I have a low GPA even though I studied very hard for my exams. Could this possibly mean that I am not intellectually cut out for entrepreneurship since I can't even perform well in exams and academics?
No. GPA is a performance measure for academic pursuits. Memorization, rote, and perhaps a little critical thinking.
It's the real world out here, unsafe and prone to sudden breakdown. Your ability to interact with people, deal positively with the unexpected, and handle ongoing stress are far more important than regurgitation of some process upon command.
In the real world, you can always pay someone to learn the thing. Or take the time to look the thing up yourself. Memorization is not important. Problem-solving is.
Frankly if you were too methodical a person, I'd be more concerned about your entrepreneurial future than if you're spinny and prone to getting struck by new ideas. But any type of person can be an entrepreneur. The key issue is whether you can handle the stress. And no school can prepare you for that--even the one I went to, that made us wade through 10 and 11 courses a term, resulting in a 40% student failure rate.
Entrepreneurship is more than just hard work. Hard work is easy. If that's all it took, many more people would be rich. But the universe doesn't care how hard you work...nor how hard your competitors are working, either. Remember that on your journey.
Studying hard indicates a good work ethic which will help with your entrepreneurial efforts.
Do a search on dyslexic millionaires and you will see people like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and Steven Spielberg on that list. My guess is they also had low GPAs.
You, and/or your cofounders need to
1) Have an idea that there is sufficient human desire for
2) Be able to create a prototype or fully functioning version of your idea.
To take any next steps you'll need passion, ingenuity, and perseverance. Investors will look for that, and you'll also need it if you go straight to market (that's why investors look for that).
If you have those things it will work, regardless of GPA.
When I hire someone, the last thing I would look at is their GPA. I'd look at what they actually DID in school (groups they were a part of, classes they took, jobs they held, etc). I don't think you'll have banks asking for your GPA either when you go to get that first business loan :)
Absolutely not. There are countless examples of entrepreneurs with low GPAs / grades. GPA is merely a metric for academic achievement. There are many, many other factors that go into entrepreneurial success.
I can totally relate to this. I also own a few businesses and I can tell you that the answer is No.
This is a really great question because I think a lot of people are asking it consciously and subconsciously. Unfortunately for a lot of people (myself included at one time) the answer is yes, and it holds them back.
Growing up I was an average student at best. I remember feeling frustrated and demotivated because I couldn't perform as well as my peers. What this resulted in, was me thinking I was stupid and, I had every reason in the world to come to this conclusion because, "the grades didn't lie." Through all of that I found a way to graduate and settled into my first job out of school. I immediately started to identify things like problem-solving, creative thinking, and honesty as things that traditional grading never tested for. I found myself outperforming my peers and quickly realizing that I had fallen prey to a system that valued knowledge over hustle and intuition.
The reality is that to be an entrepreneur your business cannot and should not be fully dependent on you. If there's an area of your business that you don't feel confident in, then you should to find someone who is great at it and learn from them. But I can promise that if you're willing to be coachable and work hard, you be can a successful business owner.
Happy to chat in more depth about my personal experience.
Best wishes to you! The world needs more successful businesses.
No. GPA is a reflection of being able to:
(1) listen to directions and focus on what is important.
(2) prioritize, set a structure, and get work done.
(3) memorize information, recite, and comprehend what you learned.
GPA has nothing do with entrepreneurship and your ability to succeed in business. In fact, many of the best entrepreneurs have OCD, ADD, ADHD, anxiety, or behavioral/emotional issues rooted in their past. Some are college drop-outs. Many are without advanced degrees. Some started business in high-school and never took another course.
While GPA is not an important marker to become a successful entrepreneur, there are other things that are, such as:
- the ability to focus on what's important
- knowing yourself and why you procrastinate
- the perseverance to stay the course
- or the ability to know when to fold a failing hand
- the abilities, attributes, ambitions, and access to support you along the way
- the ability to bring others around you and to get others excited about something larger than you.
- energy and a high enough emotional quotient (EQ) to treat others well and with respect and empathy.
- the ability to delegate but also jump in.
- the ability to do hard work when required (which is much of the time)
- the ability to be fueled by self, in isolation in the beginning; no needing to be built up by others.
- willing to learn from others, get mentors, have a growth-mindset and a curious mind.
- the ability to respect risks but see fear for what it is (an emotion).
- and so on.
So while GPA a not marker for success as an entrepreneur, being able to uncover a way forward or out is. Being an entrepreneur is a blessing and a curse. Don't beat yourself up if your direction isn't crystal clear today. Lastly,...two pieces of advice:
(1) life is long and you will know when it's right to be an entrepreneur.
(2) you can do wonderful work inside someone else's company as someone who cares about "entrepreneurship". Meaning, you don't have to box yourself in and only see yourself as entrepreneur or not. Owner/Operators are always looking for people who bring an entrepreneurial spirit, can do mindset, strong work ethic to the business.
Hope that helps. - cm