here, intelligence is a “tick box” component in entrepreneurship. If you have reached a certain level (which frankly isn’t that high) other things matter a lot more. Persistence and focus alongside being an overall nice guy, as you have wondefully explained is a lot rarer and more important.

    Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  2. Great post, and I can totally relate to many of your points! Experience, intelligence, and creativity are all great qualities to possess in any job, but I think your “Quality #3: Persistence” is the defining quality for entrepreneurs. We can encounter countless ups and downs, but the entrepreneur who sticks with it through thick and thin will be the one left standing.

    • TheWorldOrBust :

      Agreed, everyone hates the friend who started something and it just took off, but that is extremely rare. Joe Dirt said it best, “You just gotta keep on, keepin’ on”!

    • Thanks, happy to hear it. It helps when you refuse to give up because in the end like you said you will be the one left.

    • Even tho I am not an entrepreneur, I agree with all points and totally agree with persistence! Just for the record (a little outta topic, I always do) you don’t even need to be that clever for a Uni degree either, I proved that one, I failed so many times before I finally got there in the end! Persistence..phew.

    • Being persistent eventually brings results. If one door closes there is another one waiting to be opened or even a windows. You have to try your best in order to get where you want to.
      Neil, who is the person in the picture? 🙂

  3. Eric Siegfried :

    I remember reading in Think and Grow Rich that intelligence only loosely correlates with success. Napoleon Hill says that hard work and somewhat connections correlate most strongly with entrepreneurial success. For me, if you’re smart enough to be ABLE to graduate, it’s good enough, and learning how to work smarter is where the gold is at.

  4. Track Your Bucks :

    To expand on your post: a degree – especially an Ivy League-level degree, won’t guarantee success; any more than the lack of one will doom you to mediocrity. Steve Jobs attended college for less than a year, and we all know what he managed to accomplish.

    Although Mr. Jobs probably didn’t pose with any marsupials!

    • Ben - BankAim :

      Exactly. You don’t need a degree to succeed. You need an imagination and a drive to succeed. Steve Jobs had both and even though he dropped out of college he still managed to build a huge company. He passed away as the 110th richest guy in the world.

    • Education is not a guarantee for anything. If you have no drive and no focus then all the education and the world can’t help you. You need to have enthusiasm and dedication in pursuing a goal, in order to succeed. Plenty of successful people abandoned their education, so they could turn towards different goals that were driving them.

      • TheWorldOrBust :

        Hell, I have a degree in exercise science and now run a language solutions company. I guess a degree is just like marriage, a piece of paper (well that’s what my married friends tell me at least!).

        • I have a degree in accounting, and the closest I come to accounting now is talking to my accountant for tax season. What I did learn from getting the degree was how to focus on a task to meet deadlines, and how to make numbers say what I want them to say. (Wording and what you are comparing to is half the battle.) Glad to hear that I am not the only person who has ideas to make money that suck, #1.

          • A lot of people have degrees they don’t end up using. However you are right you can lawn a lot from the process of getting one. Glad to hear it too.

        • Interesting way to see it. You friends could be right, I wouldn’t really know, I am not married.

      • Look at what Steve Jobs managed to accomplish even if he dropped college very soon. You need education but at some point you just need some imagination and the commitment to take action.

        • Yep, he managed to accomplish a lot indeed. Education is definitely of upmost importance.

          • Education is important but many people think that education will bring them success. Wrong. Imagination and great ideas will make you successful eventually. Education helps you think better but your mind is the one that really matters.

            • Education can mean many things. Experience is education and helps tremendously. I do agree with you though, education is not as important as creativity and work ethic.

  5. Nice post, your cousin does a decent Kangaroo impression.

    Just saw this video the other day from Art Williams, freaking great stuff on making it.

    Also haven’t read it but on the same topic, the book Talent is Overrated.

  6. You hit those points right on. 4, 5, and 7 are so critical and luckily for those of us that understand them they set us aside from the competition.

  7. Sujan is the man! And my mentor in the SEO game as well. Interestingly you didn’t even say his name in this article, although you did link to Singlegrain. 🙂

    • He is pretty awesome. Great, then you are in good hands. I didn’t want to mention him directly, that is why I included the link.

  8. TheWorldOrBust :

    Good S***. I agree, the smartest people aren’t usually the ones hustling, because there will always be someone who will pay them to do w/e, and usually well. I’m no genius, but I’m good with people and I pretty much rely on that. I don’t tell people what I do when I meet them at a networking event, I ask what they do and try and get as much info out of them before I even start talking about myself, that way you know exactly what to say.

    And as I unfortunately have to agree focus is paramount (focusing sucks!) I also have to say I don’t keep all my eggs in one basket and therefore strongly believe having a couple pet projects is a good idea, also helps keep you sane.

    • Thanks, I like how you rely on your social skills and tactics to get you ahead. I think it is a good plan to make sure you have multiple projects in case one doesn’t pan out the way you expected. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Good one Neil!

    My recommendation is to take up a mentor if you’re just getting started in your field. When I first got started in internet marketing, I didn’t have a clue. My mentor lent me his experience and pointed me in the right direction to get me a few steps ahead. I’d say these valuable resources put me ahead by a year or two.

    Where can you find a mentor? You can look in niche forums, e-mail expert bloggers, or go to networking events – there’s are many ways to find a good mentor and I think the benefits are huge. I was like Neil’s cousin about a year and a half ago making $30,000 a year and I’m mid six figures – and I owe a lot of that to my mentor.

    • TheWorldOrBust :

      Great advice. I have a mentor also and I linked up with him through a local chamber of commerce I joined in Miami. Most chambers of commerce have a young entrepreneur or young members sub committee which is comprised usually of both junior and senior members of the organization in which you can meet some great people who’ve been in the game for a while and are happy to help you succeed.

      • I agree, it is not a bad idea to seek guidance when you need it. I hope more experienced entrepreneurs do for others what yours did for you. If more take on younger ones and show them what they know then a lot more could be accomplished.

    • Thanks for the added advice, I agree. It is a huge benefit to have someone to help guide you and if you are lucky enough to have that then you should appreciate everything they have to offer.

  10. The picture is awesome! Sujan is the master of SEO. Where can I get a kangaroo like that?

  11. Alex @ Easy ways to make money :

    Thanks again Neil for such an inspiring topic. I always believe in “persistence” and the courage to go forward, even if you failed a few times. There’s no shortcut for successful, especially in the business world.

    • There is certainly no short cuts, but plenty of road blocks. It is more about your attitude towards the difficult times that will determine your success in the future.

  12. Reflection Software :

    Very informative!

    I have failed many times by creating products that people don’t need and lost a lot of money. But persistence works. It pays off in the long run.

    • Each failure to me is just a new lesson on how to succeed in the future. I am glad you stayed strong and carried on. It really does pay off in the long run.

  13. Ben - BankAim :

    #5 is important from the beginning! Setting up a corporation. Even if you don’t know if you want to be a Corp. or LLC of some type, get that going from the get-go. In the long run, you’ll save more on taxes, vs being a sole prop.

    • Exactly, glad you get it. That is a smart point, thanks for sharing.

      • Just learning from experience 😉 We started our Corp a little more than a year after we started business. It caused a ton of hassles in the long run and cost us more money.

        • That is the only thing you can do. Thanks for sharing your experience and hopefully others will find it helpful.

  14. Dilanka Wettewa :

    I think this is pretty well known — another reminder is always helpful though! I mean, there’s an unbelievable number of multi-millionaires who are academically considered “sub-par” but go on to doing tons of great things and changing millions of lives.

    Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Joe Rogan, etc. etc.

    Once your brain is exposed to a million examples of the OPPOSITE paradigm of what you used to believe — it’s ALREADY too late to ignore what you have experienced.

    Thanks for the reminder Neil.

    • Good point, and nice examples of different people who have managed to become highly successful without an extensive education. Very true, thanks for your added insight.

  15. Neil i like to say one thing your post always motivate me 🙂 and that’s the first reason i always visit your blog and this quote you used hundred of times which is true “Don’t expect to become rich overnight, if you don’t keep at it for years it won’t happen.”

    Thank you Neil for motivating me in your each and every single post 🙂

  16. It’s very true thing we can’t achieve success till when we will not give our 100% best. If we want to get something we need to put our effort hardly specially in self business.

    All points are very nice but i like point#4 Focus, focus, and focus and point #5 Be independent which are perfect to motivate himself and get success in self business.

    • Exactly, you can’t expect to succeed when you don’t give it your all. Those two are very important because if you loose focus then you can’t move forward. If you aren’t independent then you aren’t able to depend on yourself and won’t be able to do what is best for you.

  17. Duncan - Vetter :

    I guess being too smart can also lead to over-thinking problems and coming up with ‘too slick’ of a solution.

  18. Great points, I probably wasn’t the smartest too, but if you have determination, and clear focus on what you want to achieve you can do it. If you look at many famous entrepreneur, not all of them have a high class education under their belt, but what they do have is determination.

    I would also like to add Patience, business at times will challenge your patience, as an entrepreneur you need this quality, sometimes you will not see the results straight away, but need to be consistent in what you do, to see the fruits later on.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Definitely, I am glad you agree. I see you have a clear understanding of the point I was trying to make. Thanks for the addition, I feel that patience is certainly a beneficial trait as well. With patience it will be easier to be to stay calm and carry on.

  19. Brian Kevin Johnston :

    Great article…. Reminds me of two books I recently have read, Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell), and Nothing to Lose Everything to Gain (Ryan Blair)

    I agree, “smart enough” is the KEY.. Best to ALL, Brian-

  20. Hussain Bandukwala :

    Yet again, a great post Neil! Loved the points about the “want” to make money, but setting the expectation of not getting it overnight, without hard work, or on the first try.
    p.s.: the pic couldn’t have been more appropriate! besides being a great schmoozer & entrep, your cousin seems to be a great sport as well.

    • Appreciate it, it’s important to relay that success can’t be accomplished without time and dedication. Thanks, he is definitely great all around.

  21. Sucha Great post!! the best part (which I like the most) was ‘The drive to make money’

  22. David | Conquering Emerging Markets :

    Hi Neil,

    This is awesome reading about other successful though not heard of by too many people. Quality 6, the whole working before playing is a tough lesson to learn esp if you really love to party…
    Persistence is what I am building. I was about to quit a few weeks ago and I remembered someone say something like “the feeling of quitting is greatest when you are nearest to your success”. Well, let’s just say what I am doing now has some of the hisghest demand from the highest net worth individuals and companies in the world. I am not even close to where I want to be, but I have more business, so many leads and connections since the day after I refused the urge to quit. I am now even starting the hiring process.
    Oh and your blog has played a not-so-small part in my sticking it thru thick and thin.

    Thanks Neil awesome posts as always

    • Given the choice between work and partying is usually a difficult one for most people. You just have to evaluate your priorities and go with what you think is best for you. Interesting quote I like it. I am happy to hear you stuck with it and my blog was of inspiration in that decision. Thank you and I hope for you all the best in your future endeavors.

  23. Most of the motivational speakers claim that there is no corelation between formal education and financial success. I think that it helps you get employed, but it will not necesarrily help you become independently wealthy.

    Having spent many years in corporate America, I am a firm believer that all formal education does is prepare you to work for someone else. It took me a while to realize this but now that I know it, I have been hard at work trying to change my thinking.

    Once again Neil, thanks for the post!

    • I would agree that having a degree and education will benefit you in the job market, however it is not necessary in order to succeed. That is an interesting point of view. You definitely want to think outside the box if you want to be more then the average employee.

  24. Some eye opener points there. I have this bad habit of rushing things (be it networking, making money, managing people etc). I get to the point directly instead of creating environment before pitching anything. I’m sure you’ll post about this point someday or maybe you did already ? As for rushing things here’s recent example, when it comes to management, i made mistake of assuming person in front of me aware of internet and programming jargon and some other office stuff. I was so wrong. I realized that you have to go very slow with the explanation to people who work with you and there is no such thing like “getting work done quickly from people” and at the end of the day no quick bucks either. So much to learn for me. Thanks for the post neil. 😀

    • Thanks, hope you liked them. Everyone has a bad habit or two. You just have to make sure to focus on those habits and do what you can to alter them or be constantly aware of them. I may have made points on it here and there, but thanks for the suggestion I’ll see about writing something along those lines sometime. You never want to assume, it may be difficult but for the most part you have to break down what you want to get across in simplest form in order to get your point across. Everyone has something they could learn. I am constantly learning everyday.

  25. Rent College Textbooks :

    It shows that Book smarts isn’t everything and you really need a personality to go with it unless you want to be the guy in the corner everyone dumps their work on.

    • Whole Body Vibration :

      This is true, most people get hired because of their social skills not because they had a 4.0

      • Now a day, kids are being taught a lot more at a much younger age. It is not uncommon for a large amount of them to have high grade point averages. So as important as it is to be smart, it is easier to relate to people when you have better social skills.

    • Yep, it really isn’t. Personality goes much further in the world of business.

  26. Salmon Creek Indoor :

    Your last point “Quality #7: Learn how to manage” really hit home with our company. More often than not, employees are left alone and aren’t doing anything productive, unless they are given processes to complete. I always enjoy reading your posts.

    • Well, I hope you were able to take some tips from here and are able to apply them to your company. Managing employees is usually difficult because you have to keep an eye out at all times to make sure they are staying on top of their work. Thanks, I appreciate it.

  27. I thought it was interesting that so many of my friends from college went to grad school because they had no idea what they wanted to do. I think more people need to be like your cousin and just get out there.

    When I look at doing a joint venture with someone I could care less about where they went to school. I want to know how hard they can push and what their personal and professional goals are. If they can’t tell me that…see ya.

    Practical skills aren’t learned in school (unless you’re gonna be brain surgeon). Like you said, get out there a fail for a while but keep pushing forward.

    Thanks for another good one, Neil.

    • That is exactly why some people go to college, to figure out what it is they want to do. I am a big believer in going out and getting what you want, but you have to first know what it is that you want. It isn’t important if you fail as long as you keep trying because sooner or later you will succeed and have learned valuable lessons along the way.

  28. hey neil its really a very inspirational post. actually your all the posts are really awesome a can’t explain but i am a great fan of you. if i would get a chance to meet you then this will be a pleasure for me.

  29. angelinvestor8 :

    Have to applaud Quality#4 in particular. Most entrepreneurs have thousands of ideas in their heads, touching this and touching that, but never really taking ANY idea forward due to a lack of focus.

  30. Usability Testing :

    Great Article and so so true! The one thing I would add is “ability to receive feedback and be open to changing your path” – that seems critical to success. Few people stay on the same linear path across a lifecycle of a successful company/idea/concept, especially if its in a competitive market.

    • Good point, you must keep an open mind in order to find success. If you refuse to change or alter then you are most likely going to fail. Thanks, for your additional input.

  31. The one of your best posts…

    It’s funny that most people have Qualtiy # 1, but are not willing to take on the rest of the qualities.

    Thanks a lot.

  32. Sumiti Malhotra :

    amazing.. Neil I am great great fan of urs’. Thanks for motivating me always.. It was indeed a fantastic post once again. N bravo to your cousin.. 🙂 😀

  33. Neil

    Thank you so much for all the advice, It really is very helpfull.
    I’m a 37 year old woman in the Western Cape South Africa (speaks Afrikaans so my English isn’t very good…) and have my own computer business for almost 2 years now. It is not easy sometimes but at least I enjoy it. And with you’re help it makes it easier. Thanks a lot. Melanie

    • No problem, anytime. Well your written english appears to be excellent. I am glad to hear you are doing something you enjoy. Best of luck to you.

  34. Fantastic post as usual. I guess following qualities might help to be a good entrepreneur as well:

    1) Know how to talk and close the deal with client.
    2) Should be more passionate about his / her work and obvious should be master in his / her field.
    3) Should work in corporate / organisation before starting his / her own business.

    Cheers 🙂

    • TheWorldOrBust :

      I agree with all your points. I unfortunately/fortunately have never been an employee in the corporate world, so it’s both a blessing and a curse. I think it would have greatly benefited me to see how a successful company’s engine really turns from the inside, but, I don’t think I could ever start that lifestyle now!!!

      • I don’t believe it is ever to late to start something if it is what you really want. It may take a lot of hard work but not impossible as long as you are determine to succeed.

    • Defintely, nice tips. You could create your own article from this. Thanks for the additional input.

  35. What a great post! As a new start-up founder I can attest to the fact that I’m probably not any smarter than “the next guy” but I can totally control the fact that I can out hustle him or her. That is in your control so go get ’em!

    • That is what I like to hear! It is all about being a “go getter.” If you can hustle you don’t need to be a genius.

  36. Internet Marketing :

    Determination. It is hard to put down a determined person. And your cousin is one of them, neil. And you included. This people are whom I admire because of their goals and motivation to reach it. They would the impossible to obtain it and they won’t regret it in the end. Thanks for a wonderful right up. As you always do, inspire people to go for their ambition.

    • Internet Marketing :

      I’m so sorry with the typographical errors. well the right up should be write up and in “They would the impossible to obtain it and they won’t regret it in the end” the word “do” is missing. There you go. Thanks again neil. Just to tired now.

    • Yep, it most certainly is. Thank you, I appreciate it. No problem, glad you like it.

  37. This is an interesting article and you are right in so many ways. I do think people should be street smart better than school smart.

  38. Whole Body Vibration :

    What kind of animal is that?

  39. sell textbooks :

    I like the style of your posts, especially the lists you make. (Whenever I read your lists, it’s like “yep” “yep” “yep” and then “Ohhhh! I never thought of THAT one!”). In this post’s case, it’s #7 — learning how to manage. The “learning to manage” has always been a tough one for me because it’s not always easy to verbalize/articulate to others what I want accomplished. I need more ‘practice’ in that area, perhaps.

    • For many people it is hard to convey what they want to others. It is something that some people are naturally gifted with while others have to work on it. If you aren’t as adequately skilled in it then I would suggest practicing or possible taking some classes.

      • sell textbooks :

        Thank you for your reply. I mentioned in an earlier comment (about 2 months ago or so) how I used to enjoy hanging out with this “top salesman” guy, I’d study his mannerisms like when he’d speak to audiences, he’d tilt his head a certain way and then he’d do these long pauses as if he was thinking of what to say (he knew what he was going to say, the pauses were an act) and he’d have everyone in the audience on the edge of their seat, mesmerized. But I haven’t seen him in years, and I don’t have any friends who are skilled in managing people that I can hang out with, so your suggestion of taking classes is indeed a good one! I actually know a professor that teaches leadership and management to ask.

        • Learning first hand from someone is great, but if you don’t have anyone to watch then you need something else. Glad you found my suggestion useful.

          Best of luck.

  40. Ritesh @ TechSpacia :

    Neil, really inspiring story for them who never got an A+ during school days (I am one of then 🙂 )
    Very true… if you have a drive to earn money and you try constantly in right direction, you are bound to be successful.

    • I hope it is, just because you didn’t excel in school doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. Exactly, glad you got it.

  41. Neil you have given good examples of self encouragement

  42. Really sujan has great talent because he has worked with big company

  43. I think that working independently is important with any job. Most jobs give you the tools that will allow you to succeed, but it is up to you to put time into using them and learn how they will contribute to your success.

    • Definitely, you want to make sure you take the time to learn to use what you have got. Taking the initiative is a big step in success.

  44. always look to find opportunities to earn money wherever and whenever, one way to be successful

  45. another thing i want to point out is that you don’t have to be an A grader to succeed in life. People like great Einstien, Edison were not great students in childhood, but still achieved tremendous success .They were self made and self taught individuals.

  46. I first “met” Sujan through that exact hustle you describe above, Neil. He’s a great example of a hard worker – good for him.

  47. PS Discounts UK :

    I have been following you through all your articles. Entrepreneur, entrepreneur everywhere. I think you can start an encyclopedia on entrepreneurship.

  48. Kathleen@Legitimate Work From Home Jobs :

    Anyone can be an entrepreneur. You just have to have the drive and the idea. And…the attributes you mentioned in your post. I know a few people who, after dropping out of school, made a name for themselves in the business world and are very successful. Very inspirational.

  49. San Jose Jumpers :

    “If you want to make money, your brain will continue to think of ways for you to make it. Most of your ideas will suck, but every once in a while you’ll come up with one that will work.”

    excellent point Niel, I will be posting this on my facebook. Thanks

  50. Yasir Khan Quantum SEO :

    You are right. Consistency and persistent hard work always pay. This only a streetwise person knows and no amount of bookish education teaches that.

  51. This example all depends on what you call successful. A small minority of people do not qualify success as making money. There’s experiences, family, lessons learned. I am not saying your cousin isn’t successfu. I am just saying maybe the guy who went to college counts his success in another way like that he graduated from college and he got to do so many things. Each persons life is different and I think success must be measured in more ways than money!

    • You make a good point, not everyone has the same definition for success. Each person is entitled to their own opinion. I hope you are successful in whatever way you define it.

  52. Blake Cavignac :

    One of my favorite sayings is, “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about making yourself”. In order for this to happen you have to hustle and hustle hard.

  53. Hi Neil, I´m following your blog a few weeks ago and I’ve found valuable advices specially related for being an entrepeurner. I´m from Costa Rica, I don’t have a degree but I have 10 years of strong experience in web industry with some unsuccessfully tries to create a company, now I’m an employee of a big corporation but reading these type of posts I am encouraged to try again and implement some ideas that I have developed lately, I will tell you how this goes.. 🙂

    • Thanks for reading Quick Sprout. Happy to hear you have found valuable information here. Definitely let me know how it goes.

      Best of luck!

  54. Jullie - Online Education Author :

    I totally agree with you. The most successful entrepreneur in the world are not all smart people, but they are smart enough to use the available resources and networks to achieve the success.

  55. Thanks Neil, absolutely love your style! Agree with everything, especially about working long hours, which pays after because you do what you are passionate about vs. suffer when you hate your job. Passion, determination, focus, vision, networking (indeed), all that stuff.. Sounds like me.
    You made my day, cheers!

  56. The Tao of Badass Review :

    Hilarious picture!
    This is comforting information, coming from a guy that does not attend college and didn’t get the best SAT scores =P. I’m currently trying my hand at internet marketing, but the SEO stuff has me bogged down. I think the most important thing above all is being willing to try and not giving up after you fail. Most people never make it because they are too scared to give it a go!

  57. Hi Neil,

    I haven’t read something like this for a long time. Such an inspiring story… It is true that in the real world, no amount of academic achievement can help you in reaching your goals. It will only open opportunities but for the person who is both resourceful and hard working – anything is possible

  58. hey neil,
    you have provided us with great points through this story. One entrepreneur must have these qualities. Nice ideas you have delivered to us.



  59. Great post, and I can totally relate to many of your points! Experience, intelligence, and creativity are all great qualities to possess in any job,

  60. Great article! I totally agree with your point about being persistent because you just aren’t going to get rich quickly.

  61. Great points, I probably wasn’t the smartest too, but if you have determination, and clear focus on what you want to achieve you can do it.But thank you for sharing!,,

  62. Amazing article. Thank you very much for sharing it with your readers, because one thing you need if you want to work alone from home or anywhere else and that is determination and focus on your work.

  63. My partner and I stumbled over here different page and thought I should check things out.
    I like wat I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking over
    your web page yet again.

  64. Admiring thee hard work you put into your website and detailed information you present.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information.
    Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS
    feeds to my Google account.

Speak Your Mind