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  • Writer's pictureJay Ashcroft

Do You Need to Go to School for Business to Start a Business?

a photo of philosophical thoughts for a blog written mindset hacker for small business and being an entrepreneur using your subconscious mind

Oh, the age old question. “Hey Google, do I need to go to school for business to start a business?” Depending on who you talk to, you may be pleasantly surprised with the response, or your whole existence may be shattered in one, swift blow.


I remember when I was about 26, and I had already spent the first bit of young adulthood just pissing away my life. I was making music and smoking grass, drinking a little too much and prioritizing chasing women.


But, somewhere in the fog I could see the truth. I needed to get my act together. So I started to. I quit making music as a career choice, pushed the weed and most of the alcohol to the side, and got to work.


I started working with a high end construction company, building luxury homes.


Now, naturally, whenever I dive into something – I want to become the best version of that thing. So I had decided, “I’m going to design and build houses!” I was so excited that I had finally figured out my life path.


I asked an architect as soon as I got the chance. “Hey! So sorry to bother you. Can I asked you a question?” I enquire. The old, tired man sighs and agrees redundantly. “Great. Thanks! Okay. So. Do I actually need to go to school for 6 years to become an architect?”


He laughs, I start to feel awkward. “Ha! Of course you do. I spent a whole 8 years going to school to become an architect. If you don’t go to school for that long, you can never become an architect.” I look down, sadness overtakes me. “8 years??” I think to myself. “Ahh GOD, I’ll be 34 by then!”


I slowly walk away – my earth was shattered. I don’t know why, but for some reason my gut was telling me that there was a work around. That I in fact did not need to go to school for that long to design and build houses.


After this part, my life gets filled with a series of confusing and seemingly random choices – such as moving to a new city to study architectural technology, only to drop out 2 months in, and then to drive out to Calgary, AB for a year, and then to return home to my dying father and to start a business 3 years later – but those are all stories for another day.


The point of this story is business, starting one without a degree, and why you shouldn’t take others opinions too seriously.


Let’s dive into the part about taking others opinions to heart, and why if you don’t phrase your questions right, you won’t get the answers you’re looking for.


When I asked the architect if I could become what he has become, I asked “what will it take for me to become an architect?” What my heart was saying was that I was able to design and build houses – not become an architect!


The answer is NO! I don’t need to go to school for almost a whole decade to design and build houses. I knew enough at that time where if I had gone into business for myself designing and building homes for clients, I could have been extremely successful with it by now.


In fact, I actually did design a luxury home that actually was built. With the 2 months of schooling in AUTO CAD, I was able to design something that an engineer signed off on, and the homeowner even paid me 10 grand to do it. Ha!


How foolish is the ego. The ego says “I want to be an architect, I want full control and I want to be the best, blah blah blah.” Shut up. Just stop, ego. What the real me wanted was to just create designs that I could be proud of.


Now, flash forward a few years again – and of course I’ve come to realize these truths. I move away from the architectural thing and I started a business of my own in 2019.


I started a photography and videography business, and a lot of the work that I’ve done has been in the architectural realm – and I’m great at it because I understand it. 


Let’s answer the main question here, though. No. Hell NO with a capital N and a capital O, you do not need to go to school for business to start a business. But you do need to self-educate. You need to do things, learn things, apply and repeat.   


You see, I’ve done a lot in my short time here. I’ve been a lifeguard, a musician, a university student studying studio art and black and white film photography, a maintenance worker, a carpenter, a heavy equipment operator, a landscaper, a snow plow operator, a photographer, a videographer, a website developer, a marketing specialist and the list continues to grow.


What I’ve learned through all of these experiences is actually a physics theory – one that forgive me, but I can’t remember the name of. It explains, in layman’s terms, that everything relates to everything else.


The lessons learned from one niche can apply directly to every other thing that you can think of. So in rebuttal to the architect form years ago, I’ve got my education. I’ve been getting it for the past 15 years – and now I’ve built a 6 figure business within 3 years.


How was I able to do that? I was able to do that by collecting every single lesson I’ve ever learned and applying it to a specific direction of my choosing. I then embarked on a continual in depth study of the photography and videography industry to catapult myself to success.


I took online courses, signed up for a $10,000 mentorship program, read books, and took action.


All this being said, follow your heart. Only wait to do what you want to do for as long as you need to, and then dive right in. Remember, all you need is a worthy ideal, a loose plan, and the right information. The rest will fill itself in.


To Your Success,

Jay Ashcroft   


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